Texas's Charlie Strong during the second half in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, November 19, 2016. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Football

Bowl projections (gulp): It’s win or stay home for Texas against TCU

Posted November 22nd, 2016

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The past few weeks, most bowl projectors made one assumption about Texas: that the Longhorns would be bowl eligible.

Nobody saw the 24-21 overtime loss to Kansas coming, and now it’s time to face the reality that a loss on Friday would mean Texas staying home for a second consecutive season. Two out of the three major outlets we’ve shared projections from predict that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

RELATED COVERAGE: Bohls: Texas fumbles its handling of Charlie Strong’s exit

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Fox Sports’ Stewart Mandel remains the most optimistic about Texas. He predicts a win on Friday would secure a spot in the Liberty Bowl, which would mean a meeting with Kentucky at 11 a.m. on Dec. 30. The Wildcats have already secured bowl eligibility. At 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the SEC, they’ll close the regular season with a trip to in-state rival Louisville.

In projections from CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated, the Longhorns are nowhere to be found.

RELATED COVERAGE: Charlie Strong states his case on why he should return in 2017

The Longhorns likely wouldn’t get a bowl berth at 5-7, even if there are fewer eligible teams than spots. Mandel predicts that Hawaii, Vanderbilt, Army, and Boston college would get those spots while SI.com predicts Hawaii, Army, Vanderbilt, Boston College and UCLA. Recipients of those spots are determined by Academic Progress Rate.

Should Texas win on Friday, it will be bowl eligible at 6-6. The non-New Year’s Six bowls with Big 12 ties are as follows: Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth), Cactus Bowl (Phoenix), Russell Athletic Bowl (Orlando), Texas Bowl (Houston), Alamo Bowl (San Antonio) and the Liberty Bowl.

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