College Football Predictions: Who Will Win Each BCS Conference?
Most teams around the country are now in their last game or two of the regular season and Bids for conference championships and invitations to BCS bowls are on the line as many teams around the country have one or two games left on the schedule.
As teams battle for conference championships, there are a few notable changes to the way conference championships are awarded.
The Big 12 no longer has a championship game with Nebraska and Colorado joining the Big Ten and Pac-12, respectively. The Big Ten now has a championship game thanks to the addition of Nebraska. The Pac-12 also welcomes a championship game after Utah and Colorado defected from their former conferences to join the Pac-12.
Which teams will emerge as BCS bowl teams in the automatic-qualifying conferences?
ACC: Virginia Tech
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Since being embarrassed at home on October 1st by Clemson, Virginia Tech is 5-0 and the offense, more specifically Logan Thomas and David Wilson, is a big part of that.
Thomas has thrown for 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions during Tech's winning streak and has also rushed for seven touchdowns.
His running back, David Wilson, has been as steady as any running back and has rushed for 120-plus yards in all but one game.
Its obvious that the offense has turned it up a notch since losing to Clemson, a team that lost to Georgia Tech and struggled to beat Wake Forest.
Based on their recent play, expect Virginia Tech to win out, beat Clemson in the ACC title game, and represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl.
Big East: West Virginia
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The Big East is an absolute logjam right now. At the top is Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1), despite losing to West Virginia. Behind Cincinnati are four teams—West Virginia, Rutgers, Louisville and Pittsburgh—who all trail the Bearcats by one game in conference.
With their offensive aerial attack under Dana Holgorsen, it is easy to believe that West Virginia will upend Pittsburgh and South Florida.
Cincinnati still has to play on the road against a Rutgers team who is 6-1 at home.
Louisville does not have the offensive capabilities to take out both South Florida and Connecticut. After all, USF is a tough team that has lost some very close games.
This leaves a three-way tie at the top of the conference between Rutgers, Cincinnati and West Virginia. With Rutgers and Cincinnati both losing to West Virginia, we will likely see the Mountaineers going back to a BCS game.
Big 12: Oklahoma State
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The Big 12 seems to be a two-horse race right now with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, but the Sooners offense has taken another big hit. Just weeks after losing Dominique Whaley for the season, Landry Jones lost his favorite target, Ryan Broyles, for the season after tearing his ACL.
The Cowboys are pedestrian on defense, but their jobs will be a lot easier in the season finale without having to worry about Whaley or Broyles.
I see the in-state rivals meeting up in the season's finale to decide the Big 12 championship. It is hard for me to go against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, a place where Brandon Weeden is 10-2 as a starter.
Big Ten: Wisconsin
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
The Wisconsin Badgers have had a very up and down season. They went from national title contenders to an afterthought following two last-second losses in consecutive weeks to Ohio State and Michigan State.
The Badgers are again in control of their own destiny to get to the Big Ten title game. If the Badgers win out, they will play in the title game.
In the Legends Division, all Michigan State has to do is win out to meet Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Wisconsin still has a lot of problems on special teams that need to be corrected, but I like them to beat Michigan State on a neutral field and earn a bid to the Rose Bowl.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Simply put, Oregon is the best team in the Pac-12.
All they need to do to find themselves in the Pac-12 Title game is to win one out of the next two games. It is easier said than done, but I firmly don't think USC or Oregon State have what it takes to slow down the Ducks, especially with LaMichael James back in action.
I believe USC will knock off UCLA and propel Arizona State to the Pac-12 championship game to face Oregon.
If the earlier meeting is any indication, Arizona State will not be able to keep up with the Oregon offense for a full sixty minutes.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
There are still scenarios that could keep LSU out of the SEC Championship Game, but I do not believe that Arkansas will be able to mount a balanced attack to beat the Tigers.
Georgia looks to be the most likely team in the SEC East reach Atlanta, but do we firmly believe they have a shot to knock off a team like LSU? In the 'Dawgs previous eight games, they have played just one team with a winning record and started off 2011 by losing to two ranked teams.
Do they truly have what it takes to knock off the best team in the country? As of now, no.
LSU emerges as the SEC champion and one of the two teams that will be in the National Championship.