BCS Bowl Projections Week 15: Which 10 Teams Get the Coveted BCS Bowl Bids?
BCS Bowl Projections for Week 15 present us, at long last, with a fairly easy task.
Indeed, whatever uncertainty we had before today will be gone by the time Saturday's slate is wrapped up. By then, we will have results from the SEC Championship Game, the ACC Championship Game, the Big 12 Championship Game, the Civil War, and Connecticut's game at South Florida.
And when all is said and done, we will pretty much know exactly what the five BCS Bowls are going to look like.
Until then, here is an educated guess of which 10 teams will get BCS bids, which bowl they'll play in, and who will win.
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma Sooners
The Big 12 Champion automatically goes to the Fiesta Bowl, which will be played in Glendale on New Year's Day.
The Sooners were the Big 12 South Champions, and they proceeded to defeat the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday by a final score of 23-20. They claimed the game in the second half, in which they played some great defense and capitalized on key Nebraska turnovers.
This will be their fifth Fiesta Bowl appearance.
Fiesta Bowl: Stanford Cardinal
The second participant in the Fiesta Bowl is a little harder to figure.
The Fiesta Bowl has the last at-large pick, and the most sensible option would be the Big East Champion. However, the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal makes more sense from a geographic perspective, which also means that they makes sense economically.
Translation: You gotta make those Benjamins, and the Cardinal are the better patsy for the job.
In any case, it would be the Cardinal's first ever Fiesta Bowl appearance.
Prediction: We'll get a great quarterback matchup in this one, with Oklahoma's Landry Jones squaring off against Stanford's Andrew Luck. If it turns into an offensive shootout, the Sooners probably have more weapons, which will be to their advantage.
But I also think Stanford's defense is drastically underrated, which will be the difference.
Stanford wins 35-20.
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies
The Orange Bowl will be played in Miami on January 3rd.
The ACC Champion automatically goes to the Orange Bowl, and the Hokies wrapped that up with a 44-33 win over Florida State in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday night.
That makes it 11 in a row for the Hokies, who have certainly redeemed themselves following their baffling loss to James Madison.
This will be their fourth Orange Bowl appearance. They won the Orange Bowl over Cincinnati on New Year's Day, 2009.
Orange Bowl: Connecticut Huskies
The Orange Bowl gets the second at-large pick, and the Big East Champion makes sense from that old geographic/economic standpoint.
The Huskies beat South Florida Saturday night on a late 52 yard field goal by Dave Teggart, clinching the Big East Championship as a result.
Prediction: We're basically going to get the ACC's best offense against one of the country's best runnig backs in Jordan Todman. The Hokies average nearly 35 points a game, which could be trouble for a Huskies team that really hasn't faced an excellent offense all season.
I'll take the Hokies to win in a laugher, 38-13.
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin Badgers
The Rose Bowl will be played in Pasadena on New Year's Eve, and is one of the oldest bowl games in existence.
Traditionally, the Rose Bowl pits the Big Ten Champion against the Pac-10 Champion. That's how Wisconsin will get there. They are co-Big Ten Champs along with Michigan State and Ohio State, but they get the Rose Bowl bid because of their No. 5 BCS ranking.
This will be their first Rose Bowl since 2000, which was their second of two straight Rose Bowl wins.
Rose Bowl: TCU Horned Frogs
With Oregon wrapping up a trip to Glendale with their win in Corvalis today, they won't be able to represent the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl.
Instead, a minor rule stipulates that the Rose Bowl is obligated to take the highest ranked non-AQ team, which is TCU right now. They're No. 3 in the country and will stay there if Auburn can finish the SEC Championship Game with a win (they're leading at the time of publication).
The trip to Pasadena would be the first ever Rose Bowl for the Frogs, however, so I'm sure they'll take it.
Prediction: This will pretty much be a juggernaut offense against the nation's top-ranked defense. The Badgers have topped 48 points in each of their final three games, and the Frogs lead the country with an average of 11.4 points allowed per game.
Tough call. But I'll take the Frogs to win 31-24.
Sugar Bowl: Arkansas Razorbacks
The Sugar Bowl will be played on January 4th in the Superdome, as it usually is.
The SEC Champion is automatically tied to the Sugar Bowl. But with Auburn as both the SEC Champions and the No. 1 team in the BCS, they'll be headed to Glendale instead.
The Sugar Bowl will have its pick of replacements, and the general consensus is that they'll try to keep things in the SEC by selecting the 10-2 Razorbacks.
This would be their sixth Sugar Bowl appearance.
Sugar Bowl: Ohio State Buckeyes
The Sugar Bowl has the first at-large pick, and the co-Big Ten Champion Buckeyes will be there for the taking.
They are also No. 6 in the BCS rankings, and their participation will set up a juicy SEC-Big Ten showdown.
They have been to three Sugar Bowls, the last coming in 1999.
Prediction: Ryan Mallett vs. Terrelle Pryor. Great matchup. But Mallett will have his work cut out for him, as the Buckeyes are third in the nation in scoring average at 13.3 points per game. They also allow barely better than 156 pass yards per game.
As much as I dig defense, I'll have to take Arkansas. They went up against a great LSU defense and made them look silly. I have no reason to think they wouldn't do the same to Ohio State.
I'll take the Razorbacks to win 28-21.
BCS National Championship Game: Oregon Ducks
The BCS National Championship Game will be played in Glendale on January 10th, and will pit the No. 1 and No. 2 team in the BCS rankings against one another.
One way or another, it's going to be Oregon and Auburn. And right now, it also looks like things are going to hold true with Oregon at No. 2.
This will be their first ever appearance in the BCS National Championship Game, and they would be just the second Pac-10 team to make compete for the Coaches' Trophy.
BCS National Championship Game: Auburn Tigers
Cam Newton and the No. 1 Auburn Tigers have beaten the South Carolina Gamecocks 56-17 to win the SEC Championship.
In doing so, they have claimed a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.
Prediction: We're basically going to be treated to a matchup of the country's two most explosive offenses. Behind LaMichael James and Darron Thomas, the Ducks lead the nation in scoring at 49.3 points per game.
Auburn, on the other hand, is led by Heisman favorite Cam Newton, who has topped 20 touchdowns with both his arm and his legs. Not counting today's game, his team averages 41.6 points per game.
I'll take Oregon to win 38-30.