BCS, Big Ten Bowl Predictions After Week 13

Chad RobbCorrespondent INovember 27, 2011

BCS, Big Ten Bowl Predictions After Week 13

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    The regular season is coming to an end and the 2011-12 college bowl season is finally starting to take shape. The BCS bowl picture is much clearer this week with most of the favorites winning over the weekend. It looks like the Big Ten will receive two of the BCS Bowl bids and ____ bids to other bowls.

    Here is how I see the BCS bowl matchups and the matchups for each team in the Big Ten Conference that is heading to postseason play…

BCS National Championship

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    LSU vs. Alabama

    New Orleans, LA

    January 9, 2012 at 8:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN

    The BCS National Championship game is all but set. There will be a rematch between LSU and Alabama.

    With Alabama’s win over Auburn, it would take a miracle for Oklahoma State, Stanford or Virginia Tech to bypass the Crimson Tide and make it to the national championship game.

    LSU will have to play Georgia in the SEC Championship game, but the outcome of the game does not matter. LSU has the most impressive resume in college football with wins over Oregon, West Virginia, Florida, Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas.

    Even if Georgia beats LSU, the Tigers will not fall any further than No. 2 in the polls.

Orange Bowl

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    Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia

    Miami, FL.

    January 4, 2012 at 8:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN

    One side of this bowl game is easy to predict, while the other side is a mess.

    The winner of the ACC Championship game between Virginia Tech and Clemson will go to the Orange Bowl to play the winner of the Big East Conference. Virginia Tech is rolling right now, while Clemson is struggling.

    There are three teams from the Big East Conference with a mathematical shot of winning the conference title (West Virginia, Louisville, Cincinnati). None of the teams control their own destiny.

    Each team needs to win next week and receive some help. The team with the easiest road and the team I think will make it to the Orange Bowl is West Virginia. The Mountaineers must beat South Florida next week and hope that Cincinnati beats Connecticut.

    I think both of these scenarios will play out.  

Sugar Bowl

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    Michigan vs. Houston

    New Orleans, LA.

    January 3, 2012 at 8:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN

    With two SEC teams in the national championship game, the Sugar Bowl will not be forced to take an SEC team for their bowl game. The Sugar Bowl will select two at-large teams.

    The first will be Houston if the Cougars beat Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA championship game next weekend.

    The rules were changed a few years ago to allow teams from conferences without automatic bids a chance to make it to a BCS Bowl game. The team must win their conference and be ranked No. 12 or higher. Houston will accomplish both requirements and make it to the Sugar Bowl.

    There will be higher-rated teams than Michigan for the Sugar Bowl to pick as an at-large team, but none of the other teams will be as attractive to the Sugar Bowl as Michigan. With their win over Ohio State, Michigan will be headed to the Sugar Bowl, bringing with them thousands of fans.

Fiesta Bowl

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    Oklahoma State vs. Stanford

    Tempe, AZ

    January 2, 2012 at 8:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN

    Oklahoma State would have to absolutely humiliate Oklahoma in the Bedlam game next week in order to have any chance at jumping Alabama or LSU in the BCS standings. I really do not think enough voters would change their mind about Alabama or LSU regardless of what Oklahoma State does on Saturday.

    Oklahoma State had a great year and they should be happy with a BCS Bowl game. The Cowboys have the best offense in the country and it would have been fun to see them match up against a strong SEC defense, but they should have taken care of business against Iowa State.

    Stanford all but locked up their spot in the Fiesta Bowl with their win over Notre Dame Saturday night.

    I doubt Andrew Luck will be bringing the Heisman trophy with him to the game, but it will be a nice to see how many points he can put up on a suspect Oklahoma State defense.

Rose Bowl

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    Wisconsin vs. Oregon

    Pasadena, CA.

    January 2, 2012 at 5:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN

    Both Wisconsin and Oregon need to win their conference championship games in order to meet up in the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin will be motivated to avenge their 37-31 last-second loss to Michigan State. The Badgers are rolling right now and should have no problem there.

    Oregon is lucky that USC is not eligible for the Pac-12 Championship game. Instead of facing a team they already lost to, Oregon will face UCLA in the championship game. UCLA is 6-6 on the season and coming off a 50-0 loss to USC.

    Oregon will demolish the Bruins in Eugene.

Capital One Bowl

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    Michigan State vs. Arkansas

    Orlando, FL.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN

    Michigan State has been to the Capital One Bowl in two of the last three years. It will be interesting to see if the Capital One Bowl selects the Legends Division winner or if they bypass them and select a team like Nebraska, who has never been to the bowl before.

    I think the Capital One Bowl will go ahead and take Michigan State and pair them up with the highest rated team from the SEC who will not be headed to a BCS bowl game.

    The SEC team will be Arkansas. While the Razorbacks could be selected for an at-large bid to a BCS bowl, I think they will get passed over. This will send Arkansas to the Capital One Bowl for an interesting matchup against Michigan State.

Outback Bowl

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    Nebraska vs. Georgia

    Tampa, FL.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:00pm Eastern

    TV: ABC

    According to HuskerMax.com, the Outback Bowl has been scouting the Cornhuskers for weeks. Nebraska is the most attractive team to any of the bowls with alliances to the Big Ten Conference. The Cornhuskers fans travel to the bowl games as well as any team in the country.

    Nebraska will be happy to accept a bid to the Outback bowl, but probably won’t be too excited about playing a Georgia team that can dominate them in all aspects of the game.

    If Georgia loses the SEC Championship game to LSU, they will be going to either the Capital One Bowl or the Outback Bowl. I think the Capitol One Bowl will take the higher-ranked SEC team, which will be Arkansas.

    This will send the Bulldogs to Tampa to beat up on the Cornhuskers.

Gator Bowl

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    Penn State vs. Auburn

    Jacksonville, FL.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN-2

    Penn State should be going to either the Capitol One Bowl or the Outback Bowl, but the scandal that surrounds their program will send them to the Gator Bowl, which is still a nice bowl to play in.

    The Nittany Lions will take on the defending national champions, the Auburn Tigers. This will be a low-scoring, but fun game to watch.

Insight Bowl

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    Ohio State vs. Baylor

    Tempe, AZ.

    December 30, 2011 at 10:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN

    The question in Columbus, Ohio is: Should the Buckeyes accept a bowl bid or should they take their punishment now in hopes that the NCAA goes easier own them when they make their decision on penalties for the school next year?

    I think the Buckeyes should take their medicine now, but it probably won’t happen.

    Ohio State is coming off their worst season since 1999. If the Buckeyes do decide to go to a bowl, it will most likely be the Insight Bowl. If the rumors are true that Urban Meyer will be coaching the Buckeyes next year, then the future will be bright for Ohio State. It would be sad to see them win the Big Ten Conference next season and then be ineligible for a bowl game.

    If the Buckeyes accept this bowl bid, they will face a Baylor team with an offense that Ohio State could not keep up with.

Meineke Car Care Bowl

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    Iowa vs. Texas

    Houston, TX.

    December 31, 2011 at 12:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN

    Iowa just could not put a complete season together this year. The Hawkeyes won some games they probably should not have, and lost some games they had no business losing.

    With their up-and-down season in the books, Iowa will be heading to Houston to take on Texas.

    It will not be an easy task to beat the Longhorns in their backyard, but if Iowa brings the “good” Iowa team to the bowl game, the Hawkeyes will have a chance.

TicketCity Bowl

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    Purdue vs. Iowa State

    Dallas, TX.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN U

    This game will match up two overachieving teams. Purdue and Iowa State finished the regular season with better records than most fans would have predicted.

    Purdue was able to upset Ohio State, while Iowa State was able to upset both Iowa and Oklahoma State. I doubt Jerry’s House in Dallas will be filled to capacity for this game, but it will be a fun game to watch.

    These are two schools on the rise and a win could set them up for a nice season next year.

Little Caesars Bowl

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    Northwestern vs. Northern Illinois

    Detroit, MI.

    December 17, 2011 at 4:30pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN

    Northwestern had a tough season. They had to play the beginning of the season without their star quarterback Dan Persa because of an injury, but were able to overcome adversity and make it to a bowl game.

    Northwestern will not have far to travel as they head to the Motor City to play the loser of the MAC Championship game—likely Northern Illinois.

    This game will be a high-scoring matchup between two very good quarterbacks, Dan Persa from Northwestern and Chance Harnish from Northern Illinois.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

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    Illinois vs. UCLA

    San Francisco, CA.

    December 31, 2011 at 12:00pm Eastern

    TV: ESPN

    It was the tale of two seasons for Illinois this year. The Fighting Illini started the season 6-0 and looked primed for a breakout year. Illinois ended the season going 0-6 with a blowout 27-7 loss to Minnesota on Saturday.

    Illinois will receive an at-large bid to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

    Unless UCLA pulls out a miracle win over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game, the Bruins will be Illinois' opponent for this game. It will be interesting to see if Illinois is able to put an end to this losing streak or if they finish the season with seven straight losses.