BCS Bowl Predictions: Stock Report for the Top 5 Bowl Contenders
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The vital signs of the college football BCS' top-five bowl contenders are evident. Dominance comes in purple and gold. But what about the other BCS bowl game contenders? Should Alabama play for the national title? Does undefeated Houston deserve a chance at BCS fame?
Unless you live under a rock or you failed to pay your power bill, there are some teams paired with their predicted bowls that—like it or not—are favored this week for a sweet ride to a BCS bowl game. If you do live under a rock and are still sitting in the dark, here's the criteria to get them there.
Teams are paired according to the BCS' official selection procedural rules. The top two teams in the final BCS Standings will play in the National Championship. The champions of the Big 10 Conference will go to the Rose Bowl. The Big 12 champion will go to the Fiesta Bowl. The Pac-12 Conference winner will go to the Rose Bowl, and the Southeastern Conference champion will play in the Sugar Bowl.
There are some at-large opportunities and some ifs, ands and buts to the equation, but all that aside, here's our look at a crazy BCS bowl season that looms and the teams that will make it to the top.
Alabama Has Earned an Invite to the National Championship
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is all smiles after the Tide's defeat of Auburn.
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The pearly whites of Alabama coach Nick Saban caught the cameras last night at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Auburn setting of ecstatic 'Bama fans catching Saban's smiles sealed the last of the "must-dos" for the Crimson Tide.
The Tide needed a decisive win over Auburn to reclaim their argument that they are the second best college football team, deserving of a rematch with LSU in the national championship.
Taking stock of this team, the lineup on Saturday was as fierce as a gang of ferocious Folsom Prison inmates. Trent Richardson, a massive block of muscle, unleashed on the Auburn defense as if they were a high school team scrimmaging on a summer afternoon.
Quarterback A.J. McCarron took command of his offense like a Stabler or a Namath, sans one costly fumble-ball rip that resulted in an Auburn score. The 'Bama defense lived up to its billing, and the kicking game was right on.
Case in point, the Crimson Tide's performance has earned them the right to play in the BCS National Championship game that pits them against the No. 1 team in the nation...a team that beat them by just three points in overtime.
Taking Stock in Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State must forget the past and move toward its matchup with Oklahoma next weekend.
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Call it the calm before the storm.
Still reeling from their double-overtime loss (37-31) to Iowa State, Oklahoma State sat idle this week. With rest and some adjustments, these Cowboys will have fresh legs come Dec. 3. But this is not just a game with rival Oklahoma. There's a lot more at stake than an in-state rivalry game and a BCS berth invite.
Yes, the Iowa State sting was painful, but was it lethal? We don't think so. If Oklahoma State can secure the Big 12 South title by beating Oklahoma next weekend, a BCS bowl game invitation is in the mail.
Providing the Cowboys defeat the Sooners, a trip to the BCS Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and a matchup with Stanford (Big 12 No. 1 versus BCS) present a nice picture for the rowdy boys from Okie State.
Last year, the Sooners decided this heated matchup with the win. In 2009, the Sooners took Oklahoma State out of the national championship hunt with a 27-0 win. They went on that year to lose to Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl for too many bad memories.
But this is a new day and a new year for Oklahoma State, and the past two weeks have been filled with ups and downs. Perched at No. 3 in most polls, they're out to prove—like 'Bama did to Auburn—that eyes should be set in Stillwater for some win-laced therapy and renewed spirits.
Taking Stock of Stanford
Call it Luck, but this Stanford team is likely heading to a BCS bowl.
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Andrew Luck's walk off the field likened a Disney movie with a happy ending.
Luck had just led his team to a high definition win over Notre Dame (28-14), setting the school's record for passing 233 yards and four scores. Replete with the dramas that win Oscars for acting, Luck's fame last night also topped John Elway's record of 77 touchdown passes.
All of this outstanding play doesn't go unnoticed. More than likely, the Cards will be under the watchful BCS eyes for an at-large BCS bowl bid, and more than likely, they'll be feeling the Arizona sun at the Fiesta Bowl.
Although this team would prefer playing for the national championship, those dreams were diminished when they lost 53-30 to the Oregon Ducks.
Dreams often end with the morning light and with the luck of the Irish, Stanford is poised for Part Deux coming soon to the BCS lineup of bowl games.
Taking Stock of the Hokies
Frank Beamer is no stranger to winning.
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Steady she holds. That's Virginia Tech's stance on the climb to the top of the BCS. With LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Stanford holding on to their rankings, the Hokies have sailed as high as they can go...at least for the time being.
Beating Virginia after a locker-room tongue lashing by senior wide receiver Danny Coale, the Hokies won the state rivalry. Now they head to Charlotte for the ACC Conference Championship next weekend against the Clemson Tigers.
The Hokies (11-1, 7-1 ACC) will meet a bruised Clemson (9-3, 6-2 ACC) for the conference title and another chance to prove to the voters that they are worthy of a BCS bowl berth.
If they win, they'll head South to Miami Gardens and play West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.