Bowl projections for Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football: New Orleans and Camellia
UL’s actual postseason bowl destination likely is largely dependent on how it fares in the Dec. 4 Sun Belt Conference championship game at Cajun Field.
Early projections have the No. 21 Ragin’ Cajuns headed to either the Dec. 18 New Orleans Bowl or the Dec. 25 Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.
UL (9-1), coming off a 35-21 win at Troy, visits Liberty (7-3) on Saturday (3 p.m. CT, ESPNU) and plays host to UL Monroe to close the regular season on Nov. 27 (3 p.m., ESPNU) before facing Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State or Troin the Sun Belt title game.
The Cajuns are headed to their fourth postseason game under coach Billy Napier after losing to Tulane at the 2018 Cure Bowl in Orlando, beating Miami (Ohio) in the 2019 Lending Tree Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and beating Texas-San Antonio 31-24 at the 2020 First Responder Bowl in Dallas.
ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura and College Football News have UL playing Conference USA member UAB in the New Orleans Bowl, while ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Steve Lassan of Athlon Sports have the Cajuns playing Marshall of C-USA in New Orleans.
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Brad Crawford of 247Sports and Jerry Palm of CBS Sports also have UL in the New Orleans Bowl, against C-USA’s East Carolina and UTEP, respectively.
Bill Bender of The Sporting News and Action Network’s Brett McMurphy have UL playing MAC members Central Michigan and Northern Illinois, respectively, in the Camellia Bowl.
UL is Louisiana’s only bowl-eligible team.
LSU (4-6) and UL Monroe (4-6) both still can get bowl eligible, but Tulane (1-9) and Louisiana Tech (3-7) cannot. LSU plays ULM on Saturday (8 p.m., ESPN2) at Tiger Stadium and closes Nov. 27 at home against Texas A&M.
Here’s a look at two potential Cajun bowl destinations:
New Orleans Bowl
A postseason appearance at the Superdome is a lot like an extra home game for the Cajuns, and a boost at the gate for the bowl. But they haven’t played there since 2016, when Southern Miss won 28-21.
UL won the New Orleans Bowl from 2011-14, beating San Diego State, East Carolina, Tulane and Nevada, respectively. The victories over San Diego State and Tulane, however, were vacated due to NCAA sanctions.
Georgia Southern beat Louisiana Tech 38-3 in the 2020 New Orleans Bowl, whose largest crowd was an announced 54,728 for the 2013 UL-Tulane game.
UL never has played in the Camellia Bowl, staged at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl since 2014.
MAC member Buffalo beat Marshall 17-10 in last season’s Camellia Bowl, the first in Montgomery that didn’t involve a Sun Belt team. Marshall, however, is among three programs planning to soon leave C-USA for the Sun Belt, along with Southern Miss and Old Dominion.
UL bowl projections
Bill Bender, The Sporting News: Dec. 25 Camellia Bowl vs. Northern Illinois
Kyle Bonagura, ESPN: Dec. 18 New Orleans Bowl vs. UAB
College Football News: New Orleans Bowl vs. UAB
Brad Crawford, 247 Sports: New Orleans Bowl vs. East Carolina
Steve Lassan, Athlon Sports: New Orleans Bowl vs. Marshall
Brett McMurphy, Action Network: Camellia Bowl vs. Central Michigan
Jerry Palm, CBS Sports: New Orleans Bowl vs. UTEP
Mark Schlabach, ESPN: New Orleans Bowl vs. Marshall