BCS Predictions as of Nov. 25, 2008
This article is a follow-up to last week’s predictions. I will continue to post weekly predictions until the actual bowl picks come out.
A few key points to remember:
1. No conference can have more than two teams picked for the BCS bowls (sorry Texas Tech).
2. Each bowl makes the pick that benefits that particular bowl itself. There appears to be very little corroboration between the bowls to make picks that benefit all five BCS bowl games as a whole.
3. Utah earned an automatic BCS bid by ranking above all other mid-major teams and by ranking inside the top eight. This fills seven of the 10 available spots, leaving three at-large bids open.
Order of picks this year
1. Bowl that lost No. 1
- Oregon St.
- Penn St.
Fiesta Bowl gets Big 12 Champ
- Lost Texas to the title game so picks USC (first pick)
- Picks Utah (third pick)
Sugar Bowl gets SEC Champ
- Lost Alabama to the title game so picks Florida (second pick)
- Picks Oklahoma (fourth pick)
Orange Bowl gets the ACC Champ
- Georgia Tech (ACC Champ)
- Cincinnati (Big East Champ) (fifth and last pick)
And the 2008 BCS Championship game
The toughest pick to make was the ACC Champ. I gave the nod to Georgia Tech because I think Virginia Tech will lose to Virginia. This will give G-Tech the spot from the Coastal Division because they have the tiebreaker over Miami, who I predict will win this week over NC State.
Georgia Tech will likely meet Florida St. or Boston College in the ACC Championship game. Since GT beat both those teams in the regular season, I chose the Yellow Jackets. However, knowing the ACC, nothing will turn out as clean and neat as I hope.
The obvious change to this prediction will be if Florida beats Alabama in the SEC Championship game. Most predict this will happen, and I will update my picks if it does. However, since the BCS rankings still have the Tide over the Gators and the game has not been played, I will stick with the BCS rank.
However, if Florida wins, it will change my picks very little. Florida will go to the title game and Alabama will go to the Sugar Bowl.
The other great debate is Oklahoma or Texas. It is funny—Oklahoma leads Texas in points from both the USA Today and Harris Polls, but the computers give Texas the advantage it needs to climb above the Longhorns in the BCS standings. If the computers reward the Sooners this week for a win over Oklahoma St., then Oklahoma gets the top spot.
The Bowl with the most to decide is the Fiesta Bowl. Normally given to the Big 12 Champ, this bowl is planning to lose that team to the championship game. This gives the Fiesta Bowl the opportunity to pick first and third. This leaves automatic bids Cincinnati and Utah, along with other top teams Florida, Oklahoma, USC, Texas Tech, Boise St., Ohio St., and Georgia available.
Cincinnati is a bad choice because they are an average team. Florida will not be around when it comes time to pick, and Alabama, though nationally recognized, is not as exciting to watch as Texas, Oklahoma, or USC. Moreover, Big East and SEC fans would not travel to Arizona as well as fans from closer schools would.
Ohio St. is another bad choice because no one wants to see a rematch from earlier in the season.
USC seems to be a good choice because fans are close, the team has national name recognition, and it would draw good television ratings. Utah is a solid choice because their fans traveled well in 2004 to the Fiesta Bowl, but they would be billed as the underdog.
Either Texas or Oklahoma will be available, and both would be good choices due to national recognition, a relative proximity to the bowl, and the potential to pit the arguable top team from the Big 12 against the arguable top team from the Pac-10. Those are all reasons to go for this matchup. The media would eat it up.
If this is the Fiesta Bowl’s plan, the Sugar Bowl, with the second pick, could thwart that plan if they want the Big 12 runner-up. I expect this to happen, which is why I put Utah at the Fiesta Bowl.