10 ACC and Pac-12 Teams Still In Hyundai Sun Bowl Picture
With just two weeks left in the college football season, the Hyundai Sun Bowl is still trying to figure out which teams from the ACC and Pac-12 will be available to invite for their December 27th game. Bernie Olivas, executive director of the Sun Bowl association joined Sportstalk earlier today for his weekly Hyundai Sun Bowl watch radio segment and mentioned 10 teams from the ACC and Pac-12 conferences are still in the picture. In addition, Notre Dame could also become a part of the Hyundai Sun Bowl puzzle.
In the ACC, Clemson (8-3), Duke (8-3), Miami (6-5), and Louisville (8-3) are all possibilities for a trip to El Paso. Notre Dame (7-4) is another team who could be in the mix, but their situation is a little more complicated. If the Fighting Irish lose to USC this weekend and Duke defeats Wake Forest, the Russell Athletic Bowl would have to take the Blue Devils because they would have two more wins than Notre Dame. In that scenario, the Hyundai Sun Bowl, New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Gator Bowl/Music City Bowl, and the Belk Bowl will gather after the ACC Championship and draw for the luck of the Irish. Even if the Hyundai Sun Bowl misses out on bringing Notre Dame back to El Paso for a second time, they will still have four quality ACC football programs to pool from.
Over in the Pac-12, Washington, UCLA, USC, Arizona State, Arizona, and Utah are still in the Hyundai Sun Bowl picture. The most logical assumption is that the loser of Friday afternoon's Arizona State vs. Arizona game will have the inside track on coming to El Paso. However, there are still other possibilities that could allow USC, Washington, or Utah to play at the Sun Bowl. UCLA is a long shot, since the Bruins played here last year and game officials always try and avoid having the same team in El Paso for two years in a row.
Here are the latest Hyundai Sun Bowl Projections:
Mark Schlabach (ESPN): Louisville vs. Utah
Brett McMurphy (ESPN): Notre Dame vs. Utah
Jerry Palm (CBS Sports):North Carolina vs. Utah
Stewart Mandel (FOX): North Carolina vs. Washington
Phil Steele: Miami vs. Utah
Jason Kirk (SB Nation): Duke vs. Utah
Bill Bender (TSN): Boston College vs. USC