Bowl projections 2012: Where will Rutgers, Syracuse go?

Rich Schultz

Bowl invitations will come to both Rutgers and Syracuse Sunday. Here's a brief rundown of where both are projected to play.

College football polished off its regular season Saturday which means today is the day all the bowl eligible teams will get invites to a postseason destination.

Both the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Syracuse Orange are bowl eligible which means, just like a lot of other football programs, they will be waiting for a phone call Sunday.

Entering the day, Rutgers is a strong favorite to be invited to the Russell Athletic Bowl, Dec. 28, in Orlando, FL. There the Scarlet Knights are slotted to play against an Atlantic Coast Conference school, more than likely the Virginia Tech Hokies - SI.com, CBS Sports and SB Nation all predict this match up.

It's highly unlikely Rutgers will play anywhere else, as the Russell Athletic Bowl is the second-best bowl a Big East Conference team can be invited to. And though the Scarlet Knights are in a four-way tie a top of the Big East standings with Syracuse, Louisville Cardinals and Cincinnati Bearcats, it highly unlikely the Orange or Bearcats will get the Russell Athletic nod over Rutgers because each will be ranked lower in the final BCS standings and lost to the Scarlet Knights.

Syracuse is caught in limbo.

Projections strongly suggest the Orange are headed for the Pinstripe Bowl for the second time in three seasons where they could meet former long-time Big East rival and now Big 12 Conference member, the West Virginia Mountaineers (SB Nation).

However, there are claims the Pinstripe Bowl will elect to invite the Pittsburgh Panthers, who became bowl eligible Saturday, instead of SU. A Pitt/West Virginia showdown would set up a Backyard Brawl that some believe would sell out Yankee Stadium.

SI.com also has Syracuse playing in the Pinstripe Bowl, Dec. 29, but playing the Baylor Bears - West Virginia is in the Holiday Bowl.

However, CBS Sports has a different prediction. CBS Sports is predicting Syracuse is headed to the BBVA Compass Bowl, Jan. 5, in Birmingham, Al.

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