With the football season more-or-less two-thirds over, the bowl picture is starting to shape up.
I've believed since the start of the season that UNC would win eight games and go to the Peach Bowl, which would love to have the Heels in Atlanta for New Year's Eve. I see no reason to change that prediction now.
I forsee a Virginia Tech win over Maryland in the ACC Championship Game, which would put the Hokies in the Orange Bowl. And while after watching Duke self-destruct against Miami I never thought the Devils could get six wins, I wasn't figuring on Vanderbilt being one of them. Problem is, Duke could be the ACC's 10th bowl-eligible team, with only nine bowl tie-ins. The ninth bowl is the Eagle Bank/Congressional Bowl, which gives an automatic bid to Navy, which has already lost to Duke. So the Devils need Miami to flame out, which could end up sliding them into Boise.
As for East Carolina, the Pirates should win Conference USA's weaker division, only to be slaughtered by Tulsa in the title game. With the two Texas bowls snapping up Houston and Rice, look for the Pirates to head down to Mobile for the GMAC Bowl at the late date of Jan. 6.
Anyway, here's how I see it shaking down (Tulsa plays UCF tonight):
Orange Bowl -- Virginia Tech
Peach Bowl -- North Carolina
Gator Bowl -- Florida State
Champs Bowl -- Maryland
Music City Bowl -- Georgia Tech
Meineke (Charlotte) Bowl -- Virginia
Emerald Bowl -- Boston College
Humanitarian Bowl -- Wake Forest
Eagle (Congressional) Bowl -- Miami
Bowl-eligible ... but where? Duke
Liberty Bowl -- Tulsa
GMAC Bowl -- East Carolina
Texas Bowl -- Rice
Armed Forces Bowl -- Houston
New Orleans Bowl -- Memphis
St. Petersburg Bowl -- UTEP