The 2012 college football season is barely at the halfway point, but that won't stop us from predicting how things are going to shake out come December.
We've already seen some great football, and many preseason questions—such as, "Is Michigan really that good?"—have been answered.
So when those coveted bowl invitations are handed out, where will everyone land? Will the SEC be playing for another crystal football? Which BCS conference will be left out of a second slot in the big games?
We'll answer these questions, and more in our bowl game projections, post-Week 6 edition.
We'll get underway with the bowl with the lowest monetary payout for the participants.
Last season, the New Orleans Bowl paid out a paltry $500,000 to the participants, a full quarter million less than the next lowest payout.
It's no wonder that the New Orleans Bowl scrapes the bottom of the FBS barrel when it comes to selecting teams.
The current tie-ins for the New Orleans Bowl belong to the Sun Belt Conference and Conference USA.
The Sun Belt champion typically finds its way to the Big Easy for bowl season, and with two weeks in the books, there's no reason we're not going to pick Louisiana-Monroe to win it all in the Sun Belt this season. After what was then an impressive win over hapless Arkansas, the ULM has established itself as the team to beat in the Sun Belt.
Conference USA has been a mess so far this season, and by the time the dust settles, it may emerge as the worst conference, top to bottom, of the 2012 season.
Projection: Louisiana-Monroe vs. Southern Methodist
The Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl, formerly the Motor City Bowl, has been part of the MAC-Big Ten series over the past several years.
The Big Ten and MAC play a regular season series, with each team from the Big Ten playing at least one MAC school each season, and at least one MAC school getting a home game every year.
While the Pizza Bowl committee gets a top pick from the MAC, they really have to scrape the bottom of the Big Ten barrel to come up with a pick for the second team. And while Iowa hasn't been terrible thus far in 2012, there are many Big Ten teams ahead of the Hawkeyes ready to gobble up the more lucrative bowl bids.
Projection: Toledo vs. Iowa
There's nothing quite like a cold December in Boise, Idaho. In what is easily the coldest outdoor bowl game of the college football season, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (formerly the Humanitarian Bowl, and before that, the MPC Computers Bowl) welcomes a pair of teams to play on the blue turf in Boise.
This season, we're projecting that Northern Illinois out of the MAC will make a fifth straight bowl trip, and second trip to Boise in three seasons for a bowl game (NIU defeated Fresno State in the 2010 Humanitarian Bowl).
While Northern Illinois may be accustomed to the cold temperatures, the projected opponent for the Huskies, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, may have a tougher time.
The Bulldogs look to be very strong yet again this season, and with a weakened conference slate, don't be surprised to see Louisiana Tech cruise through the WAC with a spotless record.
Projection: Louisiana Tech vs. Northern Illinois
The GoDaddy.com Bowl will feature the top team out of the MAC against the second—and final contractual tie-in—selection from the Sun Belt.
Ohio has clearly emerged as the best team in the MAC, and even if the Bobcats don't prevail in the MAC Championship Game this season, they're still sure to be the best team coming out of the MAC in 2012.
The Ragin' Cajuns are coming off of the program's first bowl game as a Division I-A/FBS program last season (ULL did play in the Grantland Rice Bowl at the end of the 1970 season), and recorded the school's first-ever postseason win against San Diego State in last season's New Orleans Bowl.
So far, it's looking very likely that the Cajuns will make it two bowl trips in a row.
Unfortunately for the rest of the Sun Belt, the conference is woefully lacking in bowl tie-ins, and we'll likely see a couple of Sun Belt programs snubbed by the bowl selection committees again this season.
Projection: Ohio vs Louisiana-Lafayette
Utah State is proving to be a very capable team, and the Aggies are a real up-and-comer out west. With a 4-2 start, including a win over Utah, USU is in prime position for a second-straight bowl trip.
Central Florida is one of just two teams in Conference USA with three or more wins, and is the only team in the East Division to hold such a distinction. Clearly, C-USA isn't going to be home to a lot of great teams this season. The other spot in the Hawai'i Bowl would usually go to a C-USA team, but with so few to choose from this season, the aforementioned Sun Belt might get a break.
While it's still possible for a Conference USA team to emerge and snap up this bowl spot, for now we're giving it to Middle Tennessee State, who had an impressive early-season win over Georgia Tech.
Projection: Middle Tennessee State vs. Utah State
The Armed Forces Bowl has a current tie-in with Army and a future tie-in with Navy, but neither of those two programs look as if they'll be playing in the postseason again this year.
The bowl typically receives the third selection from Conference USA, and we're currently projecting ECU to finish at or near the No. 3 spot.
The replacement team for one of the service academies is the fourth selection from the Mountain West. While we'd love to place Air Force in that spot, we're betting that it eventually falls to San Diego State.
While there could be some last-minute negotiations to shuffle the selections around to get the Falcons in the Armed Forces Bowl, we're sticking with the numbers for now and projecting the Aztecs.
Projection: East Carolina vs. San Diego State
With the WAC's continued decline, the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl has altered its selection contracts to select BYU if the Cougars are eligible and not participating in a BCS bowl.
It's safe to say that BYU won't be making a BCS trip this season, but it's very likely the Cougars will be able to manage at least two more wins this season, making them bowl eligible. So it's a no-brainer for us to project BYU for the Poinsettia Bowl.
The opponents for BYU will be the second selection out of the Mountain West, which we're currently projecting to be Nevada.
The Wolf Pack are looking strong early in 2012, and even a halfway decent finish down the stretch could mean a trip to sunny San Diego for the holidays.
Projection: Nevada vs BYU
The New Mexico Bowl gets the fifth selection from the Mountain West, which we're projecting out to be Air Force. We mentioned earlier that there could be a last-minute deal to bring the Falcons to the Armed Forces Bowl if they do indeed finish in the fifth spot behind San Diego State, and if that happens, it's likely San Diego State would replace the Falcons in the New Mexico Bowl.
The bowl committee also gets the seventh selection of eligible Pac-12 teams, but with a pair of conference programs headed to the BCS this season, the effective pick will be eighth.
The Arizona Wildcats have been performing admirably under new head coach Rich Rodriguez, and there's no reason to believe they can't finish with six or more wins this season.
Competing for a Pac-12 South Division title is likely still a few seasons off, but the first step of getting back to a bowl game should be an easy target this season.
Projection: Air Force vs Arizona
Last season, UCLA backed into the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl thanks to a waiver granted by the NCAA.
The Bruins had six wins, but also had a losing record of 6-7, typically a disqualifying finish. Still, as Pac-12 South Division champions, UCLA received a dispensation to go to a bowl game.
This season, it looks as if there won't be any waivers needed. The Bruins are improving under first-year head coach Jim Mora. And while attending another bowl game is always a plus, some UCLA fans might be disgruntled that we've projected them into the same “lowly” bowl game this season.
In reality, this bowl projection has more to do with the relative strength of the conference overall.
The typical opponent for this bowl would be a ninth selection out of the ACC, but like last season, it doesn't seem likely the ACC will have nine eligible teams (as North Carolina is ineligible due to NCAA sanctions). Last season, the Big Ten gobbled up the spot, but with two ineligible teams in that conference this season, the selection committee will be hard-pressed to find any team to fill the spot.
Luckily, a local team should be sitting patiently by the phone. San Jose State hasn't been to a bowl game since the 2006 season, and has spent much of the time since then as a perennial doormat of the FBS.
This season, however, the Spartans are off to a 4-1 start, and should be able to find at least two more wins in the remaining weak WAC schedule.
Projection: UCLA vs. San Jose State
Boise State likely kissed its BCS chances goodbye with a Week 1 loss at Michigan State. While we're still projecting big things for the Spartans in the depressed Big Ten, there's not enough strength left in Boise State's schedule to make up for the loss.
That means the best Boise State can hope for is a Mountain West Conference title and the resulting trip to the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas. Again.
Last season, Boise State met up with Arizona State in this game. This year, we're projecting Washington to take over as the the fourth non-BCS Pac-12 selection.
Projection: Boise State vs Washington
Virginia Tech is certainly a different team than it was even just last season.
With so few starters returning, there's a clear lack of experience and depth of talent for the Hokies, and some early losses at the hands of teams to which Virginia Tech ordinarily wouldn't succumb have really highlighted the differences between then and now.
One of those teams was Cincinnati. The Bearcats defeated the Hokies is dramatic fashion on September 29 at FedEx Field, but the Hokies may get a second shot at them.
With the fifth pick from the ACC and third from the Big East, we're projecting a rematch in this season's Belk Bowl.
Projection: Virginia Tech vs Cincinnati
One of the main benefits of leaving the MAC for the Big East is the plethora of bowl tie-ins. Temple will be the beneficiary of such a move this season as we're projecting the Owls to fall into the fifth spot in the Big East.
Speaking of falls, could 2012 be starting out any worse for the Arkansas Razorbacks?
Once thought to be a solid BCS candidate—and maybe even a national title contender—when the season began, the Hogs will now be lucky to make it to six wins on the season.
While a win over Auburn certainly helps matters, we're still betting that Arkansas ends up as the eighth non-BCS selection out of the SEC, which puts them all the way down in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
Quite a drop from the previous two seasons (Sugar and Cotton).
Projection: Temple vs Arkansas
The Military Bowl was originally intended as a Washington, D.C. bowl home for either of the FBS military academies on the East Coast.
Unfortunately, both Army and Navy seem to be in a bit of a rut, and there won't be any bowl invites for either programs this year.
The backup selection for the Military Bowl falls to the MAC, where we're projecting Kent State to find its way into the No. 4 spot from the conference after a 4-1 (3-0) start to 2012.
The other slot for the Military Bowl goes to the eighth team out of the ACC. If the conference even qualifies eight teams this season, we're projecting Wake Forest to get the invitation up to the nation's capital to face the Golden Flashes.
Projection: Wake Forest vs Kent State
The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl is a meeting between to middle-of-the-road teams from both the Big East and Conference USA.
Houston will be lucky to find six wins this season as the Cougars have been nothing short of awful so far. Clearly, the success of Houston had a lot more to do with people like Case Keenum and Kevin Sumlin than fans would have liked to admit.
But a loss to Texas State in that program's first-ever game as an FBS program doesn't lie. Luckily, the rest of Conference USA has been equally laughable in 2012.
Thankfully, the Cougars probably won't have too tough of an opponent as the sixth selection of the mediocre Big East finds its way to St. Petersburg.
Projection: Pittsburgh vs Houston
The Independence Bowl has the seventh selection from the ACC in 2012, and we're projecting the Maryland Terrapins will return to a bowl game for the fifth time in seven seasons.
The Independence Bowl also typically receives the third selection from the Mountain West, and the Fresno State Bulldogs, off to a 4-2 start in 2012, are projected to finish just behind Boise State and Nevada.
Projection: Maryland vs Fresno State
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have been a Big Ten lapdog for quite a few years, not only struggling to find wins in the conference, but also in non-conference games—even those against FCS programs.
But after a 4-0 start, the Gophers are just two wins away from securing a bowl berth for the first time since 2009.
Iowa State had a similar start to 2012, with the Cyclones winning their first three games before coming up short against Texas Tech in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Still riding the momentum from the early success, Iowa State will be making back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since 2004 and 2005.
Projection: Minnesota vs Iowa State
The Liberty Bowl is the home for the champions of Conference USA, and we're currently projecting 5-1 Tulsa as the eventual conference winner.
Tulsa is one of just two conference teams with three or more wins on the season, and is off to a 3-0 start in conference play.
The opponent for the C-USA champ in the Liberty Bowl is either the sixth or seventh non-BCS selection out of the SEC, and we're currently projecting Missouri to earn a berth in this season's Liberty Bowl.
Missouri is off to a less-than-rousing start to its SEC career (0-3), but there's plenty of time to mount a charge towards bowl eligibility.
Projection: Tulsa vs Missouri
With the sixth selection from the ACC, we're projecting the Music City Bowl to issue an invitation to the surprising Duke Blue Devils this season.
Duke currently has one of the longest bowl-less streaks in the nation, having failed to earn a berth since the end of the 1994 season—a loss to Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Bowl.
Duke has only played in five bowls since the end of World War II, and only eight in the entire history of the program.
Yet so far in 2012, the Blue Devils are 5-1.
The schedule doesn't get any easier from here on out, with games against Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech and North Carolina still to come, but we're projecting that Duke can at least get one more win this year, enough to catch the eye of the Music City Bowl.
And who better to draw a crowd in Nashville than the Tennessee Volunteers?
The Vols haven't lived up to early expectations, but that doesn't mean we're leaving Tennessee for dead. The Vols need just three more wins to earn a bowl berth, and we're betting they can get that done in time to get a home-state bowl berth.
Projection: Duke vs Tennessee
The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas is one of several Big Ten-Big 12 bowl clashes, and with the sixth pick in each respective conference, we're projecting Texas Tech and Wisconsin to meet at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Wisconsin has fallen completely flat despite a Leaders Division completely devoid of talented bowl-eligible teams (with Ohio State and Penn State ineligible due to NCAA sanctions). The division was the Badgers' to lose, and they definitely look as if they're going to lose it.
That doesn't mean they can't find a way to win six games this season. And with so few teams from the Big Ten available this season, relatively speaking, the Badgers will benefit from a bowl selection boost.
Projection: Texas Tech vs Wisconsin
With the fourth selection from both the ACC and Pac-12 conferences, the Sun Bowl has become a very entertaining and high-quality matchup in the postseason.
Arizona State has really turned things around after the disappointment of last season. With renewed momentum, we're projecting a strong finish for the Sun Devils, and an invitation to play in this season's Sun Bowl.
North Carolina State made a very loud statement this past weekend by knocking off Florida State. That may be just the thing the Wolfpack needs to finish strong and earn a quality bowl invitation at season's end.
Projection: Arizona State vs North Carolina State
The Pinstripe Bowl is one of the more unique bowls of the college football bowl season, being played at Yankees Stadium in New York.
While the bowl features the No. 4 team from the Big East, we have to go pretty far down the Big 12 list to find that conference's participant (the sixth non-BCS selection).
This season, we're projecting the Connecticut Huskies and Oklahoma State Cowboys to fill those roles.
Oklahoma State clearly isn't the team it was last season as the talent drain from graduations and early departures to the NFL have obviously taken a toll on Mike “I'm a Man” Gundy's program.
Projection: Connecticut vs Oklahoma State
With the second non-BCS selection from the ACC, the Russell Athletics Bowl, formerly the Champs Sports Bowl, will again feature a quality program from the conference.
Even though the Hurricanes fell short against Notre Dame, we're still projecting Miami to finish strong down the stretch in the ACC, surprising many who thought the 'Canes were on the ropes in the wake of an NCAA investigation.
The Russell Athletics Bowl gets the first non-BCS selection from the Big East, which traditionally means one of several annual Big East co-champions.
The Big East is proving to be a difficult conference to predict this season, but we're going to project Rutgers, with their 5-0 start, to finish with a share of the Big East title, but fall just short of a BCS berth based on rankings and head-to-head results.
Projection: Miami vs Rutgers
The Alamo Bowl gets the first non-BCS selection from the Pac-12, and with two teams projected to wind up in the “big” games of the postseason, we're projecting the resilient Stanford Cardinal to find their way to the Alamo Bowl.
The Cardinal already upset the apple cart by knocking off USC early this season, and have shown the ability to continue their winning ways despite losing do-it-all quarterback Andrew Luck to the NFL.
With the second non-BCS selection from the Big 12, we're also projecting that the Oklahoma Sooners will travel to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl.
The Sooners have already had their national championship hopes derailed, and are even on the outside looking in towards a Big 12 title opportunity this season.
Still, don't expect the Sooners to pack it in. A 3-1 Oklahoma team is still capable of big things, but we doubt it has the weaponry needed to a mid-season turnaround—at least a turnaround big enough to avoid missing out on the BCS yet again.
Projection: Oklahoma vs Stanford
With the second non-BCS selection from the Pac-12 and the fifth selection from the Big 12, we're projecting Oregon State and Baylor to find their way to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego this December.
The Oregon State Beavers have certainly been a treat so far this season, starting off 4-0 for the first time since 2002.
Still, the meat of Oregon State's schedule is still to come, and although we don't anticipate a complete collapse, any BCS talk is very premature.
Baylor was part of one of the most offensively exciting college football games in recent memory. The Bears scored 63 points against West Virginia, no doubt making Heisman-winning alumnus Robert Griffin III very proud. Unfortunately, Baylor gave up 70 points in that game.
Imagine scoring 63 points in regulation and losing.
Apparently, defense is entirely optional in the Big 12. But that won't stop the Bears from earning a quality bowl berth this season.
Projection: Baylor vs Oregon State
The Gator Bowl is just one of many annual SEC-Big Ten grudge matches that have long been used to determine the relative strength or weakness of the two conferences.
What better way to test the college football waters than a meeting between one of the Big Ten's old guard and the SEC's new blood?
With the fourth or fifth selection from the Big Ten, we're projecting the Gator Bowl to issue an invitation to the Michigan Wolverines—a team that clearly isn't as good as the preseason hype led us all to believe.
On the other sideline, the fifth non-BCS selection from the SEC is projected to be Texas A&M.
The Aggies are 2-1 in their new conference so far this season, and 4-1 overall. With games yet to be played against the top programs in the West Division, we're projecting at least another stumble or two along the way,
Still, 2012 should finish with a much better feeling for Aggies fans than 2011.
Projection: Texas A&M vs Michigan
With the fourth selection from the Big 12 and fourth or fifth from the Big Ten, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is the new name for the Insight Bowl.
Through five weeks, it looked as if TCU had all the makings of a Big 12 contender this season. But a Week 6 loss to Iowa State has unmasked the Horned Frogs as one of several teams fighting amongst the second tier in the conference.
Purdue will benefit greatly from the sanction-ridden Big Ten Leaders Division, with the top two teams in the division—Ohio State and Penn State—both ineligible for postseason play.
Otherwise, we'd expect Purdue to fall down much further than the fourth or fifth Big Ten selection.
Projection: Texas Christian vs Purdue
The Chick-fil-A Bowl is home to the top non-BCS selection from the ACC, who is annually paired against the fourth non-BCS selection from the SEC.
Clemson has already placed itself behind the eight ball with an early season loss to Florida State. While Florida State still has an inside track to the ACC Championship Game, its loss last weekend to NC State will keep the Seminoles out of the BCS National Championship Game, and the ACC from earning two BCS berths this postseason.
Even if Clemson wins out, we may be looking at a Chick-fil-A Bowl berth as the best possible outcome.
Mississippi State, while currently sporting a 5-0 record, hasn't faced much real opposition this season. We expect the outlook on the Bulldogs to be tempered a bit once the heart of the SEC schedule passes.
Projection: Clemson vs Mississippi State
The Outback Bowl is another great installment in the Big Ten-SEC bowl series.
Last season, we were all treated to an instant classic between SEC East champion Georgia and Big Ten Legends champion Michigan State as MSU knocked off Georgia in overtime.
This season, we could see another great battle between two conference heavyweights as we project Nebraska to tangle with LSU.
Both teams have suffered unexpected losses already this season, but both also have the potential to finish strong, earning a trip to the high-payout January bowls.
Projection: Nebraska vs LSU
The Capital One Bowl is, along with the Outback Bowl, viewed as one of the top non-BCS bowl games each season.
The Capital One Bowl will have the top non-BCS selections from both the Big Ten and SEC.
Florida sent a signal to every team in the SEC last weekend with a victory over LSU: The Gators are on their way back.
While it's probably too early to consider the Gators a true BCS contender, it's clear that the brief Tebow-Meyer hangover is at an end, and head coach Will Muschamp and company have found their footing in Gainesville.
Northwestern, on the other hand, is not your usual top bowl game suspect. The Wildcats are traditionally a weaker Big Ten program, and have only recently found any sustained success under youthful head coach (and Northwestern alumnus) Pat Fitzgerald.
With a 5-1 start, there's no reason to think that Northwestern can't make plenty of noise this season in the Legends Division.
Projection: Northwestern vs Florida
A grand tradition of college football is the Cotton Bowl Classic.
This bowl game, once considered for addition to the BCS, is as steeped in history as almost any other bowl game, and is always a great matchup between two powerhouse programs from two top conferences—the SEC and Big 12.
The top non-BCS Big 12 program finds its way to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl Classic, and is annually joined by the second non-BCS SEC program.
After last weekend's dumbfounding lack of offense and loss to South Carolina, we're projecting Georgia down a bit from all the preseason hype.
Still, UGA is easily talented enough to earn a well-deserved trip to Cowboys Stadium at season's end.
And what would the Cotton Bowl Classic be without a team like Texas?
The Longhorns have straggled for a couple of seasons, but Mack Brown finally appears to have his Longhorns back on track.
A loss to WVU this past weekend may have put Big 12 title hopes on hold for the time being, but a Cotton Bowl trip certainly wouldn't be a disappointment for Texas fans.
Projection: Texas vs Georgia
At long last, we've finally arrived at our projections for the BCS bowls.
The Big 12 champion receives a berth in the Fiesta Bowl (obviously when not playing in the national championship game). With everything that's happened so far this season, we're currently projecting West Virginia to take that honor.
Senior quarterback Geno Smith has established himself as the man to beat for the Heisman Trophy this season, and his offensive attack is second to none so far this season.
With the Big 12 particularly weak on defense, it's doubtful any team in the conference can stop the Mountaineers this season.
We're also projecting a triumphant return to the BCS for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
Brian Kelly appears to be on the cusp of something truly special in South Bend, and his 2012 Irish team may be just the beginning of what's to come.
Notre Dame is just a few pieces away from having a national championship-contending team, and a trip to the 2013 Fiesta Bowl could be just the springboard the Irish need to take that next step.
Projection: West Virginia vs. Notre Dame
The Orange Bowl is known as the “Home of the ACC Champion,” and there's no doubt that Florida State is still the favorite for that title.
Many, if not most, had been expecting the Seminoles to cruise to the BCS National Championship Game this season, but after a shocking loss at NC State this past Saturday, those chances have all but vanished (with Florida State's terribly weak non-conference schedule).
But a BCS bowl in your home state is one heckuva consolation prize, wouldn't you say?
Florida State's victim for the evening is projected to be the Big East co-champion, Louisville.
With the Big East logjam at the top—as usual—the BCS berth will go to the highest-ranked Big East co-champion, and right now, Louisville looks to be the lucky winner.
Projection: Florida State vs. Louisville
The Sugar Bowl is the destination for the SEC champion, but that hasn't happened In a while, so a second BCS-bound SEC team takes over the spot.
This year, we're projecting the South Carolina Gamecocks to finally make a BCS appearance.
South Carolina made a big statement for their BCS hopes this past Saturday, blowing by Georgia with relative ease.
If South Carolina can hold serve the rest of the season, the Gamecocks' inclusion in the BCS should be a no-brainer.
We're projecting that the at-large opponent for the SEC in the Sugar Bowl will come from the Big 12 in the form of Kansas State.
Bill Snyder is an absolute wizard of a head coach, and his never-say-die Wildcats have been beating the best teams of the Big 12 for the past couple of seasons.
A few more wins like that, and the BCS is a very realistic goal for K-State.
Projection: South Carolina vs. Kansas State
The “Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl Game is the 110-year-old, tradition-rich meeting between the Big Ten and Pac-12.
We used to see each conference send its champion to this historic game, but with the modern BCS format, we only get that meeting on occasion.
And the 2013 Rose Bowl Game won't be between two conference champions—but close.
We're projecting that Michigan State can still rebound from some early-season setbacks with renewed offensive moxie and find a way to capture its second Big Ten title in three years, earning its first trip to Pasadena since 1988.
The opponent this time, as in 1988, will be USC.
The Trojans will receive the bid as an at-large team, as we're projecting them to finish as Pac-12 South Division champions, but come up short in the conference championship game.
Matt Barkley will have one last attempt to secure immortality at USC, and a win over MSU in the Rose Bowl Game will be the closest he can come.
Projection: Michigan State vs. USC
And now, finally, the biggest game of the season—The BCS National Championship Game.
This is the ultimate goal for every team when the season begins. It's been the domain of some great champions over the years, and a select few teams from the SEC have had a stranglehold on the crystal football for the past six seasons.
So it should come as no surprise that we're projecting the SEC champions, Alabama, to earn a trip to Miami for the BCS title game.
Alabama has been nothing short of dominant so far this season, and there's currently no reason to believe the Crimson Tide will lose a game between now and January.
On the other side of the field, the Oregon Ducks will make their second trip to the title game in three seasons.
Chip Kelly has built Oregon into a national powerhouse in a very short period of time, and with explosive offense at the heart of the Ducks' game plan, Oregon may be the only team in the nation capable of cracking the vaunted Alabama defense.
Regardless of whether or not the Ducks are successful, it should be fun to watch.
Projection: Alabama vs. Oregon