BCS Rankings 2011: Projecting This Year's BCS Bowl Matchups
The BCS rankings, created by the BCS selection system that positions teams based on their season performance and defines which college football teams will play in the most prestigious bowl games at the end of the season, came out Sunday.
The rankings give every college football fan a reason to either get excited or give up hope for what the future holds for their team.
Will a team like the Michigan Wolverines make a BCS bowl game for the first time since 2007, or will the Ohio State Buckeyes dismantle their foe's hopes of accomplishing that feat.
Will Notre Dame bounce back from a rough start and land a spot in the BCS Top 10. Who will meet in the national championship?
Only time will tell.
For now, we can only guess who will play in each BCS bowl game. Here's what I see happening.
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Wisconsin
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In looking at the remainder of Wisconsin's schedule, the Badgers have a relatively smooth path to the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin's only viable threat comes this Saturday at No. 16 Michigan State. If the Badgers can win this game, I see them rolling into the Rose Bowl unscathed.
In the Pac-12, however, the road to the Rose Bowl goes through Palo Alto, California. Oregon will travel to Stanford Stadium to take on a powerful Stanford team in one of the most anticipated games of the season.
Even though this year's game is in Palo Alto, I don't see it panning out any differently than it did last year when Oregon rocked Stanford at Autzen Stadium.
Yes, Stanford has QB Andrew Luck, RB Stepfan Taylor (who doesn't get half the credit he deserves), and some of the most athletics tight ends I've ever seen. But Oregon has head coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti.
Stanford plays the game a certain way. Andrew Luck carves up your defense while running backs Stepfan Taylor, Tyler Gaffney, Anthony Wilkerson and Jeremy Stewart, combined with one of the greatest offensive lines in the country, run it down the opposition's throat.
Chip Kelly and Nick Aliotti know this. They'll play naïve in the first half while completely knowing how to stop Stanford. If Stanford doesn't introduce some different style of play in the second half, Aliotti will draw up plays that can, and I think will, potentially dismantle the Cardinal offense just like he did last year.
Oregon's offense is too fast to be stopped by Stanford defense. They'll pick them apart.
Because Oregon will beat Stanford, look for them to land a spot against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Stanford
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At this point in the season, Oklahoma State still thinks it has a chance of making it to the national championship.
Only a few things come in it's way.
Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, and Oklahoma. When all is said and done, Oklahoma State will beat Baylor decisively, but fall to Oklahoma in one of the most entertaining games of the season, thereby solidifying Oklahoma State's spot in the Fiesta Bowl.
Although I look for Stanford to lose against Oregon, the Fiesta Bowl would be ecstatic to pick up the football powerhouse with their at-large bid.
Stanford vs. Oklahoma State would make an unbelievable game.
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. Boise State
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Boise State will undoubtedly go undefeated this season. As far as I know, there are no Colin Kaepernicks standing in its way this year.
They'll most likely get picked up by the Sugar Bowl with their at-large bid.
For LSU, however, the key game will come on November 5 when the Tigers travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The winner of this game will most likely end up playing for a national championship, while the loser will play in the Sugar Bowl.
As you can see, I predict LSU will lose that game.
Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. West Virginia
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Clemson has been arguably the most surprising team this year. With wins over Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech, Clemson is in a good position to go to the Orange Bowl.
The only threats coming in Clemson's way are at No. 22 Georgia Tech on October 29, and at No. 14 South Carolina.
Given that South Carolina's RB Marcus Lattimore is out for the season, and Georgia Tech doesn't have the fire power to beat Clemson, I don't see either of them pulling off the upset.
In the end zone opposite to Clemson's, I predict that West Virginia's old gold and blue will be stained into the grass. Already 5-1, I don't see any team beating West Virginia.
The only realistic threat may come from South Florida on December 3, but I don't see the inconsistent Bulls beating the Mountaineers.
BCS National Championship: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
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As it usually works out, the two best teams in the nation will meet in the national championship.
Alabama will show up with its bruising running attack and ferocious defense, while Oklahoma will make an appearance with its monstrous offensive line, premier passing attack and lightning-quick defense.
If LSU and Alabama do meet in the national championship, the game has the potential to be one of the best championships ever.