2009 Bowl Projections - Post Week 4

There is no real pecking order in the Big Ten yet.  That said, it's most interesting on the cusp of failure.  Purdue has outperformed my expectations in quality.  However, I don't see 5 wins in conference for them.  That means a bowl season on the couch with the queso.  Four other teams have reached crossroads.  Michigan State will need to find four Big Ten wins to get bowl elligible (I'm giving them their cupcake as a W).  From what I saw this weekend, that won't be easy.  Indiana needs two wins in the Big Ten (assuming that they can beat a bad Virginia team in Charlottesville).  That's why letting the Michigan game slip away was so huge.  Northwestern will need three Big Ten wins.  I think they can do it, but it likely comes at the expense of Illinois, who needs 5 wins between a tough conference schedule and their season ending games with Cincinnati and Fresno.

In putting these projections together, I threw out all of my preseason assumptions.  One-third of the season, and a conference matchup, is enough to begin to make reasoned observations (as reasoned as my small mind can make), not just preseason predictions.  The projections follow below.

40ffca82-b318-4fd0-aa2f-ddb2fc90d129_medium

Are Sparty's bowl hopes being tipped away?

Remember the rules.

  1. These are projections.  I am taking into account what will happen in future games, not assigning teams based upon current standings.
  2. The best teams don't always go to the best games.  In the end, butts in the seat and eyes to the television are the biggest factors.  
  3. The order of BCS selection is 1) Replacement for #1 Team; 2) Replacement for #2 Team; 3) Orange Bowl; 4) Fiesta Bowl; 5) Sugar Bowl.
  4. The Champs Bowl picks its Big Ten team ahead of the Alamo Bowl this year.
  5. For the full rules on BCS selections, look here
Bcs_championship_logo2009_sm_medium_medium Alabama_medium_medium_medium Texas_old5_medium_medium_medium No one has played 4 better games than Alabama.  Can Saban's defense contain Tebow in an SEC Championship game?  Maybe.
Orangebowl_2005_small_medium_medium Virginia_tech_medium Iowa_medium_medium_medium Virginia Tech is the best the ACC has -- for whatever that is worth.  As for Iowa, the road schedule is still daunting, but 10-2 and BCS at large seems much more likely after last night.
Fiestabowl_2006_medium_medium Notre_dame_medium_medium_medium Texas_christian_medium_medium_medium I really like this TCU team.  I also like the chances of Notre Dame finishing 10-2 and going to the BCS.
Sugarbowl_2006_sm_medium_medium Florida_medium_medium_medium Cincinnati_medium_medium Sugar Bowl will take Florida to fill the spot of SEC Champion Alabama.  They get last pick also and get the Big East Champ.
Rosebowl_small_medium_medium Ohio_st_medium_medium_medium Southern_california_medium They are the best team in the Big 10.  I am lost with the Pac-10.  You could put Oregon or Cal here, but I have little faith in either.
Capitalonebowl2002_small_medium_medium Michigan_medium_medium_medium Mississippi_medium_medium_medium Michigan has to frighten every team in the Big Ten. I guess I trust Ole Miss more than LSU.  They're both going to need to improve their offenses though.
Outbackbowl_2008_sm_medium_medium Penn_state_medium_medium_medium Georgia_medium_medium Penn State is a very good team with a fatal flaw, but how many teams can expose the O-Line the way Iowa did?  Georgia is a good, but not great, team that has just found ways to win.
Champssportsbowl_2004_medium_medium Minnesota_medium_medium_medium North_carolina_medium_medium I think that the Minnesota/Wisconsin winner ends up as the 5th Big Ten team.  I pick the Gophers.  I also don't know if the Champs Bowl will want the Badgers back in Florida for the 143rd straight bowl season.
Alamobowl_2007sm_medium_medium Wisconsin_medium_medium_medium Kansas_medium_medium I would love to see this matchup for the contrast in styles.
Insightbowl2002_small_medium_medium Northwestern_medium_medium_medium Texas_tech_medium I can see the wins on the schedule, but there are some things that better get fixed fast.
Images_medium_medium_medium Michigan_st_medium_medium_medium Central_michigan_medium_medium_medium Do you see more than four Big Ten wins on the schedule?  6-6 and Detroit sounds right.  The bowl has had Central Michigan in a rematch before...
Images_medium_medium_medium Indiana_medium_medium_medium

Illinois_medium_medium_medium

Purdue_medium_medium_medium

It's not that Illinois started 1-2.  It's that nothing they've done has given me any faith that they can find 5 wins on this schedule.  So, they join their eastern neighbors in the On the Couch with the Rotel Queso Bowl.

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