Bowl Schedule 2010: Final BCS Rankings and Bowl Announcements
The final BCS rankings and bowl announcements are just 75 minutes away!
Good evening, and welcome to live coverage of the final BCS rankings as it happens live at 8:15 EST on ESPN, as well as the bowl announcements.
We know it's Oregon-Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game, and the other BCS bowls will play themselves out later as the picks are made. But some of the non-BCS games are starting to trickle in, so let's get right to it.
Must Read: 2010 Bowl Schedule: 25 Bold Predictions
Here's the slate of the top games, now that everything is official.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: Oregon vs. Auburn, Jan. 10
ROSE BOWL: Wisconsin vs. TCU, Jan. 1
ORANGE BOWL: Virginia Tech vs. Stanford, Jan. 3
FIESTA BOWL: Oklahoma vs. UConn, Jan. 1
SUGAR BOWL: Ohio State vs. Arkansas, Jan. 4
COTTON BOWL: Texas A&M vs. LSU, Jan. 7
OUTBACK BOWL: Penn State vs. Florida, Jan. 1
CAPITAL ONE BOWL: Michigan State vs. Alabama, Jan. 1
All right, looks like the blanks are being penciled in for the remaining bowl games.
OK, first, Boise State is going to the Las Vegas Bowl to play Utah on Dec. 22
The Insight Bowl is going to be Iowa vs. Missouri on Dec. 28. Great matchup.
The Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 will be Arizona vs. Oklahoma State, another great matchup.
The Holiday Bowl gets screwed with a rematch of a game played earlier this season: Nebraska vs. Washington on Dec. 30 (and a 10 p.m. start on the East Coast, too, virtually guaranteeing nobody's watching this one).
Alabama and coach Nick Saban will play Saban's old team, Michigan State, in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day. Great matchup.
And LSU will be going to Dallas to play Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.
The ESPN analysts are all saying that Cameron Newton is most definitely worthy of the Heisman Trophy, which will be awarded next Saturday, despite the controversy that swirled around him.
Craig James, in fact, just said he would have voted for Newton three times if he could have.
But Kirk Herbstreit said that although Newton is most definitely worthy, he still has a gut feeling that there's more to this story to come.
I mean, c'mon. Dad tries to sell son to the highest bidder and son doesn't know about it? Really?
Some of the blanks that still remain out there—Cotton Bowl, Holiday, Capital One, among the biggies—will be filled in when ESPN shifts from BCS rankings and BCS bowl matchups to its Bowl Selection show at 9 p.m. EST.
Who gets screwed? Boise State. Two missed field goals and the loss to Nevada means the Broncos fall from a BCS bowl to a likely December 22, who-cares apperance in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl.
Crappy turn of events for BSU
ROSE BOWL: Wisconsin vs. TCU is official, but of course we knew that. The Rose was taking the Pac-10 and Big Ten champs, and if they lost one of them to the national title game (Oregon), the Rose had to take the non-AQ team.
Both teams average 43 points per game, but I can see Wisky wearing down the Horned Frogs a bit. I like the Badgers, 31-24
SUGAR BOWL: Ohio State vs. Arkansas. Again, not surprising, we knew this was going to happen. Yeah, yeah, I know QB Coach/OC Garrick McGee has done a great job with Ryan Mallett, but I'm not exactly sold him. I can see the Buckeyes shutting him down when it matters. I like the Buckeyes, 24-20.
ORANGE BOWL: Well, dilemma solved. Stanford vs. Virginia Tech. Orange Bowl officials went with the best matchup rather than inviting the more geographically placed team in UConn. I like Stanford in this game, 35-31.
FIESTA BOWL: So that means it's Oklahoma vs. UConn. Good luck getting any kind of TV rating in this one. Oklahoma, 51-17.
The worst thing about the BCS National Championship Game is the wait.
I mean, 35 freakin' days?!?
ESPN just asked both coaches about it and Auburn's Gene Chizik said his team will have to take it slow, and then added "We have 35 days and we'll use every one of them."
Whoa, coach, easy there. If my memory from my days covering Michigan serves me right, you only get a certain amount (24?). The last thing Auburn needs is another controversy :)
ESPN interviewing Auburn head coach Gene Chizik and Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
This could be a game that ends up 47-44 or something like that. Both teams average in the 40s in scoring, both teams are putting up 500 yards of offense per game. Heck, the Ducks are over 500 yards average per game.
Guess nobody is questioning Chizik's hiring now, are they?!? :)
So who gets screwed in the final BCS rankings? It's obvious that it's Michigan State. No more than two teams from a conference can go to BCS bowls, and even though the 11-1 Spartans were tri-champions of the Big East, they're ranked below both Ohio State and Wisconsin in the BCS rankings.
So that means Sparty is out of a BCS bowl. It's a shame, because they'll never have another season like this again.
The official Top 10:
No. 10 -- LSU
No. 9 -- Michigan State
No. 8 -- Arkansas
No. 7 -- Oklahoma
No. 6 -- Ohio State
No. 5 -- Wisconsin
No. 4 -- Stanford
No. 3 -- TCU
No. 2 -- Oregon
No. 1 -- Auburn
No big surprises, and the national championship game is now set in stone (as if it wasn't already).
TCU and Stanford now MUST be invited to BCS bowls as well, so that's locked up.
The ESPN show is about to start, and all the blanks will be filled in in just a few moments.
They're running a highlight package from the weekend and I'm getting goosebumps—is Verne Lundquist the best, most exciteable college football announcer there is?!
ESPN is breaking out the big guns—everybody in the studio, including Kirk Herbstreit, Craig James, Rod Gilmore and Lou Holtz.
Many of the second-tier bowls are starting to fill in. UCF-Georgia in the Liberty, Clemson-South Florida in the Meineke Car Care, North Carolina-Tennessee in the Music City, Illinois-Baylor in the Texas, North Carolina State-West Virginia in the Champs Sports.
So as these games are filling up and conference tie-ins are achieved, what DON'T we know?
Well, we don't know what the combination of the Holiday, Alabama and Insight Bowls. Both have Big 12 tie-ins so it's Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Missouri.
Also, which team will face Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl: LSU or Alabama?
And, in the BCS bowls, I think it's pretty much a given that the Sugar will be Ohio State-Arkanas, and the Rose Bowl is Wisconsin-TCU. But what of the other two games? Will it be Oklahoma vs. Stanford in the Fiesta and Va Tech vs. UConn in the Orange? Or OU vs. UConn and VT vs. Stanford?
We're anxiously awaiting.
The famed TicketCity Bowl will feature Northwestern of the Big Ten and the Texas Tech of the Big 12.
Now this is one matchup that most definitely does NOT have the cache of some of these other games. Sorry, NW and TT fans. I call 'em as I see 'em and this is not one of those New Year's Day bowls that's going to get a lot of run in the Thomaselli home.
The Chick-Fil-A Bowl has invited Florida State, the ACC runnerup, and the Seminoles have accepted. It's expected that the opponent will be South Carolina.
Again, another good matchup in terms of programs. And Steve Spurrier gets another crack at Free Shoes University, which he played every year when he coached Florida.
The Outback Bowl is set, and it is certainly an attractive matchup of both program and coaches.
Penn State vs. Florida on New Year's Day, Joe Paterno vs. Urban Meyer. Forget the fact that both teams are nowhere near the national title picture, it's still a nice matchup. In fact, despite my earlier thinking, in terms of pure marquee attractiveness this is shaping up to be a good bowl season.
The Gator Bowl is now set, and in a bit of a surprise it will be Michigan vs. Mississippi State. Most people had Iowa or Penn State here, and Michigan headed out to Arizona for the Insight Bowl, but now it appears Iowa will be going there instead. Bummer for the Hawkeyes, who won't be playing on New Year's Day.
Not sure of the logic of this but, really, it's splitting hairs. Both Big Ten schools travel extremely well and Lord knows Michigan fans are starving for a bowl game after missing out the last two years.