Bowl Projections - Post Week 6

Like I said in the offseason, no one is getting through the SEC season undefeated. As long as Ohio State and Nebraska (or Oregon) take care of business, there should be an SEC-free BCS Championship Game for the first time in 5 years. And yes, I'm assuming that Auburn and LSU will drop a game soon enough.

In the Big Ten, my sudden question marks are Purdue and Penn State. Purdue's upset at Northwestern means that there is a road to six wins. Penn State's loss to Illinois means that six wins suddenly aren't guaranteed. The certainty is that Michigan State is, barring an incredible collapse, going to no worse than the Capital One Bowl.

Now remember, these are projections, not "if the season ended today" picks. I'm accounting for what I think will happen in the remaining weeks. Here are the Rules for 2010.

  1. 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.
  2. The order of BCS selection is 1) Replacement for #1 Team; 2) Replacement for #2 Team; 3) Sugar Bowl; 4) Orange Bowl; 5) Fiesta Bowl.
  3. If a Big Ten or Pac-10 team qualifies for the BCS Championship Game, the Rose Bowl will be required to take a non-automatic qualifier.  This will only be required of the Rose Bowl the first time it occurs over the next four years. 
  4. The Gator Bowl picks its Big Ten team ahead of the Insight Bowl this year.  It will rotate the other way next year.

Got it?  Good.  Let's get on to the projections.

Bcs_championship_logo2010_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Ohio_st_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Nebraska_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Ohio State got their act together versus Indiana (or, the press sold Illinois short last week). Nebraska looked fantastic versus K-State. Is Mizzou the Huskers' toughest remaining regular season game?
Rosebowl_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Oregon_medium_medium Boise_st_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium I think that Oregon slips up once, but otherwise, we could have a heckuva debate among the undefeateds.
Sugarbowl_2006_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Alabama_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Michigan_st_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

I hate so I called it, but I totally did. Bama 1) was on the road; 2) at a ranked foe; 3) after an emotional win. It's obvious in hindsight. For an 11-1 SEC Champ to go to the BCS Title game, they'll need losses by 2 of 3 of Ohio State, Oregon, and the Nebraska/Oklahoma winner PLUS to win the argument over a 12-0 Boise and TCU. Tough road.

Sparty has 11-1 in their sights, and if they can win at Iowa, look out for 12-0.

Orangebowl_2010_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Florida_st_medium Auburn_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

Florida State has pretty solid control of their division, which is more than anyone else can say in the ACC. 

This is the likely spot for a second SEC team, and 11-1 Auburn fits the bill.

Fiestabowl_2006_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Oklahoma_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium West_virginia_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium The teams may change, but it still points to Big 12 Runner Up versus Big East champ.
Capitalonebowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Iowa_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Arkansas_medium I expect the top three picks from the SEC to come from the West Division. This would be a very interesting matchup.
Outbackbowl_2008_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Wisconsin_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Florida_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

I'm trying not to over-react to Wisconsin's win over Minnesota, but they could give Ohio State a scare, right? 

South Carolina will go to Florida with the East Division on the line. Florida will win there, and end up in the Outback after the SEC Championship Game loss.

Gatorbowl_2008_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Michigan_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Kentucky2_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

I see Kentucky getting to six wins easier than Georgia.

The wins by Illinois and Purdue just made the Wolverine schedule look a lot tougher. I still see 8 wins.

Insightbowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Northwestern_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Oklahoma_st_medium

This may be selling Oklahoma State short. They may be the third best team in the Big 12.

Northwestern can defeat, and lose to, every team on their remaining schedule.

Texasbowl_non_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Penn_state_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Texas_tech_medium

I think that Penn State can still get to 7 wins, but I also wouldn't be shocked to see them end up with six. Or five. Draw comparisons to Bear Bryant in the Liberty Bowl if you so choose.

This will be a 6-6 Big 12 team. Texas Tech may fit the bill.

Dallasclassic_2010_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Illinois_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Utep_medium

Yes, Illinois beat Penn State. But if the two teams have the same record, Penn State wins that selection. 

This will be a Western Division team from C-USA. 

Littlecaesarsbowl_2009_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Middle_tennessee_st_medium
Northern_illinois_medium

The Big Ten can't fill it's spot, and the Pizza Bowl is obligated to the second choice from the Sun Belt when that happens. 

Temple, NIU, and Toledo look like the early favorites in the MAC. We'll give Northern the nod after the win over Temple.

Images_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Purdue_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium
Indiana_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium
Minnesota_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

When you can't get to six wins, you know that you'll spend the bowl season On the Couch with the Queso Bowl (sponsored by Ro*Tel).

Indiana and Purdue both have viable routes to six wins. I just think that they fall short. 

Minnesota is still very bad. How's that for final insight...

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