BCS Bowl Predictions: Where LSU, Arkansas, Alabama and More Are Going To Play
Each college football season is filled with drama and talks of BCS revolt, with this season doing all of that and more. Most analysts are predicting an LSU-Alabama rematch for the national championship. At the same time, however, there are many who believe that the SEC will get three teams into BCS bowl games.
At the end of this weekend, we will have much more information at hand in order to make a more educated guess. However, it will not be to the following week that we will know for sure.
I will say, however, that I believe Arkansas will lose today and fall to the Cotton Bowl or the Capital One Bowl and, as you saw last week, this list could make a dramatic change by midnight Saturday.
However, here is how I think the final bowls will work out.
Sugar Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Houston Cougars
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I will explain in the final slide why I do not believe the Tide will make it to the championship game and will have to settle for a disappointing game against Houston in the Sugar Bowl. But if Houston quarterback Case Keenum wanted a shot to move up the NFL draft boards, here is his shot.
Keenum has completed 309 of 421 pass attempts for 4,269 yards and 38 touchdowns. Despite breaking numerous NCAA records, Keenum is viewed as a late-round draft pick by many scouts, but a good game here against Alabama could change that.
The Crimson Tide are currently ranked No.1 in the nation in pass defense, rush defense, total defense and scoring defense. This Tide defense is loaded with future NFL players, and a strong performance by Keenum could go further than a strong performance at the combine.
What happens when Houston and their No. 1-scoring offense (53.1) faces the Crimson Tide and their No.1-scoring defense (8.4)?
I am guessing UGA-Hawaii 2.0.
Fiesta Bowl: Stanford Cardinals vs. Kansas State Wildcats
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With Oklahoma State playing in the national championship game by defeating the Oklahoma Sooners in the season finale, the Kansas State Wildcats will be promoted from the Cotton Bowl to the Fiesta Bowl, finishing the season 10-2.
Stanford would bring an 11-1 record and the nation’s fourth highest scoring offense at 45.0 points per game.
This would leave an intriguing matchup of Heisman candidate Andrew Luck pitted against the strong rushing attack of the Kansas State Wildcats.
On paper, this game is a blowout in favor of the Cardinals. Kansas State does not look great in any one area. However, they keep winning and have had their strongest season in several years.
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
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As I stated two weeks ago, Virginia Tech and Clemson appear to be headed for a rematch in the ACC Championship game. While the natural choice would be to select Clemson to repeat, I believe the Hokies will run away with the game this time.
Clemson was playing off early-season emotion. However, in their last three games, they seem to have come back down to earth, including two blowout losses that found them soundly defeated 31-17 by Georgia Tech and a 37-13 defeat to North Carolina State.
Cincinnati had won six consecutive games before losing their last two games to West Virginia and Rutgers.
However, because there are five teams with two losses in Big East conference play, the Bearcats still control their own destiny.
The Bearcats have the 24th-ranked offense and the 21th-ranked defense. As a result, the Bearcats are beating their opponents by 13.7 points per game.
Virginia Tech, once again, has a solid defense. Despite having the nation’s most underrated running back in David Wilson, who has already rushed for 1442 yards, the offense has been sporadic.
In the end, Cincinnati has a competitive team on paper, but the Hokies have the better team in reality. Unfortunately, this game might be a snoozer.
Rose Bowl: Oregon Ducks vs. Michigan State
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The Oregon Ducks' inability to make a field goal against Stanford eliminated the opportunity to play for the national championship for two consecutive seasons. Oregon was defeated by USC 38-35.
However, the future is still bright for the Ducks because they defeated the previously undefeated Stanford Cardinal, 53-30, on the road two weeks ago.
The Ducks are out of the national championship hunt, but are likely to have to accept the Rose Bowl instead.
Michigan State has the clearest shot at the Rose Bowl, but the Big Ten Championship game could go in a different direction. The Big Ten’s Leaders Division is the biggest question mark in this equation.
The Penn State Nittany Lions had a commanding lead, but they split their last two games against Nebraska and Ohio State. As a result, the winner of today’s game between Penn State and Wisconsin will determine who plays the Spartans in the Big Ten championship.
Although Michigan State barely defeated the Badgers at home, their third-ranked defense in total yards give the Spartans the edge.
The Ducks will be heavily favored over the Spartans, but do not count out Michigan State just yet. They have a solid defense that also ranks eighth in the nation in scoring, only allowing 16 points per game.
The problem for the Spartans is that defense will probably not be enough to win out here.
BCS National Championship Game: LSU Tigers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
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For many Alabama fans, this slide will come as a surprise. However, I am still not convinced that the voters are going to allow a rematch of the LSU-Alabama game already played this season. The problem with a one-loss team making it over Alabama is passing them in the human polls. However, it is possible that will not be necessary with Oklahoma State.
They currently sit second in the computer polls and are ahead of Alabama in four of the six polls. As a result, if the Cowboys are able to defeat the Oklahoma Sooners in their season finale, they might need to only finish as high as third in the human polls.
This scenario is very enticing to voters who do not want a team without a conference championship playing in the BCS championship.
LSU’s plan is simple: Keep winning and they are in. Some believe that they will be in with a win against Arkansas today, and this is quite possible.
Either way, this would offer a great matchup of offense and defense. The Cowboys are second in the nation in scoring offense at 49.8 points per game. LSU, on the other hand, is second in the nation in scoring defense at 10.0 points per game.
On paper, this game has much more appeal than a 9-6 game that the nation has already seen.