2011-12 College Bowl Projections and BCS Preview

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2011-12 College Bowl Projections and BCS Preview
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BCS Bowl Projections

BCS National Championship
Jan. 9, 2012 
New Orleans, Louisiana

LSU vs. Alabama
Nearly all the dominoes have fallen into place and an SEC rematch is becoming more certain each day. LSU only needs to get past Arkansas at home and then win the SEC Championship against Georgia. Alabama visits Auburn in the Iron Bowl, which is far from a layup. If Arkansas can win in Death Valley the door opens for the Razorbacks to play for a title. A loss by LSU to Georgia or by Alabama against Auburn opens the door for Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech and Stanford.

Orange Bowl
Jan. 4, 2012
Miami, Florida

Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
This one will be the winner of the ACC Championship Game (likely between Virginia Tech and Clemson) and the survivor of the Big East, which could be almost anyone at this point. Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers, Pitt and West Virginia all have two conference losses and a chance at winning the conference. The ACC Champion is contractually obligated for this game while the Big East champion lands here because Orange Bowl gets last pick.

Sugar Bowl
Jan. 3, 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana

Michigan vs. Houston
A Michigan win over rival Ohio State would make the Wolverines an extremely attractive option for any BCS bowl, and the Sugar Bowl will scoop them up after losing two SEC teams to the National Championship Game. Michigan fans will take care of ticket sales and hotel rooms, so bowl organizers will only need to look for an attractive television matchup; enter Houston and Case Keenum. A one-loss Boise State team (been there done that in the BCS) and Big East champion (possibly a three-, four- or five-loss team) are other much less attractive options for the Sugar Bowl.

Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 2, 2012
Glendale, Arizona

Oklahoma State vs. Stanford
The Big 12 Champion Cowboys will head to Glendale where the Fiesta Bowl will likely match them up against Andrew Luck and Stanford. If Oklahoma State loses the Bedlam game to Oklahoma, then it will be the Sooners vs. Stanford. The Cardinal only need to win at home against Notre Dame in the regular-season finale to preserve their spot here. A Stanford loss opens the door for Boise State, Houston or the ACC runner-up.

Rose Bowl
Jan., 2, 2012
Pasadena, California

Oregon vs. Wisconsin
The Rose Bowl makes prognosticating easy. Oregon and Wisconsin both need to win their regular-season finales and their conference title games, but that is easier said than done. The Ducks are four-touchdown favorites at home against the Beavers and then they will host the Pac-12 Championship Game against one of the following mediocre teams: Arizona State, UCLA or Utah. USC is ineligible for postseason play and Stanford is in Oregon’s division. Wisconsin needs to win at home as two-touchdown favorites over Penn State and then win in the Big Ten Championship at a neutral site against Michigan State. If Michigan State wins, it will face Oregon in Pasadena.

Other major bowls

Cotton Bowl
Kansas State vs. Georgia
Big 12 runner up Kansas State likely gets the nod over Oklahoma, while Georgia heads to the Cotton Bowl after losing the SEC Championship Game.

Capital One Bowl
Arkansas vs. Michigan State
Unless it can pull off a shocker at LSU, Arkansas is destined for the Capital One Bowl opposite the loser of the Big Ten Championship Game, likely Michigan State.

Outback Bowl
South Carolina vs. Nebraska
The Gamecocks likely land in the Outback Bowl where they will face Big Ten rep Nebraska. Outback Bowl officials are likely to pass on Penn State and choose the Cornhuskers as many consider the Nittany Lions toxic at this point.

Gator Bowl
Ohio State vs. Auburn
Never put it past the Gator Bowl and Jacksonville to select undeserving teams in exchange for full hotel rooms and ticket sales. That is what is likely to happen this year with a possible 6-6 Ohio State team playing on a Jan. 2 opposite the defending-National Champion Tigers, who will likely be 7-5.

Chick-fil-A Bowl
Clemson vs. Florida
ACC runner-up Clemson is scooped up by the Chick-fil-A Bowl, who pairs them with the sixth selection out of the SEC, Florida.

Champs Sports Bowl
Florida State vs. Notre Dame
Without hesitation the Champs Sports Bowl will pass on a Big East team and select Notre Dame, as it is contractually permitted to do, and then it makes sure to pair them with Florida State in a marquee December bowl game matchup.

Holiday Bowl
Arizona State vs. Baylor
This bowl game has Robert Griffin III written all over it. Unfortunately there are very few options in the Pac-12 with Oregon and Stanford BCS bound and USC banned from postseason play this year. The Holiday Bowl will likely choose from Arizona State or UCLA to pair against its Big 12 choice.

Doc Moseman is the owner of Doc’s Sports football picks Web site.

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