With Notre Dame all but getting eliminated from BCS at-large berth contention due to its loss last week at Pittsburgh, the Fighting Irish find themselves in bowl limbo.
US PRESSWIREBrian Kelly and the Irish won't be heading to a BCS game this season.
Brian Kelly's squad doesn't have an agreement in place with any of the postseason bowl games, so the Irish will have to depend on a conference not fulfilling all of its bowl tie-ins in order to go bowling this year. Of course, starting next season the Irish will be a part of the ACC's bowl tie-ins.
Which postseason destinations are most likely for ND this year?
In my latest bowl projections posted Monday, I have the Irish in the December 31 Independence Bowl in Shreveport against Boston College. The SEC No. 10 team is slotted into this spot against an ACC foe, but Tennessee appears to have slim bowl hopes at this point. The Vols need to beat Vanderbilt and Kentucky to become bowl-eligible.
Another option could be the December 28 Pinstripe Bowl in New York City, with the Irish taking the Big 12's No. 7 slot if West Virginia doesn't become bowl-eligible. The possible opponent could be Rutgers of the American Athletic Conference.
There are also two lower-tier options. Detroit's Little Caesars Bowl on December 26 could be in play if the Big Ten does not fulfill all of its slots. The matchup there could be against a MAC team, such as Ball State. Also, San Diego's Poinsettia Bowl on December 26 will not have Army bowl-eligible, so representatives could look at the Irish against a Mountain West team such as Boise State.
Whatever bowl the Irish land in, the holidays will be a bit disappointing this year for the program one season after ND competed for the BCS national title against SEC power Alabama.
Dave Miller, the college football editor and writer for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.