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Updated bowl projections for Memphis after Week 9

Memphis Bowl projections
Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Memphis Tigers hold a record of 6-2 and still have an opportunity to play for an AAC title this season despite losing a crucial matchup against the Tulane Green Wave in Week 7. However, for the Tigers to even think about playing Tulane in a rematch for the conference title, they must successfully close out the season with victories. Currently, the Tigers are 3-1 in the American, which has them in fourth place. In front of them are programs such as UTSA, SMU, and defending conference champion Tulane, with undefeated records.

This Saturday, they return home from a two-game road trip to host USF and will return to face new conference foe, the Charlotte 49ers. But everyone knows the impending matchup with the SMU Mustangs will most likely determine the Tigers’ fate regarding appearing in this year’s AAC title game.

An opportunity to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game this season is most likely out of the cards, but there still will be potential matchups that may interest Tiger fans as the 2023 campaign ends. In ESPN’s latest College Football Playoff and bowl projection post (subscription required), columnists Mark Schlabach and Kyle Bonagura have the Tigers playing in two different bowl matchups. Schalbach has projected that Memphis will face Clemson in the Military Bowl, while Bonagura has them facing Toledo in the Quick Lane Bowl.

If Memphis had to face Clemson in a bowl game, it would provide another opportunity for the program to defeat one of college football’s elite brands. Dating back to last season, Clemson is not performing like the juggernaut that won two national titles in three years. They are 4-4 and are nowhere near playing in a New Year’s Six bowl game this season. The fan base has harshly criticized head coach Ryan Silverfield for not leading the program to victories over opponents with winning records this season. Their two losses came against two of college football’s hottest programs, Missouri and Tulane.

Both games were winnable, but whenever Missouri and Tulane needed to steal the momentum back from Memphis, they went out and executed big-time plays. A potential win over a program like Clemson would give Tiger fans a confidence booster going into the offseason, as the program will most likely be active during the transfer portal period.

As for facing Toledo, the Tigers would be facing a fellow Group of Five program. The Rockets are currently 7-1 and are in first place in the Mid-American Conference Western Division. A battle with Toledo would be on more equal footing compared to last year’s First Responder’s Bowl against Utah State. With four games left in the 2023 season, the Tigers have much to play for and could very well play one of the programs projected in ESPN’s latest college football story.

Bowl Locations

Quick Lane Bowl
Ford Field (Detroit)

Military Bowl
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Annapolis, Maryland)

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