BCS and January Bowl Projections: Round Three

Kevin TrahanAnalyst INovember 22, 2009

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 21:  Wide receiver Kerry Meier #10 of the Kansas Jayhawks is tackled by Aaron Williams #4 of the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

BCS National Championship: Florida vs. Texas

None of the top three teams really had a win that solidifies them as the top team in America. Florida and Alabama both destroyed Florida International and Chattanooga, but that won't help the Crimson Tide in the National Title discussion. But it's all irrelevant, because the winner of the Alabama vs. Florida game in two weeks will decide one of the National Championship's representatives. Texas, on the other hand, had a more impressive win, beating Kansas 51-20, but they still won't move up much in the polls. They're in if they can get a win against Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game against Nebraska, which doesn't seem too daunting.

FedEx Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. TCU

Georgia Tech will be locked to the Orange Bowl if they are able to beat Clemson and win the ACC. The other pick changed from last week. With no Big Ten team projected available, the Orange Bowl will likely choose between the Big East Champion and TCU. Both TCU and the Big East Champion will have low ticket sales, so that won't be a factor. But the Orange Bowl is tired of the ACC-Big East match-ups that have ruined their TV ratings and Georgia Tech-TCU is a much more intriguing match-up than Georgia Tech-Cincinnati.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Iowa vs. Boise State

After the Sugar Bowl's replacement pick, which will almost certainly go to the SEC runner-up, the Fiesta Bowl gets its replacement pick. The Fiesta's first pick comes down to Oklahoma State or a Big Ten team. I don't think the Cowboys will be eligible, so Iowa or Penn State will be going to Glendale. Both teams travel extremely well, but Iowa has a huge alumni base in Arizona, beat Penn State head to head, and has never been to the Fiesta Bowl. If Oklahoma State is eligible, the Fiesta Bowl may even take the Hawkeyes over them, considering the Cowboys can rarely sell out their own stadium and Iowa will bring 40,000-50,000 fans.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Cincinnati

The Sugar Bowl will almost certainly take the SEC runner-up, and with Florida projected to go to the National Championship, Alabama will end up in New Orleans for the second straight year. The Sugar Bowl also gets the last pick. If the Big East champion is left, they will be headed to New Orleans by rule. The winner of the Big East, Cincinnati or Pittsburgh, won't sell many seats, but Alabama's presence won't make this a problem. Plus, this is a semi-attractive TV draw.

Rose Bowl presented by Citi: Ohio State vs. Oregon State

I'm going out on a limb with this one. Last year, Oregon ruined Oregon State's Rose Bowl chances by upsetting the Beavers in Corvallis. Expect an exciting Civil war again this year. But this time, the the Beavers will upset the Ducks in Eugene and advance to the Rose Bowl to play Ohio State, who clinched the Big Ten last week with a win against Iowa.

AT&T Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. LSU

If Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma next week, this match-up looks pretty set in stone. LSU lost to Ole Miss last week, likely sending the Rebels to the Capital One Bowl, while the Tigers will end up in the Cotton Bowl. If Oklahoma State wins next week, expect Nebraska to take this spot, but the Cotton Bowl should pray for an Oklahoma State-LSU match-up, as it could be one of the best games of the bowl season.

Konica Minolta Gator Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Virginia Tech

A few weeks ago, the Gator Bowl looked like an extremely exciting, offensive match-up, hosting Miami vs. Notre Dame. But with both teams in a downward spiral, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech look to be in prime position for this bid. Of course, it is a much less interesting match-up, but it could be a chance for the Big East to gain some national respect.

Capital One Bowl: Penn State vs. Ole Miss

Either Iowa or Penn State will land in Orlando, and with Iowa projected to go to the Fiesta, Penn State will end up in the Capital One. Ole Miss looked like it would end up falling back down to be an SEC irrelevant after an embarrassing beginning of the year, but after a win against LSU this past weekend, the Rebels are in prime position to gain a Capital One bid.

Outback Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Tennessee

Even after its loss to Northwestern, Wisconsin is in decent shape to end up 9-3 and go to the Outback Bowl. Even if they end up 8-4, they will likely go to Tampa because the Outback Bowl doesn't like Northwestern. They chose Iowa over Northwestern even though Northwestern had a better record and won in Iowa City because the Wildcats have a weak fan base. Wisconsin will sell more tickets, and thus get the spot in Tampa. The SEC team is much harder to project. It seems like the frontrunners for the game are Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky. Kentucky won't sell tickets, so they are pretty much eliminated. That leaves Tennessee and Georgia. Georgia lost last week to Kentucky, but that doesn't mean much. If the Bulldogs end up with two more wins, they will get the nod, but I see Tennessee going to the Outback Bowl if they stay within a win of Georgia.