Noted college football expert Phil Steele has come out with his updated bowl projections for the 2012-13 season, adding to the growing list of way-too-early bowl projections already out there.
Here is Steele's projected lineup:
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Southern Miss
Russell Athletic Bowl: Louisville vs. Virginia Tech
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Baylor
BBVA Compass Bowl: Pitt vs. Missouri
Discover Orange Bowl: USF vs. Oregon
*Steele has Notre Dame playing Georgia Tech in the Belk Bowl, normally tied in to the Big East.
For those keeping score at home, there is no consensus among those who already have done these way-too-early projections on the Big East representative in the BCS. Here is a sampling among the brave souls who have waded into the bowl projecting business before summer camps even begin:
CBSSports.com: Rutgers, Orange Bowl.
College Football News: Rutgers, Orange Bowl.
National Football Post: Rutgers, Orange Bowl.
Orlando Sentinel: Louisville, Orange Bowl.
Keep in mind, Steele is the only one whose projections came out after every spring practice wrapped up. So some of these others might change as the season draws closer. It is interesting to note that the three teams believed to be the favorites in the Big East all have been selected to make it to a BCS game. That once again shows the unpredictability in the Big East. Steele only has five Big East teams eligible, but Syracuse and UConn have been selected in some of these other projections.
Our preseason bowl projections come out later in the summer, just before the season begins. But it is safe to say that I believe every team Steele has listed will be bowl eligible in 2012.