2011 Bowl Projections: Predicting BCS Bowl Matchups
After another college football season filled with chaos, the BCS picture is finally taking shape.
The BCS Bowl Games will be filled with the usual suspects along with an unfamiliar team or two.
Who will make the BCS cut and who will not?
The Orange Bowl picks the winner of the ACC, which will be the No. 5 Virginia Hokies. The Hokies have an impressive win over Georgia Tech and will add to their resume by beating the No. 20 Clemson Tigers (9-3, 6-2 ACC).
Their opponent will be an at-large bid by the No. 7 Boise State Broncos (10-1, 5-1 Mountain West), who lost their chance at the title game when the TCU Horned Frogs upset them 38-35.
The Broncos, who beat ranked Georgia and Tulsa, have an impressive offense that is led by senior quarterback Kellen Moore, who is a Heisman Trophy candidate.
The Sugar Bowl usually has the SEC champion if the team is not playing in the BCS National Championship Game.
With the champion playing for all the marbles, the committee will likely select the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks to maintain an SEC presence.
The Razorbacks (10-2, 6-2 SEC) are a great football team but are cursed in being in the same division as the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide, the two teams that beat them.
Adding to the southern flavor will be the No. 6 Houston Cougars (12-0, 8-0 Conference USA). They have wins over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-4, 7-1 Conference USA) and will add another by beating No. 24 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (10-2, 6-2 Conference USA).
The Courages have the nation's top offense and arguably the greatest quarterback in FBS history in Case Keenum.
The Rose Bowl is the easy one to pick, pitting the winners of the Pac-12 and the Big Ten in an epic clash.
This year's teams will be the No. 9 Oregon Ducks (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) and the No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten).
The Ducks beat the Stanford Cardinal and the Arizona State Sun Devils while losing to LSU and the USC Trojans. Beating the UCLA Bruins (6-7, 5-4 Pac-12) for the Pac-12 title was a cakewalk.
Meanwhile, the Badgers disposed of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Penn State Nittany Lions while they will beat the No. 13 Michigan State Spartans (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) to avenge a last second loss earlier in the year.
Both Oregon and Wisconsin had teams talented enough to make the national championship, but both squads suffered tough losses to thwart those dreams.
The Rose Bowl might very well be the most entertaining bowl game to watch, as both offenses score over 44 points a game while stars such as Oregon running back LaMichael James and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball pepper the field.
The Fiesta Bowl will nab the Big 12 champion as its contractually obliged to, and that will bring in the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1, 7-1 Big 12).
The Cowboys raked up trophy wins over Texas A&M, Texas and Kansas State, but lost in double overtime to the Iowa State Cyclones. Oklahoma State will play inspired football against No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) to snag the conference title.
Star quarterback Andrew Luck and his No. 4 Stanford Cardinal (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) will take the other spot as an at-large bid. Stanford has a top resume with wins over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, USC and Washington Huskies.
Of these projected bowls, which would be the most exciting?
The game will feature top NFL quarterback prospects Luck and Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden, while the Cowboys' Justin Blackmon will be the top receiver selected in the NFL draft.
BCS National Championship Game
This will not be a surprise for anyone, as the No. 1 LSU Tigers (12-0, 8-0 SEC) and No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 SEC) will have a rematch to see who is the 2011 king of college football.
LSU will dispose of the No. 14 Georgia Bulldogs (10-2, 6-2 SEC) to win the conference championship. Alabama will hold off Oklahoma State as their lone loss was a 9-6 overtime defeat to LSU, while the Cowboys fell to unranked Iowa State 37-31 in double overtime.
If their Nov. 5 matchup is any indication, teams still want to prove to America who is the nation's top team.
Star players abound from both teams on offense and defense to create a memorable game, with the top players being cornerback Tyrann Mathieu of LSU and running back Trent Richardson of Alabama.
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