Week 4 (?) bowl projections: LSU, WTF?

The first bowl projection of the 2020 season is one I would have never expected.

Earlier this week, we visited way-too-early Top 25 rankings for a California team that isn’t set to take the field for another month. Today, let’s look at way-too-early bowl projections.

Needless to say, a crazy corona season makes for a crazy bowl season—and I don’t even understand the bowl selection process this year. I’m not sure what the selection order for the Pac-12 is and the NCAA is going so far as to recommend that win-loss records not be considered for bowl eligibility.

So, with all this nonsense in mind, let’s move on to some predictions and get hyped for 2020.

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College Football News projects California to face Army in the Independence Bowl. We have thrice played a service academy in bowl season, most recently in the (December) 2015 Armed Forces Bowl, when Jared Goff et al. led the team to our first bowl win since the 2008 season. Historically, the Golden Bears are 2–4 against the Black Knights; the Black Knights won our last contest (back before I was born, in 1980) and the Bears haven’t won since the 1973 and 74 seasons. Army went just 5–8 last year, but started the season with a two-game winning streak and peaked at a #22 ranking before falling 24–10 to #14 Cincinnati.

CBS Sports, however, has a prediction that’s quite on the other end of the spectrum. Instead of us facing a team coming off of a 5–8 season, Jerry Palm has us paired up against the reigning national champions—against LSU in the Las Vegas Bowl.

(Is my hate for the trashiness that is Las Vegas enough to muster up a comment or two on this new site?)

But back to the main point, a 2020 bowl game against the Tigers would be quite shocking when looking at the 2019 results—when they went 15–0 with Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow and Coach Ed Orgeron, who won a few Coach of the Year awards. This year, though, may be a different story. LSU is currently 0–1 after a loss to a pseudo-Pac-12 Mississippi State. This would be our first-ever game against the Tigers.