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Bowl Projections: Gator Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl Still Among Likely Destinations For Pitt, West Virginia And Penn State

More bowl projections are coming in for the local college teams and are remaining relatively consistent. Both CBS Sports and Rivals expect Penn State to head to Jacksonville for a matchup with Florida in the Gator Bowl. This is probably good news for Penn State as talk has emerged in recent days of the Nittany Lions heading to the Outback Bowl to face South Carolina or Alabama should the Gamecocks beat Auburn in the SEC Championship and replace Arkansas. The Lions have already been crushed by the Crimson Tide this season and the Gamecocks won't be much easier to beat. Florida, on the other hand, is very average this season, much like Penn State, and might actually be a competitive opponent. Additionally, given Florida's reputation, a loss wouldn't be nearly as damaging as one at the hands of the South Carolina and a win would likely be more impressive in the same manner.

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Both outlets also expect West Virginia to play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, though against different opponents. Rivals expects the Mountaineers to face North Carolina while CBS expects them to see N.C. State. Notre Dame's win over USC on Saturday night likely sealed the fate of any Big East team's hope of heading to the Champs Sports Bowl, so if Connecticut beats South Florida, West Virginia is likely headed back to North Carolina to play for the second time in three years.

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Pitt is still scraping the bottom of the barrel. The Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise spoke to an source who said the possibility of Pitt heading to New York for the Pinstripe Bowl is "not very likely." With that in mind, Rivals has Pitt headed to Birmingham, coincidentally nicknamed the "Pittsburgh of the South," for the BBVA Compass Bowl against Kentucky. CBS has the Panthers falling even further, landing in St. Petersburg, Florida for a matchup in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl against Southern Mississippi.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.