2010 Bowl Projections - Post Week 10

When I was a boy, I watched the old "Road" movies with my mother. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby would always be involved in a convoluted plot, but the travels added a level of charm. In in the end, they always ended up safe (with Dorothy Lamour on Bing's arm). This week was no "Road to Morocco," or "Road to Zanzibar," and definitely not the "Road to Utopia" in college football.

We saw Alabama see it's National Championship dreams die in Louisiana. We saw Oklahoma and Missouri see their BCS at large dreams die in Texas. We saw Arizona see their Pac-10 Championship dreams die in California. And that doesn't even account for the road struggles by Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, Nebraska, NC State, Baylor, and Texas. No, there will be no joyous Road movies made from Week 10.

But for every road misstep, there was a home victory (or at least, exciting near miss). And those have jumbled the projections. Again. We're looking at all 35 bowls this week. But before we do, Remember the Rules:

  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.

Lamourlg_medium

11championship_medium Oregon_medium_medium Auburn_medium_medium

Oregon is flat out scary right now. Do you see Arizona, Cal, or Oregon State giving them trouble, let alone beating them? I don't.

Here's the thing that should upset the little guys: I'm thinking that if Auburn wins against Georgia and in the SEC Championship game, they may not need to win at Alabama to make it here.

Rosebowl_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Ohio_st_medium_medium Texas_christian_medium_medium

I think that Ohio State will win the Big Ten's three-way 11-1 (8-1) tiebreaker in the BCS standings. 

With the win over Utah, and a better conference helping their numbers, I project that TCU will pass Boise State and earn the Rose Bowl bid as the replacement for Oregon.

Sugarbowl_2006_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Lsu_medium_medium Boise_st_medium_medium

11-1 LSU (the strangest 11-1 team of all time?) is an easy replacement choice for the Sugar Bowl.

And, considering that 1) they won't need to worry about filling the stadium with LSU there and 2) the TV ratings that Boise drew against Virginia Tech, the Broncos get the call to the Big Easy. You're telling me you wouldn't want to watch the SEC vs. Boise?

Orange_medium Virginia_tech_medium_medium Wisconsin_medium_medium

It's Virginia Tech and a lot of mediocrity in the ACC. I'll take Tech to win the title.

Here's where last night was a huge help to the Big Ten. The losses by Oklahoma and Mizzou ensure that there won't be an at-large one loss team from the Big 12. That makes Wisconsin (or potentially Sparty or Iowa) the likely pick in Miami. Geography makes it doubtful that Stanford will be selected here.

Fiestabowl_2006_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Oklahoma_medium_medium Pittsburgh_medium_medium

I'm taking the Sooners to win the Bedlam Game and the Big 12 Championship over Nebraska. Nebraska and Oklahoma State still have a shot here, too.

It's Pitt and a lot of sub-mediocrity in the Big East. You can just about write Pitt in pen here.

Capitalonebowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Michigan_st_medium_medium Alabama_medium_medium 11-1 Sparty faces a 9 or 10 win Alabama team. Yes, expect long stories about Coach Saban's tenure in East Lansing.
Outbackbowl_2008_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Iowa_medium_medium Florida_medium_medium 9-3 Iowa against the SEC East champion. Unless there is a shocking upset in the SEC Title game, you can put the Florida/South Carolina winner from next week here.
Gator_medium Penn_st_medium_medium South_carolina_old13_medium_medium

Could Penn State jump Iowa? If they upset either Michigan State or Ohio State, beat Indiana, AND JoePa announces that the bowl will be his last game, it's likely. Otherwise, with 7 wins, they'll be pretty much locked in to the #5 spot.

This will be either the dejected loser of the Florida-South Carolina game, or Mississippi State.

Insightbowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Michigan_medium_medium Missouri1_medium_medium

With the win over Illinois (and Northwestern's collapse at Penn State), Michigan looks locked as the Number 6 pick from the Big Ten - just don't lose to Purdue.

And, how many points will Mizzou put against the Wolverine "defense?"  No, more than that. Missouri seems set as the fourth pick from the Big 12. With only one BCS team, that'll mean playing here.

 

Texasbowl_non_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Illinois_medium_medium Texas_am_medium_medium

Illinois will likely get the nod over Northwestern - and yes, I'm picking the Illini to win in Wrigley Field.

Texas, A&M, Baylor, and Texas Tech are likely to all finish 7-5. You can mix and match them for the bottom three Big 12 Bowls...

Dallasclassic_2010_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Northwestern_medium_medium Baylor_medium_medium

...but I'm guessing that Baylor gets chosen last - and that's here in Dallas.

Northwestern brings up the rear of the Big Ten selections.

Littlecaesarsbowl_2009_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Northern_illinois_medium_medium Middle_tennessee_st_medium_medium

If Indiana hangs on to the ball in the endzone, they have a game against Purdue for a trip to Detroit. As it is, the Big Ten's slot goes to the third team from the Sun Belt.

NIU wins the MAC and gets the call to Detroit.

Images_medium_medium_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_medium_medium
Indiana_medium_medium_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_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).

In the third quarter, it looked like the Old Oaken Bucket would be a playoff for bowl eligibility. Then, Wisconsin started rolling. Then, Iowa won the nail biter. Now it'll be a game to get 5 wins and a wooden bucket.

Minnesota has shown that they can score on every Big Ten team...after the second string is put in. 1-11? Very likely, 1-11.

And the rest...

Fighthunger_bowl_sm_medium_medium Nevada_medium_medium Texas_old5_medium_medium The WAC will send it's second best team here for the matchup with the Pac-10. When the Pac-10 can't fill the slot, 6-6 Texas takes the bid. If Texas is 6-6, they cannot be selected over the 7-5 teams in the league. With 8 teams with 7 wins and 8 bids, that will make Texas a free agent for any of the unclaimed slots.
Bbvacompassbowl_medium Iowa_st_medium Louisville_medium The same for Texas goes for 6-6 Iowa State. As a BCS League, they'll get picked over the C-USA and MAC teams available. I suspect that they'll take a matchup against another BCS team if possible. This should be an SEC team, but the league can't fill the slot. Louisville's upset in Syracuse makes 6-6 likely.
Cotton_ann_medium Nebraska_medium_medium Arkansas_medium_medium After losing the Big 12 title game to Oklahoma, Nebraska falls to the Cotton Bowl. There, they'll meet either Alabama or Arkansas. I project the Hogs after they drop a close one to LSU.
2304e465-bbf8-4789-a6e7-724fabd68a81_medium_medium Temple_old8_medium_medium Arkansas_st_medium Formerly the GMAC Bowl, Temple and Arkansas State get selected as the second choices from their respective conferences.
Chickfila_bowl_sm_medium_medium Mississippi_st_medium_medium Florida_st_medium_medium

Mississippi State breaks college football sound records with the cowbells in the dome. If State can upset Arkansas or Alabama, the Cotton Bowl is definitely in play.

Florida State gets the first at large selection from the ACC. If they lose to Florida and Virginia Tech in their last two games, they may drop a slot.

Libertybowl_2004_medium_medium Central_florida_medium_medium Kentucky2_medium_medium

I have UCF winning Conference USA. My faith in ECU was shaken by their performance yesterday against Navy.

Kentucky is the last eligible SEC team, and heads over to Memphis.

Sun_medium_medium Oregon_st_medium_medium Miami_fl_medium_medium This is fourth pick from the ACC and Pac-10. It's also a rare trip west for Miami.
Meinekecarcarebowl_sm_2005_medium_medium North_carolina_st_medium_medium South_florida_old3_medium This Charlotte game will take one of the North Carolina schools or Clemson. That'll fill the seats. South Florida is likely the best option of Big East teams for a competitive game.
Holiday_medium_medium Arizona_medium_medium Kansas_st_medium_medium Number 3 from the Pac-10 and Number 5 from the Big 12. Arizona will look to atone for last season's bomb in San Diego. Kansas State is quietly one of the best turnarounds in college football. When you list best coaches to have not won a national championship, don't forget Bill Snyder.
Musiccity_medium_medium Clemson_medium_medium Georgia_medium_medium Music City Bowl would be thrilled to have these two playing - even in down years for both teams. 
Pinstripebowl_2010_sm_medium_medium Syracuse_medium_medium Texas_tech_old9_medium_medium Nearby Syracuse helps with attendance. Texas Tech is in the three-way pick off with Baylor and A&M. It could be any of those Big 12 teams.
Armedforcesbowl_logo_medium_medium Army_old6_medium_medium Southern_methodist_medium

Army will lock up this bowl slot with a win over Kent State on Saturday.

When the Mountain West can't fill this slot, SMU steps in and drives across the Metroplex to the game.

Alamobowl_2007sm_medium_medium Oklahoma_st_medium_medium Stanford_old8_medium_medium Number 3 from the Big 12 versus Number 2 from the Pac-10. The matchup may not have the traditional name brands, but it should be an excellent game.
Military_medium_medium Maryland_medium_medium East_carolina_medium_medium DC is happy to welcome nearby Maryland. ECU is a good fit from C-USA.
Champssportsbowl_2004_medium_medium North_carolina_medium_medium West_virginia_medium_medium Third from the ACC, we'll assume that UNC isn't hit with probation before the bowls. West Virginia is the first post-champion pick from the Big East. Should be a fun game.
Independencebowl_2009_sm_medium_medium Georgia_tech_medium_medium Air_force_old2_medium_medium Like option football? Have I got a game for you. 
Hawaiibowl_2003_medium_medium Hawaii_medium_medium Tulsa_medium_medium Hawai'i stays home for their bowl game and welcomes a C-USA team. This year it's Tulsa.
Poinsettiabowl_small_2006_medium_medium San_diego_st_medium Navy_medium_medium San Diego State returns to a bowl for the first time in over a decade. They'll do it at home. Navy has already clinched this bid.
Lasvegasbowl_maaco_2009_sm_medium_medium Utah_medium_medium California_medium_medium Utah heads to Vegas as the runner up in the Mountain West. They'll face the fifth team from the Pac-10. Arizona State's loss late last night makes it very likely to be Cal.
Peters_medium_medium Rutgers_medium_medium Southern_mississippi_medium_medium Big East versus C-USA. They'll mix and match teams to get their order. This seems as likely as any pairing.
Neworleans_new_medium Troy_medium_medium Houston_old8_medium_medium Sun Belt champion Troy heads to New Orleans (again) for an interesting matchup with a team that had dreams of so much more.
Humanitarian_medium_medium Ohio_old11_medium Utep_medium_medium Ohio gets the bid as the number three pick from the MAC. UTEP fills in as an at large when the WAC can't fill the slot.
Newmexico_medium Byu_medium_medium Fresno_st_medium_medium Likely the last eligible teams from the Mountain West and WAC. BYU should travel well, at least.

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