With college football already in the second half of the season, many websites have been coming out with their projections on what schools will play in the various bowl games at the end of the season. The Fresno State Bulldogs, with their record of 5-2 and 3-1 in WAC play, are projected by all the experts to represent the WAC in a bowl game, but the specific bowl game and their opponent varies among all of them. Here is a breakdown of the different bowls and the opponents the 'Dogs have been projected to play.
New Mexico Bowl vs. BYU/Colorado: Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, December 18 @ 11 a.m.
Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com, College Football News, and Fox Sports project the 'Dogs will make their third straight appearance in the New Mexico Bowl. Fresno State played Colorado State in 2008 and Wyoming in 2009, but both ESPN.com and College Football News believe the Bulldogs will face a different Mountain West opponent this year, the BYU Cougars. The Cougars have a conference record of 2-2 and an overall record of 3-5, with big wins over Washington and San Diego State. They are currently third in the Mountain West in rushing offense, rushing defense, and sacks. Fresno State is 5-4 all time against BYU.
Fox Sports predicts the Bulldogs will see Big 12 opponent Colorado in Albuquerque, and the Buffaloes lead the series 4-1 against the 'Dogs. This is Colorado's last year in the Big 12 conference before they make the switch to the Pac 10. The Buffaloes are 3-4 on the season with wins over Colorado State, Hawaii, and Georgia, and they have the second best turnover margin in the entire Big 12.
uDrove Humanitarian Bowl vs. Ohio: Boise, Idaho, Saturday, December 18 @ 2:30 p.m.
If Mark Schlabach from ESPN.com is correct, this would be Fresno State's third appearance in the Humanitarian Bowl and their first time ever facing the Ohio Bobcats. In 2007, the 'Dogs defeated Georgia Tech 40-28, and in 2004, they edged out No. 18 Virginia 37-34 in their first appearance. The Bobcats currently have the best record in the MAC West at 4-1, and they have an overall record of 5-3. Ohio is second in the MAC in rushing offense and 39th in the nation. They are also second in the MAC in total defense.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl vs. UCLA/Notre Dame: San Francisco, California, January 9 @ 6 p.m.
Previously known as the Emerald Bowl, this would be the Bulldog's first appearance. CBS Sports is picking the UCLA Bruins to face the 'Dogs in San Francisco, and the Bruins lead the overall series 6-2. UCLA has upset wins over No. 23 Houston and No. 7 Texas on their way to a 3-4 record. They rank fourth in the Pac 10 and 22nd in the nation in rushing, and a big reason why is sophomore running back Jonathan Franklin who is 16th in the nation in rushing yards per game.
Notre Dame is the choice of Rivals.com to go against the Bulldogs on January 9, and the 'Dogs have never faced the Fighting Irish. The Irish are 4-4 on the season, and they are led by junior quarterback Dayne Crist who is 22nd in the nation in passing and 14th in total passing yards.