It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out, but according to Palm, the BCS National Title game will feature LSU and USC. Pretty tough to argue that selection.
Other BCS bowl games are projected to be: Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin, Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Louisville, Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Boise State, Rose Bowl: Michigan vs. Oregon.
A few other notable projections include Oklahoma State and Arkansas in the Cotton bowl, a rematch of last years three overtime Capital One Bowl with Michigan State and Georgia, Iowa and Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, the Liberty Bowl featuring Houston and Tennessee, and Washington and West Virginia in the Holiday Bowl (we suspect the over / under in that one might be 125).
Interestingly, Palm believes that there will be a shortage of bowl eligible teams next season, noting that Fresno State will not have a bowl eligible opponent.
Glancing through the list we see that Palm predicts that eleven head coaches will lead teams to bowls in their first season leading their current team. Those coaches include:
John L. Smith - Cotton Bowl (Arkansas vs. Oklahoma State)
Matt Campbell - TicketCity Bowl (Purdue vs. Toledo)
Tony Levine - Liberty Bowl (Houston vs. Tennessee)
Ellis Johnson - Armed Forces (Southern Miss vs. Wyoming),
Tim Beckman - Buffalo Wild Wings (Illinois vs. TCU)
Paul Chryst - Pinstripe Bowl (Pittsburgh vs. Kansas State)
Kyle Flood - Belk Bowl (Rutgers vs. Virginia)
Jim McElwain - Hawaii Bowl (Colorado State vs. Tulsa)
Jim Mora Jr. - Maaco Bowl (Nevada vs. UCLA)
Gus Malzahn - New Orleans Bowl (Arkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech)
Tim DeRuyter - New Mexico Bowl (Fresno State vs. NO ELIGIBLE TEAM)
We couldn't help but notice that Palm doesn't have either Kevin Sumlin's Texas A&M team or Mike Leach's Washington State team making a bowl game.
A big part of accomplishing that included bringing guys on staff that had personal ties to the state of Arkansas. Five members of Malzahn's staff have either grown up in Arkansas, or have played or coached at the high school or collegiate level within the state.
"We strategically hired guys that are familiar with the state, are very well respected, and are very good football coaches." Malzahn noted.
Hear more thoughts from the rest of the coaching staff on the importance of those Arkansas ties below.