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BCS Standings 2012: Week 9 Rankings and Bowl Game Projections

Jonathan McDanalContributor IIIAugust 25, 2016

BCS Standings 2012: Week 9 Rankings and Bowl Game Projections

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    The Week 9 BCS standings are out, and there is quite a shock that comes with them: Everyone in the BCS Top 5 won this week.

    With all these teams winning each and every week, the argument against their inclusion in the polls gets weaker. For all you Ohio Bobcats fans out there, this is your week. The Bobcats finally got the recognition they deserved for being undefeated.

    As far as bowls go, college football fans are paying attention every week to where their team may end up during the postseason. Right here is your one-stop shop for every bowl projection for the teams in the BCS Top 25.

    While there are bound to be disagreements, there are still many that will be settled on the gridiron.

25. Wisconsin Badgers

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    Wisconsin is a prime example of exactly how a team can capitalize on circumstances. The Badgers are leading the Leaders Division in the Big Ten by virtue of the fact that the two teams ahead of them are both banned from postseason play in 2012.

    If the Badgers can continue to win games as they have, a berth in the Big Ten title game will be inevitable. On an even brighter note, the Badgers can solve the whole 2012 problem with a win over the Legends Division representative.

    Realistically, the Badgers will lose the conference title game and move on to play in the Capital One Bowl against whatever SEC team shows up. We will get to that team later in the show.

    Prediction: Capital One Bowl

24. Ohio Bobcats

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    As the favorite to win the Mid-American Conference, it's a shame the Bobcats didn't get recognized sooner. Every time Penn State wins a game, it makes the Bobcats look that much better for winning that season opener.

    In the meantime, Boise State inexplicably remains ahead of the Bobcats in the BCS. The good news for the Bobcats is that they're ranked.

    That's a major accomplishment, even if there's beef with the timing. Ohio goes on to represent the MAC in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in January.

    Prediction: GoDaddy.com Bowl

23. Texas Longhorns

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    Texas is perched precariously at No. 23 in the BCS. While that will get the Longhorns into a bowl, they will not be finishing near the top of the Big 12 to earn a great bowl berth.

    If things go as they have so far this season, the Big 12 may get left out of the national title picture, which would put Texas a full bowl tier lower than Longhorns fans would like to see.

    As of right now, Texas is sitting at sixth place in the conference, which will earn them a trip to Houston.

    Prediction: Meineke Car Care Bowl

22. Michigan Wolverines

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    Michigan's only two losses have come at the hands of foes outside of the Big Ten. Since that is the case, Michigan sits atop the Legends Division undefeated in conference play. While the Wolverines have almost zero hope of getting to the national title game, there is still much hope for a great season.

    Michigan can still win the conference. In fact, Michigan can even lose to Ohio State and still win the conference. As long as the Wolverines keep taking down everyone else in the conference, the head-to-head tiebreaker would give them the edge. It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to be a "W."

    Prediction: Rose Bowl

21. Boise State Broncos

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    Thank goodness we're not here to argue about who belongs where in the BCS. Boise State has a couple of major tests coming against San Diego State and Nevada.

    Right now, Boise sits atop the Mountain West as the only team yet to lose a conference match. Boise State looks better each week that passes, and the questions surrounding the Broncos' proper placement in the division get answered more and more clearly.

    Boise State finishes atop the MWC and makes its way slowly back into the BCS Top 14 in the process. That qualifies it to be selected in a BCS bowl.

    Prediction: Fiesta Bowl

20:.Texas A&M Aggies

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    Texas A&M is enjoying a pretty good first year in the SEC. While the Aggies aren't exactly a contender for the top of the conference, they should finish with no more than two more losses on the season. (Alabama and Mississippi State are the two possible losses.)

    The Aggies are currently fourth in their division, which should place them around the middle of the conference when things shake out in December.

    Prediction: Music City Bowl

19. West Virginia Mountaineers

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    West Virginia has taken a couple of really tough losses to end up down here at No. 19 entering Week 9. The good news for the Mountaineers is that the rest of the games are winnable.

    The Oklahoma Sooners' defense will prove to be a difficult test for the Mountaineers, but they have plenty of game tape to assess weaknesses before that game rolls around.

    As of now, the Mountaineers sit at seventh in the Big 12, but that's bound to get better with no more than one loss remaining on the schedule.

    Prediction: Alamo Bowl

18. Clemson Tigers

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    Clemson took a disappointing loss to the Florida State Seminoles early in the season, but the Tigers have responded the only way they know how: by winning.

    Clemson needs the Seminoles to take another conference loss to have a clear path to the conference championship. With that being so unlikely, the good news for the Tigers is that the conference championship loser will have more losses than they do.

    That should allow the Tigers to slip into second place in the conference for a great bowl berth.

    Prediction: Chick-Fil-A Bowl

17. Stanford Cardinal

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    Stanford is still recovering from its two losses, and the Cardinal look like they will finish easily near the top of the conference.

    Oregon stands out as the clear leader in the conference, but USC and Oregon State still pose serious threats to the Cardinal's bowl berth. With things as they are, Stanford looks pretty good for finishing fourth overall in the conference.

    Prediction: Hyundai Sun Bowl

16. Louisville Cardinals

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    Louisville and Rutgers are battling for the Big East title, and Louisville sits behind Rutgers in the BCS standings.

    Both teams have great arguments as to why they are the favorite to win the Big East. While Louisville is the trendy pick right now, Rutgers has been playing phenomenally well this year. Rutgers wins the Big East and leaves Louisville with the consolation bowl.

    Prediction: Russell Athletic Bowl (replaces the Champs Sports Bowl, in case you were wondering.)

15. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    Rutgers is currently the only Big East team inside the BCS Top 14, which is the cutoff ranking for an at-large BCS bid. While the Scarlet Knights don't have to do anything besides win the Big East to get in, a finish at No. 14 or better would certainly go a long way toward helping the Big East maintain its AQ status in the future.

    Either way, Rutgers beats Louisville to take the Big East crown.

    Prediction: Orange Bowl

14. Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    Texas Tech has been working tirelessly on defense since Tommy Tuberville showed up. With the lone exception of the Oklahoma game, that work has payed dividends already.

    Texas Tech is doing very well in the Big 12 this year, and has logged wins over the likes of West Virginia and TCU already.

    The Red Raiders can establish themselves as a huge threat with a win over Kansas State in Week 9, but that would also severely damage the Big 12's shot at a national championship in 2012.

    In the meantime, Texas Tech won't really care what happens to the conference as long as it keeps winning.

    Prediction: AT&T Cotton Bowl

13. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    South Carolina wins the award for hardest team to predict. After absolutely crushing Georgia, the 'Cocks lost a close one to LSU. South Carolina further disappointed us by falling to the Florida Gators by 33 points.

    Yes, a loss could have been understood, but 33 points? Anyway, South Carolina looks like it will finish somewhere around fourth place in the conference behind Alabama, Florida and LSU. The SEC's spot in the national title game will allow South Carolina to grab a slightly higher bowl bid.

    Prediction: Outback Bowl

12. Florida State Seminoles

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    Here is another conference champion that will benefit greatly from its conference's AQ status. Florida State lost a heartbreaker to the NC State Wolfpack in Week 6. With that loss, FSU's national title hopes were effectively crushed.

    Florida State still remains in control of its own destiny in the ACC and could very well end up in the conference championship game. All the Seminoles have to hope for is for Clemson to beat NC State in November.

    Florida State wins the ACC.

    Prediction: Orange Bowl

11. Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    Mississippi State is on one of the greatest runs in school history, and the Bulldogs look to finish better than they have in a long time as well.

    While Georgia is currently ranked ahead of Mississippi State, some of us remain unconvinced that Georgia is better than the cowbell. A five-point victory over Kentucky last week surely didn't make Georgia's case, either.

    Mississippi State continues to win, with no more than two exceptions before the end of the season.

    Prediction: AT&T Cotton Bowl

10. Georgia Bulldogs

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    Georgia is currently hanging out just inside the BCS Top 10 with a huge game against Florida coming this week. Based on what's happened so far for the Bulldogs, that looks like a loss. Of course, none of the top five teams in the nation lost last week, and that was unusual for this season.

    Georgia will finish ahead Texas A&M and behind Mississippi State when the full conference rankings are released.

    Prediction: Chick-Fil-A Bowl

9. USC Trojans

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    USC has done what other one-loss teams have done over the past few weeks: win. USC is still in control of its Pac-12 destiny, as Oregon will likely face the Trojans twice.

    If USC can split the series with the Ducks and save the win for the conference title game, the Trojans would salvage the season that started as a potential national championship run.

    Beating Oregon in the Pac-12 title game seems to be too tall an order right now.

    Prediction: Valero Alamo Bowl

8. Oklahoma Sooners

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    The Oklahoma Sooners sit at No. 8 this week and look like they are going to a BCS bowl right behind the Kansas State Wildcats.

    Due to Oklahoma's loss to Kansas State, the Wildcats would have to lose two conference games in order for the Sooners to overtake them in the conference race.

    Oklahoma will continue to win and earn itself a BCS berth.

    Prediction: Fiesta Bowl

7. Oregon State Beavers

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    Oregon State still has the opportunity to move itself into the Pac-12 title game as an unbeaten candidate for the national championship.

    However, the Beavers are unlikely candidates to take down both Oregon and USC along the way. Oregon State will finish third in the Pac-12 and earn itself a nice bowl in the process.

    Prediction: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

6. LSU Tigers

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    LSU remains the highest-ranked one-loss team in the BCS picture. The Tigers will probably not be taking the field in Atlanta in December to contend for the conference title.

    In the meantime, the Tigers will win every game they play against anyone not ranked in the top two. That will land them in the fourth-best SEC bowl.

    Prediction: Capital One Bowl

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    There is little question as to whether the Irish will land in a BCS bowl. Notre Dame would have to drop a seriously odd game in order to get left out completely.

    Of course, the Irish can thank the same slate of teams that has gotten them into the top five for the fact that they aren't a national championship favorite.

    The teams that made Notre Dame's schedule so impossible in the preseason have all lost far too many games. This makes the Irish schedule look a lot easier than it should.

    Of course, all the Irish have to do is hope for a couple of key teams in front of them to lose. A national championship berth is still not out of the question. As of Week 9, it does look like a long shot.

    The Irish will have taken on teams from the Big 12, Pac-12, ACC, Big East and the Big Ten. The selectors will take the opportunity to pit them against the last remaining major conference.

    Prediction: Allstate Sugar Bowl

4. Oregon Ducks

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    There's not a whole lot to discuss here. Oregon will have every opportunity to get its signature wins that are needed to jump over Kansas State and back into the national championship picture.

    All the Ducks need to do is win with defense like they displayed against Arizona. In the meantime, Kansas State has played a ridiculously tough schedule and remained unbeaten.

    As awesome as the Ducks look, Kansas State has played the tougher schedule thus far. USC and Oregon State can change that, especially if the Ducks' defense shuts those teams down.

    Prediction: Rose Bowl

3. Kansas State Wildcats

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    The body of work that the Wildcats have put together is undeniable. With victories over Oklahoma and West Virginia already, Kansas State looks like it has a very solid argument to make the national title game.

    Even a team that should have been an easy win has turned into a quality win, assuming the Wildcats can actually beat the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Week 9.

    As things are now, Kansas State is way out in front of the Big 12 with wins over the teams that could have pushed them out of the hunt.

    Prediction: BCS National Championship Game

2. Florida Gators

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    Florida has far surpassed its fans' expectations for the year already. The win over LSU would have been satisfying. The South Carolina victory would have been satisfying.

    However, since the Gators won both of those games, Florida fans have found themselves in a bit of a predicament: What do they do with a No. 2-ranked team that wasn't supposed to do anything?

    Smile, cheer and find every SEC fan they can to remind them how much Florida has done in two years under its new head coach.

    Florida will present a huge challenge to the Tide in Atlanta this year. The Gators offense will have to improve to justify calling them conference champions prior to that game, though.

    Prediction: Allstate Sugar Bowl

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Nobody was sure how well Alabama would play this year after losing so much talent. After the Tide took down Michigan, we all wondered if they were legit because Michigan wasn't prolific at passing and was missing its star tailback.

    Alabama rolled into what was supposed to be a signature game only to find that Arkansas was missing its quarterback. The same was true of Missouri.

    After Week 8's demolition of Tennessee and Tyler Bray, Alabama's legitimacy has been confirmed. Now the hard part: Alabama has to beat Mississippi State, LSU and Texas A&M in the next three weeks.

    If things play out as the Tide plans, this is going to be a special season.

    Prediction: BCS National Championship Game

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