Post Spring Ball 2010 BCS and Big Ten Bowl Projections

Now that we've had a chance to take a closer look at the squads...now that we know who went pro and who hung around...it's time to revisit those bowl projections.  

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They won't lose to Iowa State this year.

Before we start, I want to place an emphasis on 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. (This isn't new)
  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. (This is new)
  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. (This is new and huge)
  4. The Gator Bowl picks its Big Ten team ahead of the Insight Bowl this year.  It will rotate the other way next year. (This is new)
  5. For the full rules on BCS selections, look here
Let's emphasize number 3 a bit more.  If Ohio State (or Wisconsin...or Iowa...) runs the table and qualifies for the BCS Championship game, the Rose Bowl WILL NOT be able to pick the Big Ten runner-up to match against the Pac-10 champion (like it did with Illinois in 2007 and Michigan in 2006) IF (and only if) there is a non-BCS conference team in the Top 12 of the final BCS standings, the non-BCS team will have to be selected.  Had this rule been introduced in 2006, Boise State would have played USC in the Rose Bowl, not Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.  Had the rule been introduced in 2007, Hawaii would have played USC in the Rose Bowl, not Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.  This will happen ONLY THE FIRST TIME that both a) the Rose Bowl loses a Pac-10 or Big 10 team and 2) a non-BCS team finishes in the Top 12 of the BCS standings occur in the same season.

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


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Think this matchup would hasten expansion talk?

By the way, if you're a Big Ten fan who doesn't live in Columbus, you had to hate the NFL Draft.  Ohio State didn't have anyone drafted until AFTER Ohio University had a player go.  Now that could be because 1) last year's Buckeyes were bad (NO. Won the league and Rose Bowl); 2) last year's team was made of gritty overachievers who lack the speed and strength necessary for the NFL (NO. Move along); or 3) all the good players are coming back. (Crap.)

Nebraska has a schedule that sets up nicely.  They'll beat a reloading Texas team in Lincoln.  They should also handle Oklahoma in the Big XII Championship Game. The other games will only be a problem if I'm misjudging them.

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From the bluest turf on earth to the greenest. The Rose Bowl gets hit with the non-AQ clause in year one of the four year agreement.  My guess is that even with a loss to Va. Tech, 11-1 Boise State still finishes as the highest non-AQ (and in the Top 12).  That means that the Rose Bowl will have to take them.

I have no idea who will win the Pac-10. Can Oregon do it without Massoli?  Can Washington, Stanford, or UCLA make the leap and get to Pasadena?  Can Cal be best without Best? For now, meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

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One-loss Alabama will argue that it's a better team than Nebraska and Ohio State. SEC speed, you know.  The argument doesn't hold in 2010, as the defending champ's defense (and the conference as a whole) lose too many players to go undefeated and make it to the title game.

Iowa is the bridesmaid again. They'll lose to Ohio State and one other game, but 10-2 gets them (and 40,000 black and yellow fans) to New Orleans.

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I'm on the Florida State bandwagon.  This is the year that they get it all working together.

This at large pick really comes down to the fact that I don't think that Florida wins the SEC East. If not Georgia, maybe it's (finally) the year that South Carolina breaks through.  Either way, I think that Florida takes a step back.

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It wouldn't surprise me for Oklahoma to be undefeated heading into the Big 12 championship game.  Even if not, if they finish 11-2, they'll be the easy pick to replace the Huskers.

UConn?  Really?  Really. They were thisclose last season, losing five games by 15 total points.  With West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh all debuting new QBs (and having to travel to Connecticut), I think that this is a Husky year.  The Fiesta has last choice, and gets stuck with the Big East champ.

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If it's Orlando, it must be Wisconsin.  

Since Urban Meyer has decided to stick around, Florida won't fall too far. Let's peg them at 9-3.

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Last year, I predicted 8-4 for Michigan and I was off by three games.  I'm doing it again. 

South Carolina? This is probably Spurrier's last best chance to make something of the program.  Unfortunately, all he can do is elevate them to the level that Lou Holtz did.

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Last year I predicted 8-4 for Penn State, and I was off by two games.  I'm doing it again, with losses at Alabama, at Iowa, at Ohio State, and versus Michigan.  It's not as shocking this year, is it?

This is the 7th team out of the SEC (two in the BCS, Cap One, Outback, Cotton, Chik-Fil-A), so expect a 7-5 team. 

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Purdue looks like an improved 7-5 team to me. 

The Insight now gets the third post-BCS choice of the Big 12 (Cotton, Alamo, Insight).  My guess is that the league is sweet to Mizzou until this whole Big Ten expansion talk goes away.  

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The Belt Buckle Bowl is a new addition designed to keep a Big Ten presence in Texas during the bowl season. 7-5 Michigan State makes sense here.  

An improving Baylor team (with a healthy Robert Griffin) also fits nicely.

DALLAS

FOOTBALL

CLASSIC

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Northwestern's defense prevents this team from being any better than 7-5. The Classic replaces the old Motor City Bowl slot, and will pit the Big Ten against either the Big 12 or a West Division team from Conference USA. 2010 sees a C-USA team. 

Unless June Jones has SMU in the Liberty Bowl (as the C-USA Champion) expect the hometown Mustangs to christen this game that still has official logo.

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So we still have Detroit, huh? It's a new slot for the Motor City Bowl. It doesn't matter.  The Big Ten will fill this spot once at most in the next four years.  

The Sun Belt goes when the Big Ten can't. I'll be honest.  I threw a dart on the Sun Belt pick.  I haven't analyzed that league yet.

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Sadly, all 11 Big Ten squads won't make it to bowl games.  Those that don't will be "On the Couch with the Queso Bowl (sponsored by Ro*Tel)."  Indiana seems destined for a 4 or 5 win season.  I just can't find the 6th win for them.  

Illinois is looking at 2-4 at the halfway point (losing to Mizzou, Ohio State, at Penn State, and at Michigan State). That means they'd need to win their home games against Purdue, Indiana, and Minnesota and sneak one road win against Fresno State, Michigan, or Northwestern. Possible? Sure.  But would you bet on Ron Zook?

Minnesota will be the worst team in the Big Ten.  I see 1 Big Ten win for them - and that may be optimistic.

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