Bowl Predictions 2012: Projecting BCS Bowls Following Thrilling Rivalry Week

Tim KeeneyContributor INovember 26, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 24:  Linebacker Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates his teams 22-13 victory over the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

As a result of rivalry week, not only did we learn what schools will get bragging rights over the next year, but the BCS bowl picture is now a lot more clear.

(Rhyme intended)

Notre Dame went into the Coliseum, assuring that—unless of course the computer polls go all I, Robot on the world—Brian Kelly's squad will have a spot in the national championship. 

Meanwhile, Alabama barely slipped past Auburn (49-0) in the Iron Bowl and Georgia narrowly knocked off Georgia Tech (42-10) to set up an SEC championship that will essentially serve as a semifinal for the BCS title game.  

So it's Notre Dame vs. the winner of the SEC championship for the national title. That much we know. Let's take a look at how the other BCS matchups look after another revealing week.

Note: For a complete look at the BCS standings, check out ESPN.


Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. Oregon

The No. 6 Wildcats will land here with a Big 12 championship. To secure that, they have to beat No. 18 Texas or have No. 11 Oklahoma lose at TCU next week, which is completely plausible considering how shaky the Sooners have looked over the past three weeks. 

Nonetheless, it won't matter as K-State, coming off a bye week, will knock off an up-and-down Longhorns team, especially at home. 

The second spot for a party in the Fiesta Bowl is an at-large pick, and the committee would be insane to go with anyone besides the No. 5 Oregon Ducks. Collin Klein going back and forth with Oregon's absurdly quick rushing attack would just be too fun to watch.


Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Oklahoma

I've got No. 2 Alabama beating No. 3 Georgia in the SEC championship, meaning the Crimson Tide will go to the national championship and the Sugar Bowl will need to find a replacement. With No. 4 Florida passing Georgia in the rankings, the Gators will get the first spot. 

The second will go to Oklahoma, as the Sooners passed No. 14 Clemson following the Tigers' loss to South Carolina. 

Florida and Oklahoma not only make sense considering the rankings, but they are two big-time programs that will bring the Sugar Bowl big-time ratings.


Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Rutgers

Despite losing to Florida, the No. 13 Seminoles still have the advantage over Clemson in the ACC and will land in the Orange Bowl.

As for the other spot, ugh. Does anyone want to win the Big East?

Rutgers and Louisville both had shots to take control of the conference this week, but, of course, that's only because each of them decided to go and lose to opponents with losing records.

Ahh yes, the powerhouses of the Big East. 

This next week's matchup between the Scarlet Knights and Cardinals will essentially be a play-in game for the Orange Bowl, and I've got Rutgers grabbing the win at home. 

Of course, Kent State could really make things, well, ugly.

If the No. 17 Golden Flashes knock off Northern Illinois this week to win the MAC and finish in the top 16 in the BCS, they will get Oklahoma's at-large spot, likely pushing the ACC champion to the Sugar Bowl against Florida (oh the humanity) and taking this spot in the Orange Bowl.

Nonetheless, I'm going with Northern Illinois in the MAC championship. The Huskies could cause the same chain of events if they jump from No. 21 to No. 16, but I don't seem the making that kind of jump in a week.

So, Rutgers losing to Florida State it is.


Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Nebraska

Not much to this one. It's the winner of the Pac-12 championship against the winner of the Big Ten championship.

No. 8 Stanford just beat No. 16 UCLA and while it's hard to beat a team twice in a row, it has the talent and strength to accomplish just that.

Over in the Big Ten, I like Taylor Martinez to lead the No. 12 Cornhuskers past Wisconsin, which has lost two in a row and, at 4-4 in the conference, would have finished third in the Leaders division in any other season.