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Who: BCS at-large vs. BCS conference champion or at-large
Representing the Big Ten: Michigan State Spartans, who I have going 10-2 in the regular season.
This year, the Spartans will rely on a stingy defense, a strong running game and an inexperienced but efficient, if understated, passing game.
This prediction—the BCS bowl, not the 10 wins—is something of a stretch. MSU is a notoriously poor traveling team, and thus, is not attractive to BCS bowls. However, no non-AQ teams will make the BCS this year. Notre Dame will also fail to qualify. This will leave four at-large picks.
One of those will go to the SEC. Another will go to Oregon or Southern Cal—whichever one fails to win the Pac-12.
That will leave two spots between the Big 12, ACC and Big Ten. The Big 12 will be helped by not having a conference championship game. If Oklahoma and Texas have big years, then both will go to the BCS.
That leaves the ACC. The only programs that travel well in the ACC are Florida State and Clemson, and odds are one of them will win the conference.
The Orange Bowl is the only BCS bowl that might favor an ACC team with a weak traveling fanbase over an MSU program with a weak traveling fanbase, and the Orange picks last in 2012.
In effect, I'm going out on a limb and saying the Sugar or Fiesta will take MSU over another, even-more-unappealing ACC option.
Five Most Likely Opponents: Georgia Bulldogs, Texas Longhorns, Florida Gators, LSU Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide, USC Trojans