This article is a follow-up to previous weeks’ predictions. I will continue to post weekly predictions until the actual Bowl picks come out.
A few key points to remember:
1. 1. No conference can have more than two teams picked for the BCS bowls. (Sorry, Texas Tech.)
2. 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. 3. Utah earned an automatic BCS bid by ranking above all other Mid-major teams and by ranking inside the top 12. This fills seven of the 10 available spots, leaving three at-large bids open.
4. 4. Only the top ranked Mid-major team will earn an automatic bid. (Sorry, Boise St.) The other team is eligible for an at-large bid, but not an automatic bid.
Order of Picks
1. Bowl that lost No. 1
2. Bowl that lost No. 2
Rose Bowl gets Pac-10 and Big 10 Champs
• Penn St.
Fiesta Bowl gets Big 12 Champ
• Lost Oklahoma to the title game, so picks Texas (first pick).
• Picks Utah (third pick).
Sugar Bowl gets SEC Champ
• Lost Alabama to the title game, so picks Florida (second pick).
• Picks Ohio St. (fourth pick).
Orange Bowl gets the ACC Champ
• Virginia Tech (ACC Champ)
• Cincinnati (Big East Champ) (fifth and last pick)
2008 Orange Bowl Championship Game
The most expected change to this prediction is Florida beating Alabama in the SEC championship game. I expect the Gators will win and send themselves to the National Title game, but until the game is played, I will keep my predictions aligned with the BCS rankings. Yet, even if the Crimson Tide go down, I predict the two teams will swap places; Florida will go to the Title game and Alabama to the Sugar Bowl.
As always, the most difficult spot to pick is the ACC champ. I was wrong last week as I expected Virginia Tech to lose and I thought Georgia Tech was playing great. I was right about GT, but wrong about VT.
This week I threw darts to pick a winner. For those who bet, stay away from the ACC championship game.
The Oklahoma-Texas debate has been settled, and it appears Oklahoma will be playing for the Title. Oregon St. lost, sending USC to the Rose Bowl, and reducing the Pac-10 representation in the BCS to one team.
For the three at-large spots, two are not actually at-large since the BCS selection procedures give an automatic qualification to teams ranked No. 3 and No. 4 as long as there is room to fit them in with the other automatic qualifiers. Thus, Texas at No. 3 is in, and Alabama or Florida at No. 4 is in.
With No. 3 and No. 4 in, only one at-large spot remains up to the bowls to pick. This was a tough pick, because I would like to believe that the Sugar Bowl would rather pick a ninth ranked undefeated team, Boise St., over a 10th ranked Ohio St., but I can’t see it happening.
Truthfully, it’s hard to make an argument for the boys in blue.
Boise St., though undefeated, has only one win over a team in the top 50, a narrow victory over No. 16 Oregon. Ohio St. has three wins over teams in the top 50, with a convincing win over No. 15 Michigan St. By comparison, undefeated Ball St. has three wins over top 50 teams, but none over top 25 teams.
I will stop there because I don’t want to make an argument for one team or another; I only want to illustrate why I think the bowl committees will choose one way over another. Yet, no matter how many ways I analyze the selection process, the loyalties and the cash will probably earn Ohio St. a trip to a big money game rather than their play on the field. Good luck next year Broncos, Cardinals, and Red Raiders.
• Ball St.
• Texas Tech
• Boise St.
• Oklahoma St.
• Georgia Tech
• Michigan St.