Bowl Predictions 2012: Projecting Matchups for Every BCS Game
With only one week remaining for teams to make an impression in bowl committees, the amount of spots remaining in BCS games is running out.
Notre Dame has clinched a spot in the national title game, which takes away one spot for an at-large team to reach one of these other high-profile games.
Based on projections for the final week of the season, these are what the BCS bowls will look like in January.
BCS National Championship: Georgia vs. Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish have already punched their ticket with a perfect 12-0 season. That leaves one spot remaining, likely for the winner of the SEC Championship Game.
While many are assuming Alabama will walk over Georgia in this game, it will not be that easy.
Georgia have more experience this year after losing in the conference title game to LSU a year ago. Quarterback Aaron Murray has played extremely well in the last four weeks with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions, and the defense is peaking at the right time.
In addition, the game will be played in Atlanta, giving the Bulldogs a bit of a home-field advantage.
Although network executives will be rooting for Alabama, Georgia should win this game and earn a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.
Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Nebraska
There are no at-large bids in this game, only the winners of the Big Ten and the Pac-12.
Nebraska has a relatively easy time in its conference title game against Wisconsin. The Badgers have lost three of four and are only in the game because Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible.
Stanford will have a tougher time against UCLA, but the Cardinal did just defeat the same opponent on the road in the last week of the regular season. They should be able to do it again at home in the title game.
If the favorites take care of business, this should be an exciting matchup in the Rose Bowl.
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Rutgers
The Orange Bowl has gotten a bit of a raw deal in recent years with the ACC Champion linked to the game. The ACC has lost four straight BCS games and 12 of the last 13.
Florida State provides more upside if it defeats Georgia Tech in the conference championship game, but it would have been better if the Seminoles were able to beat Florida last week.
Rutgers will have to defeat Louisville to win the Big East outright and earn the conference's bid to a BCS game.
While neither team is playing well, the Scarlet Knights have a great defense and the home crowd should be enough to put them over the top.
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Oregon
This is where things get tricky.
Whether Georgia or Alabama win the SEC Championship Game, there will be a tough decision about which team is more deserving of the conference's second and last bid: Florida or the loser of the title game.
The Gators will be the only team remaining with one loss, and the team's wins over South Carolina, LSU, Texas A&M and Florida State make up arguably the best resume in the country.
Regardless of who reaches the national title game, Florida should be in the Sugar Bowl.
Meanwhile, Oregon should get one of the few remaining at-large bids. Their one loss came in overtime to Stanford, while the wins have been dominant all year.
The Ducks are a media- and fan-favorite with their ability to score points almost at will, and they should bring quite a following to any bowl they attend.
This offense vs. defense battle should be one of the best games of the postseason.
Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. Kent State
Kansas State only needs to win a home game against Texas to clinch the Big 12. After two weeks of preparation, the Wildcats should be able to get it done.
However, Kent State is the surprise team in this game. The Golden Flashes will take on Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship with both teams trying to improve upon 11-1 records.
The MAC champion automatically qualifies for a bid if it is in the top 16 of the BCS and the standing is better than one of the AQ winners (via BCSfootball.org).
With Kent State currently at No. 17 in the BCS and no Big East team even ranked in the Top 25, chances are very good that this happens.
All this team needs to do is take care of business against Northern Illinois. It will not be easy, but the motivation of playing in one of these prestigious games should help get Kent State the win.
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