It's hard to believe that on a blustery Saturday night, we're done. Didn't this season just start? Weren't we just watching games with heat advisories? For the sake of accountability, I'll note that I correctly picked 4 of the 10 BCS teams in my opening projections in January 2010 - I correctly picked Oklahoma, Oregon, Ohio State, and Connecticut getting to the BCS. Now, I did have Oregon in the Rose and Ohio State playing for the national championship. Those picks are also old enough that I also had USC as an at large team - they could still dream of that in January.
And so now we're done. If the 2010 season has done anything, it has put a stake through the heart of the adage that defense wins championships. Because whether it's the Ducks or the Tigers that get the glass football, it won't be because of their defense. It also will be remembered as an end of an era. From 1996-2010, the landscape among the four best conferences was stable. Now, we see a cannibalized Big 12, an expanded Big Ten, and a bigger (though not as big as once dreamed) Pac-12. College Football will be different in 2011. And, that's not good or bad. It's just different. So let's enjoy these bowl games and take a cup of kindness yet. For auld lang syne.
One last time, remember the rules:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
|Let's be honest. We were all hoping to have Oregon finish number one so that they can pick whatever crazy uniform combination that they want, right?|
|I'd like to think that the Wisconsin offensive line is going to run all over TCU. I also fear what Andy Dalton could do to the Badger defense.|
|I love this matchup. I also love this as an opportunity for Ohio State to finally exorcise their SEC-Bowl demons.|
|I'm guessing that the Orange Bowl picks the better matchup, and not the more local team. If it was West Virginia representing the Big East, they'd be here. But, I don't think that the Orange wants an ACC/Big East matchup that no one but alumni will care about.|
|Should be a BCS blowout in the line of Florida-Cincinnati or Georgia-Hawaii. Unless there is another Stoops BCS choke, I look for this game to be ugly.|
|It may not be a BCS Bowl, but Sparty does get a great matchup with a former coach and his defending champions. Alabama gets chosen over LSU, which was in Orlando last year.|
|My guess is that there really isn't much debate on the Big Ten side. I also suspect that the Outback is only thinking about someone other than the Gamecocks due to the ugliness of the final score in Atlanta yesterday.|
|Florida's offense versus Michigan's defense...could be ugly. And I don't know how I mean that exactly.|
Yes, Iowa gets passed over by two teams with identical records that it beat. They also end this season the way that they will end next year's regular season - with the Huskers. I am projecting Mizzou as the last of the top five Big 12 teams selected. Could Dan Beebe lean on the bowls to see that Missouri goes here and ex-patriot Nebraska falls to the Holiday? Absolutely.
|It appears that the Illini were headed to Houston win or lose. That said, there is no excuse for dropping that game in Fresno. This will be Baylor or Texas Tech...|
|with the other playing in Dallas on New Year's Day. Either way, we will have some combination of a Lincoln-LoneStar showdown.|
Because the Big Ten can't fill this slot (something that won't be said after the league has 12 members), the third pick from the Sun Belt gets to go. The Blue Raiders upset of FIU on Saturday punched their ticket to Detroit.
On the MAC side, I look for the bowl to pick a team that wasn't just in town for the league championship (they'll go to Mobile and Boise). Ohio makes a lot of sense.
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).
Five months until Spring practice, men.