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New Orleans? Boca Raton? A look at Coastal Carolina’s potential bowl destinations

Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell and players wait in the tunnel before heading out onto...
Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell and players wait in the tunnel before heading out onto the field, for an NCAA college football game against Appalachian State on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Boone, N.C.(AP Photo/Matt Kelley)
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 4:37 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - With the regular season now in the rearview mirror, the Coastal Carolina football team now looks ahead to their second-straight bowl appearance.

The only question is, where will the 10-2 Chanticleers play postseason football? Well, it’s a little complicated.

The team’s bowl destination remains a mystery until Sunday - until all 82 of the possible bowl slots are filled ahead of bowl season kicking off on Dec. 17. Fortunately, the Sun Belt Conference’s bowl tie-ins offer a bit of a clearer picture of where the Chants could end up.

POSSIBLE DESTINATIONS

Of the conference’s 10 tie-ins, eight are managed by ESPN Events. That includes the Myrtle Beach Bowl, which will be held at Brooks Stadium:

  • RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl (Boca Raton, Florida)
  • TaxAct Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Alabama)
  • Cure Bowl (Orlando, Florida)
  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise, Idaho)
  • SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas, Texas)
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas)
  • New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

The two other bowl games, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and the LendingTree Bowl, both operate outside of the pool.

THE SELECTION PROCESS

The process of selecting teams for bowl games is set to play out throughout the week, culminating on Sunday after the College Football Playoff semifinals are decided.

Per guidelines from the Sun Belt Conference, ESPN Events holds the first, third and fourth selections from the pool of games listed above using a flex model. Essentially, it means there’s no set order or precedent for which team goes to which bowl game.

The New Orleans Bowl receives the second selection, while the LendingTree Bowl holds the fifth selection should there be enough teams that are bowl eligible.

SO, WHERE IS COASTAL GOING?

That’s the million-dollar question.

Based on how the season shook out, division winners Louisiana-Lafayette and Appalachian State will most likely be the first and second selections. Where they end up could very likely depend on who wins Saturday’s Sun Belt Conference Championship Game.

That leaves Coastal with the third-best finish in the conference and a likely date at one of the ESPN games. Although some projections have the Chants playing in the Myrtle Beach Bowl, it’s quite uncommon for teams to be selected to a bowl game played on their home field. While stranger things have happened in college football, this seems unlikely.

The Cure Bowl remains in play, but also seems improbable given it’s where the Chants were selected to play last year in the program’s first-ever bowl game.

Taking both of these out of the equation still leaves six of the ESPN games on the board, though there’s no way to know for sure where the Chants would end up.

Don’t rule out the New Orleans Bowl either, though it seems more likely that region favorite Louisiana-Lafayette would be selected to that game regardless of Saturday’s outcome.

PROJECTIONS

As for who the Chants would play in any of these games? That’s an even bigger mystery and a little more difficult to predict.

Below is a list of bowl projections from several media outlets as of Dec. 2, 2021:

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