Orange Bowl: Forecasting Which Teams Will Get Invitations This Year

Ryan DavenportContributor INovember 30, 2012

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 17: Quarterback EJ Manuel #3 of the Florida State Seminoles stands in the huddle during the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium on November 17, 2012 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

In 2012, the Orange Bowl has the unwanted distinction of getting the last selection out of all five BCS Bowls in terms of choosing which teams will receive the honor of competing for the giant bowl of sacred oranges. 

As usual, since no Atlantic Coast Conference team is anywhere near contending for the national title, the conference champion will be featured in the 2013 Orange Bowl, but who it will take on remains very unclear. 

Though we won't have an accurate idea of which teams will receive invitations to the Orange Bowl until we know the invitees to the other four BCS games, here's an early look at who could be taking the field on January 1 in Miami Gardens, Fla.


Florida State

Obviously, with a win over Georgia Tech in the ACC title game, Florida State will earn a spot in the Orange Bowl, and unless the Seminoles underperform against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday, they'll waltz to the conference crown. 

If Jimbo Fisher's Seminoles do what's expected of them and get a victory over Georgia Tech, they'll be the overwhelming favorite to win the Orange Bowl, as it's difficult to imagine a higher ranked team getting an invite as well.


Georgia Tech

Though a heavy underdog against the Seminoles, the Yellow Jackets still could upset Florida State and subsequently earn an invite to the Orange Bowl. It'll be for them tough to do so if they're once again without Orwin Smith, their top running back, but stranger things have happened in this college football season. 

As a 6-6 team, Georgia Tech would be one of the most unlikely squads to qualify for a BCS bowl in recent memory.



As the Big East champ, Louisville, despite not being a Top 25 team in the BCS, AP or USA Today rankings, will be headed to a BCS bowl.

In fact, the Cardinals haven't even played a Top 25 team this season, but it doesn't matter, because unless they get tabbed to play in the Sugar Bowl, it looks like Louisville will be playing for the Orange Bowl in January.


Kent State 

At No. 17, Kent State needs a win over No. 21 Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference title game to get a shot at a BCS berth, but even then, it's no sure thing. 

That's because as a non-automatic conference, Kent State has to finish the season ranked in the top 16, which could happen, but only if the Golden Flashes can take home the conference title on Friday. 

Once they've accomplished that, it'll be a waiting game for Kent State to see if it finishes in the top 16.