BCS Rankings Week 12: BCS Bowl Projections Based on Fifth BCS Rankings
With the BCS Rankings for Week 12 now squarely in our heads, we can easily make some projections for how the BCS Bowls will shape up.
With the top 10 teams going unchanged for the first time since 2005, there really isn't too much shakeup from what the Bowls were projected to look like last week.
But there was still plenty of drama that went down over the weekend, and that may or may not effect how the Bowls should look in our opinion (namely mine).
So get your crystal ball and your imagination out. It's time to play matchmaker.
The Fiesta Bowl
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Nebraska vs. Pittsburgh
The Big 12 champion is tied to the Fiesta Bowl, and right now Nebraska looks like the pretty clear favorite to walk away with their first Big 12 championship since 1999.
The Fiesta Bowl also gets the last at-large pick, and the Big East champ is the logical choice. That looks like Pitt right now, as it has a 3-1 conference mark.
Nebraska last played in a Fiesta Bowl in 2000 (after the 1999 season, of course), when it beat Northwestern 66-17. Pittsburgh hasn't been since 2004, when it lost to Utah 35-7.
The Fiesta Bowl: Speculative Version
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Nebraska vs. West Virginia
This is the matchup I dreamed of last week, and I still want to see it.
Listen, we all know that the Mountaineers have trouble scoring. But they certainly don't have any shortcomings on defense. They're third in the nation in scoring defense, and allow just 253.3 yards per game.
In other words, they might just be the team with the goods to stop Taylor Martinez and Nebraska's studly offense.
The only real problem is that I have no idea how West Virginia is going to make the cut. They obviously need to win out, and hope that teams like Pitt and Syracuse can stumble a little bit. They can help themselves against Pitt, however, as they have a November 26th date with the Panthers on their turf.
West Virginia won the Fiesta Bowl in 2008.
The Orange Bowl
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Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State
The ACC champion is tied to the Orange Bowl, and the Hokies seem to have a stranglehold on the conference thanks to their eight-game win streak.
The Orange Bowl gets the second at-large pick, and has their choice between a Big 12 team, and potentially TCU or Boise State.
The final option is the Big Ten runner-up, which is where Ohio State comes into play.
I rather like the matchup myself, as it would give us a chance to see Tyrod Taylor and Terrelle Pryor match wits.
The Hokies last played in the Orange Bowl in 2009, beating Cincinnati 20-7. And unless my research has wronged me, this would be the first Orange Bowl for the Buckeyes since 1977, when they beat Colorado.
The Orange Bowl: Speculative Version
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Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State
This is yet another matchup that I wanted to see last week, and I still think it would be a humdinger of a ballgame.
The Pokes would obviously have to win out, and then lose to Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game, and Ohio State would have to drop a game or two down the stretch in order to make this happen, but it's certainly not impossible.
The Pokes have never been to an Orange Bowl.
The Sugar Bowl
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LSU vs. TCU
The Sugar Bowl picture is pretty muddy thanks to Auburn's undefeated mark, but it's not altogether impossible to figure it out.
The SEC champ is tied to the Sugar Bowl. While Auburn has that in their sights, they're also currently slated for a spot in the BCS Championship game. So they won't be playing in the Sugar Bowl if things play out like they're supposed to.
That's when we get into the rules, and there are miles and miles of those.
But at the end of it all, LSU seems like the most logical replacement for Auburn, as it would essentially put the hometown team in the Superdome.
The Sugar Bowl then gets the first at-large pick of the bunch, and right now TCU looks like they'll be there for the taking.
The Tigers have been to 13 Sugar Bowls, the last time being when JaMarcus Russell out-dualed Brady Quinn and the Irish in 2007.
The Horned Frogs have two Sugar Bowl appearances in their history, and have won both of them. However, that was back in 1936 and 1939.
The Sugar Bowl: Speculative Version
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Auburn vs. TCU
I like Alabama to win the Iron Bowl and send the Tigers to the SEC Championship game with one loss. They'll easily dispatch South Carolina there, but won't be able to earn a spot in the BCS Championship game thanks to at least two undefeateds ahead of them in the BCS standings.
So in other words, they'll have to settle for a Sugar Bowl appearance.
I have to say that I liked this matchup better last week when I thought TCU's defense was infallible. But I suppose watching Cam Newton and Andy Dalton go at each other would still be pretty sweet.
Auburn has been to five Sugar Bowls, the last one coming in 2005.
The Rose Bowl
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Wisconsin vs. Boise State
The Rose Bowl is supposed to pit the Big Ten and Pac-10 champions, but it will lose Oregon to the BCS Championship game if the current rankings hold.
The Big Ten is a bit of a logjam right now, but Wisconsin gets the nod because of their No. 7 ranking.
While Stanford is likely to be a logical choice as the Pac-10 runner-up, the Rose Bowl would be hard pressed to avoid picking an undefeated Boise State team.
The Badgers haven't been since 2000. Boise has never been.
The Rose Bowl: Speculative Version
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Stanford vs. Wisconsin
In reality, it's going to be very hard to keep a one-loss Stanford team with a very high BCS ranking out of the Rose Bowl, so the bastards will probably weasel their way in when all is said and done.
This would be a rematch of the 2000 Rose Bowl, which is the last time either team played in the game. Wisconsin won that game 17-9.
The BCS Championship Game
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Oregon vs. Auburn
No change here. This has been the projected matchup for several weeks now.
The good news is that it still looks like a good one.
Cam Newton and the Tigers' hard-charging offense against LaMichael James and the Ducks' untiring offense.
I can dig it.
The BCS Championship Game: Speculative Version
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Oregon vs. Boise State
I'm changing up my tune a little bit from last week, when I said I wanted to see Oregon play TCU because I thought the Frogs had the only defense in the land capable of stopping the Ducks.
Now we know for a fact that's not true.
Still, I'd rather see Oregon in the title game than some rotten SEC team like Auburn. And I'm definitely back on the Boise State bandwagon after watching them toy with Idaho on Friday night.
And I still think that if Boise ends up winning the whole shebang, then I think all those who hate the BCS have scored a major victory.