Bowl Projections: Oregon vs. One-Loss Auburn? Yes.
One weekend left of college football—it's Championship Saturday—everything will be set in stone this weekend and my bowl projections have a lot on the line in the Auburn-South Carolina SEC Championship Game as far BCS bowl projections go.
Today, some bowl announcements have trickled out and some I had projected, some I didn't; so, here are my now updated bowl projections.
2010 College Football Bowl Projections
And for fun, I'll pick a winner in the projected game.
New Mexico Bowl: Dec. 18 2:00 on ESPN
Projection: BYU vs. Fresno State
My Pick: BYU
uDrove Humanitarian Bowl: Dec. 18 5:30 on ESPN
Projection: Nevada vs. Temple
My Pick: Nevada
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Dec. 18 9:00 on ESPN
Projection: Florida International vs. UTEP
My Pick: Florida International
Beef 'O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl: Dec. 21 8:00 on ESPN
Projection: South Florida vs. Southern Miss
My Pick: Southern Miss
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Dec. 22 8:00 on ESPN
Projection: Utah vs. Ohio
My Pick: Utah
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Dec. 23 8:00 on ESPN
Projection: Navy vs. San Diego State
My Pick: Navy
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Dec. 24 8:00 on ESPN
Projection: Hawaii vs. Tulsa
My Pick: Hawaii
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Dec. 26 8:30 on ESPN
Projection: Louisville vs. Northern Illinois
My Pick: Northern Illinois
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Dec. 27 5:00 on ESPN2
Projection: Air Force vs. Georgia Tech
My Pick: Air Force
Champs Sports Bowl: Dec. 28 6:30 on ESPN
Projection: Florida State vs. Notre Dame
My Pick: Florida State
Insight Bowl: Dec. 28 10:00 on ESPN
Projection: Nebraska vs. Michigan
My Pick: Nebraska
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman: Dec. 29 2:30 on ESPN
Projection: East Carolina vs. Clemson
My Pick: Clemson
Texas Bowl: Dec. 29 6:00 on ESPN
Projection: Baylor vs. Illinois
My Pick: Baylor
Valero Alamo Bowl: Dec. 29 9:15 on ESPN
Projection: Arizona vs. Oklahoma State
My Pick: Oklahoma State
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Dec. 30 12:00 on ESPN
Projection: SMU vs. Army
My Pick: SMU
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Dec. 30 3:20 on ESPN
Projection: Syracuse vs. Kansas State
My Pick: Syracuse
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Dec. 30 6:40 on ESPN
Projection: Maryland vs. Tennessee
My Pick: Maryland
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: Dec. 30 10:00 on ESPN
Projection: Washington vs. Missouri
My Pick: Missouri
Meineke Car Care Bowl: Dec. 31 12:00 on ESPN
Projection: Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina
My Pick: Pittsburgh
Hyundai Sun Bowl: Dec. 31 2:00 on CBS
Projection: Miami vs. Toledo
My Pick: Miami
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Dec. 31 3:30 on ESPN
Projection: Central Florida vs. Kentucky
My Pick: Kentucky
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Dec. 31 TBA
Projection: North Carolina State vs. Mississippi State
My Pick: NC State
TicketCity Bowl: Jan. 1 12:00 on ESPNU
Projection: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech
My Pick: Texas Tech
Outback Bowl: Jan. 1 1:00 on ABC
Projection: Penn State vs. Alabama
My Pick: Penn State
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Capital One Bowl: Jan. 1 1:00 on ESPN
Projection: Michigan State vs. LSU
My Pick: LSU
Gator Bowl: Jan. 1 1:30 on ESPN
Projection: Iowa vs. Florida
My Pick: Iowa
GoDaddy.com Bowl: Jan. 6 8:00 on ESPN
Projection: Miami of Ohio vs. Troy
My Pick: Troy
AT&T Cotton Bowl: Jan. 7 8:00 on Fox
Projection: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
My Pick: Arkansas
BBVA Compass Bowl: Jan. 8 12:00 on ESPN
Projection: Connecticut vs. Georgia
My Pick: Georgia
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Jan. 9 9:00 on ESPN
Projection: Boise State vs. Boston College
My Pick: Boise State
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Jan. 1 8:30 on ESPN
Projection: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
My Pick: West Virginia
Discover Orange Bowl: Jan. 3 8:00 on ESPN
Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Stanford
My Pick: Virginia Tech
Allstate Sugar Bowl: Jan. 4 8:00 on ESPN
Projection: South Carolina vs. Ohio State
My Pick: South Carolina
Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO: Jan. 1 4:30 on ABC
Projection: Wisconsin vs. TCU
My Pick: Wisconsin
Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Jan. 10 8:00 on ESPN
Projection: Oregon vs. Auburn
My Pick: Auburn
If South Carolina pulls my projected upset over Auburn Saturday, things should be intact for the most part, but if Auburn wins:
1. put Auburn in the national championship game
2. move TCU to the Rose Bowl
3. Move Stanford to the Orange Bowl in Auburn's slot
4. Put South Carolina in the Outback Bowl versus Penn State and
5. Put Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl in South Carolina's spot.
With Texas A&M accepting a surprising invite to the Cotton Bowl the potential Big 12 Championship Game loser is now knocked out of that game. With A&M in the Cotton Bowl now, the loser of the Big 12 Championship game could end up in the Holiday Bowl, where Washington is projected to be the opponent.
The thing is, Nebraska played Washington in a dominating win earlier this season and the Holiday Bowl won't take a Neb-Wash. rematch, so if it's Nebraska that's available, they'll likely end up in the Insight Bowl with Missouri moving from the Insight Bowl to the Holiday Bowl. That's the change I made above in my projections.
Should a one-loss Auburn claim the No. 2 spot in the BCS over TCU?
Now, if Oklahoma is the loser of the Big 12 Title Game instead of Nebraska, then I think the Sooners will play Washington in the Holiday Bowl and Missouri will stay in the Insight Bowl against Michigan while Nebraska will represent the Big 12 in the Fiesta Bowl.
Also announced was that East Carolina will play in the Military Bowl and Southern Miss will play in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Both of those projections won't change.
One more change I made was moving LSU to the Capital One Bowl and Arkansas to the Cotton Bowl if the Razorbacks don't make the Sugar Bowl. Again, that hinges on whether South Carolina does or does not beat Auburn.
If South Carolina loses, I see them in the Outback Bowl versus Penn State, and Alabama will move to the Capital One Bowl while LSU, I think, will go to the Cotton Bowl.
I'm not a fan of rematches in bowl games unless it's an intriguing situation. Houston vs. Air Force in the past was not an intriguing situation. But this year, a potential Alabama-Penn State Outback Bowl if South Carolina beats Auburn, could be great.
It would sell a lot of tickets despite being a rematch. It's a different Penn State team and a different Alabama team than the ones that played each other in Week 2. I think Penn State-Alabama in the Outback would be better than a 2009 rematch of Penn State and LSU.
And let me just reiterate, that I like a potentially one-loss Auburn team better than an undefeated TCU. Auburn-Oregon is going to be such an entertaining game. I feel like Auburn is meant to win a national title, but I like South Carolina in the SEC Championship. The Gamecocks should have beaten Auburn the first time back in September. If this game is close, South Carolina will win. Either that, or this is an Auburn double digit win.
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