Hyundai Sun Bowl Scenarios Entering Championship Week
On Sunday, we will learn which teams will meet in the 2018 Hyundai Sun Bowl. There are still plenty of possibilities in both the Pac-12 and the ACC entering college football's championship week. Let's break it down by conference.
ACC (Boston College, Syracuse, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Miami, and Duke)
Clemson and Pitt will square off in the ACC Championship Game Saturday night at 6 p.m. on ABC. The Tigers are a 26.5 point favorite to win the game and finish the season 13-0, while the Panthers would fall to 7-6. With Clemson in the College Football Playoffs and North Carolina State most likely headed to the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, a group of ACC teams will fall into the bowl pool. Syracuse appears to be headed to the Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium leaving the Citrus, Music City, Belk, Tax Slayer, and Hyundai Sun Bowl to pick from the remaining group. In a perfect world, Miami would come back to El Paso for the third time in the last eight years. The Hurricane won their last two conference games to finish the season with a 7-5 record, but they turn on television sets which is huge for CBS and the Hyundai Sun Bowl. If Miami is not an option, Boston College would be a great backup. The Eagles are also 7-5, but they wrapped up their regular season with three straight losses to Clemson, Florida State, and Syracuse. Pitt, Georgia Tech, and Duke are still possibilities, although more remote than Miami and BC.
Pac-12 (Utah, Stanford, Cal, and Arizona State)
Washington stunned Washington State in a snowy Apple Cup Friday night leaving the Huskies and Utes to slug it out in the Pac-12 Championship Game, Friday night at 6 p.m. on FOX. This game could be a toss-up, leaving the Hyundai Sun Bowl with multiple possibilities depending on the outcome of this game and the Stanford-Cal makeup Saturday afternoon in Berkeley. If Utah wins, they go to the Rose Bowl while Washington State most likely ends up in a New Year's Six game. That leaves the Alamo, Holiday, and Redbox Bowl selecting their teams first. The Alamo Bowl could select Washington and the Holiday Bowl will take Oregon. That leaves the Redbox Bowl with either Arizona State, Cal, or Stanford. Word is, the Redbox Bowl will choose between the winner of Cal and Stanford. In that scenario, the loser of the Stanford-Cal game would come to the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
If Washington beats Utah in the Pac-12 Championship, then the Huskies would go to the Rose Bowl. The Alamo Bowl would choose between Oregon or Utah. If Utah goes to the Alamo Bowl, the Holiday Bowl would take Oregon. If the Redbox Bowl takes the winner of Cal-Stanford, and the Hyundai Sun Bowl would take the loser. If the Alamo, Holiday, and Redbox all pass on Utah, then Hyundai Sun Bowl would be contractually obligated to take the Utes since they have the highest conference record. There is always a possibility that Arizona State returns to El Paso for the second straight year. The Pac-12 knows that the Hyundai Sun Bowl tries to avoid the same school in consecutive years, but Herm Edwards is an incredible personality and he would eat up the El Paso hospitality if his Sun Devils return. If Washington State falls out of the New Year's Six, then the Hyundai Sun Bowl would have one extra team fall into their picture.
The Hyundai Sun Bowl Selection Party will be this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. The announcement will be made at 2 p.m. and the public is invited to attend the free event featuring Sun Bowl giveaways.