After an eventful Week 11 in college football, the BCS bowl picture is a little clearer. Top-ranked Alabama reaffirmed its spot atop the BCS rankings by throttling LSU 38-17. Second-ranked Florida State destroyed Wake Forest 59-3. Couple the Noles' win with Oregon's loss to Stanford on Thursday, and now Florida State has an easy path to the BCS title game—at least on paper.
Here's a look at how all five BCS bowl games are currently projected to play out.
|Projected BCS Bowl Game Matchups|
|BCS Championship||Alabama vs. Florida State||BCS Championship|
|Rose Bowl||Stanford vs. Ohio State||Rose Bowl|
|Orange Bowl||Clemson vs. Central Florida||Orange Bowl|
|Sugar Bowl||Oregon vs. Texas A&M||Sugar Bowl|
|Fiesta Bowl||Baylor vs. Fresno State||Fiesta Bowl|
|Brian Mazique's Predictions|
Bama and Florida State's Path
Alabama is No. 1 but Nick Saban's team figures to have two very tough tests remaining on its schedule. An epic battle looms in the regular-season finale against arch-rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl. The No. 7-ranked Tigers' devastating run game will present perhaps the biggest threat Bama has faced all year.
Powered by Tre Mason, Cameron Artis-Payne and quarterback Nick Marshall, the Tigers are averaging 320 yards per game on the ground. That is third in the nation.
If Bama survives that game, it is looking at a tough matchup in the SEC title game, possibly against Missouri. While the win over LSU on Saturday was big, the Tide still have a lot of work to do.
The Noles may not face another ranked team until bowl season. They finish with Syracuse, Idaho, a struggling Florida Gators team and a berth in the ACC championship game. If the season ended today, the Noles would play unranked Georgia Tech for the ACC crown.
Games aren't played on paper, but the Noles seem to have an ideal road to the BCS title game. It would take a monumental collapse for them to miss out on the opportunity.
Settling for the Rose and Fiesta Bowl
If the undefeated teams win out, the Ohio State Buckeyes may have to be content with a berth in the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes haven't lost under Urban Meyer, but a weak schedule has prevented them from leapfrogging the likes of Florida State and, before Saturday, Oregon.
Without a collapse from Bama or Florida State, the Buckeyes could be on the outside looking in for the second year in a row.
The same could be said for the Baylor Bears. Art Briles' team is 8-0. A win over Oklahoma on Thursday proved the Bears were legitimate, but they have to go through Texas Tech and No. 12 Oklahoma State over the next two weeks.
If the top four win out, the Bears would likely pass Ohio State, but they couldn't catch Bama or Florida State. The Fiesta Bowl would be their consolation prize.