Post Week 13 - 2011 Bowl Projections

It's all about pecking orders at this point. Where does your team rate against its peers. Some teams get a bump because of name brands and history. Some teams are only chosen because they have to be. In the Big Ten, the order tends to work itself on merit most years. The new wrinkle this year will be the B1G Championship loser. 

It will be a very unusual year that will see the Championship Game loser get to the BCS. Look to the SEC and (old) Big 12 as a guide. You're in a better position finishing with 1 or 2 losses and being runner up in a division than losing the Title game. Whether it's Wisconsin or Michigan State, I expect that the loser will not go to the BCS. I also expect that they'll get passed over for the Capital One Bowl. Get used to seeing the Title Game loser in the Outback Bowl. This won't be the last time that happens.

As for the projections, let's remember that there are 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) Fiesta Bowl; 4) Sugar Bowl; 5) Orange Bowl.
  3. Until a team is officially bowl banned, we assume that they can and will go. So, no USC. And now, no Miami. Ohio State, Oregon, North Carolina...you're in consideration until otherwise notified.
  4. If a Big Ten or Pac-10 team qualifies for the BCS Championship Game, the Rose Bowl will NOT be required to take a non-automatic qualifier.  This was only required of the Rose Bowl the first time (2010 season) it occurred over the current four-year contract. 
  5. The Insight Bowl picks its Big Ten team ahead of the Gator Bowl this year.  It will rotate the other way next year.

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

Bcs_championship_logo2011_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Lsu_medium Alabama_medium Can anyone give LSU a better game than Alabama? Arkansas is a really good football team. I think that they're dead even with Oklahoma State. They can't stay within 24 points of these teams. I hate the idea of a rematch, but if you want the best two teams, here they are.
Rosebowl_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Wisconsin_medium Oregon_old19_medium Rose Bowl is happy. It gets its conference anchors and the two teams that are generally acknowledged to be the best in each league.
Fiestabowl_2006_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Oklahoma_medium Stanford_old8_medium I still think OU wins Bedlam. Regardless, the Big 12 will get only one BCS bid and is almost certain to face Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. 
Sugarbowl_2006_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Michigan_old4_medium Houston_old8_medium

I'm just going to post this link about Michigan. They're still a flawed team, but they've also managed to get themselves to 10 wins and a BCS berth. That's impressive. And yes, I expect to see the Wolverines at about 13 or 14 in the standings when all is said and done next week.

Houston needs to beat Southern MIss in the C-USA championship to get here. I think they will.

Orangebowl_2010_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Virginia_tech_medium Louisville_medium

Now that no one believes in Clemson again, aren't they at their most dangerous? Still, I'll take VT for their seemingly annual trip to Miami.

When UConn beats Cincinnati this weekend, that means that Louisville will get the Big East's automatic bid and become the first BCS team to have lost to a Sun Belt team. Viva Big East! 

Capitalonebowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Nebraska_medium South_carolina_old13_medium You could see Sparty, Arkansas, or Georgia here, but I'm betting that the CapOne picks two teams who have never been to the bowl before.
Outbackbowl_2010_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Michigan_st_medium Georgia_medium Win 10 games, lose your title game, go to the Outback Bowl. 
Insightbowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Penn_st_medium_medium_medium Baylor_medium

Late at night. Out of sight. That's where Jim Delany wants the Nittany Lions, right?

I think that you'll see next week's winner of Baylor/Texas here.

Fl61806logo_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Iowa_medium Auburn_medium

I think the B1G representative is entirely dependent upon who the Chick-Fil-A picks from the SEC (see below). If the Gator is left with Florida, it'll take Ohio State. If it has Auburn, it'll take Iowa.

[EDIT: The Gator Bowl President has now come out and said that he wants OSU-UF. The only question remains whether he'll have the chance. Safer money is probably on Auburn-Clemson in the Chick-Fil-A, OSU-UF here, and Iowa-aTm in the Texas Bowl]

Meineke_car_care_bowl_of_texas_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Ohio_st_medium Texas_am_medium

It has now been over 700 days since Ohio State's last recorded victory over Michigan.

You could see Missouri or Iowa State here, but I'm betting that Texas A&M gets picked to get more fans in the stadium.

Ticketcity_bowl_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Purdue_medium Marshall_medium Both these teams cliched bowls with their wins on Saturday. C-USA would like to send a West Division team here, but they won't have one available by this selection.
Littlecaesarsbowl_2009_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Northwestern_medium Northern_illinois_medium Northwestern or Illinois? Expect the Cats to be picked as Illinois figures out its coaching mess.
Fighthungerbowl_small_medium_medium Illinois_medium Iowa_st_medium

When Miami announced that they were banning themselves from a bowl this year, it meant that the ACC had no chance of serving as the backup for Army (which couldn't get to six wins this year). That opens the door for the Big Ten to match up with a Pac-12 team.

And when UCLA was pushed into the Pac-12 championship game as a sacrificial lamb to Oregon, that ensured that they'll finish 6-7 and that the Pac-12 won't fill this slot. Welcome Big 12 extra Iowa State.

Stock-photo-bowl-of-warm-queso-cheese-dip-with-a-plate-of-tortilla-chips-3144749_medium_medium_medium Minnesota_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Indiana_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

When you can't get to six wins, you find yourself On the Couch with the Queso Bowl.

Call it a hunch, but I don't think that we'll see the Gophers here next year. Indiana? Yeah. They'll be back.

 

Godaddybowl_medium_medium Arkansas_st_medium Ohio_old11_medium Arkansas State has accepted this bid, and will face off against the second choice from the MAC.
Compassbowl_small_medium_medium Florida_international_medium Cincinnati_medium Tennessee's loss to Kentucky meant that this bowl slot can't be filed by the SEC. The Sun Belt is the backup.
Cottonbowl_2007_sm_medium_medium Oklahoma_st_medium Arkansas_medium Two very even teams in a game that should be in the 40s.
Chickfila_bowl_sm_medium_medium Florida_medium Clemson_medium Here's where bowl picking gets messy. Clemson-Auburn would be the game here if you go by the records. But, those two teams have played each of the past two seasons and will open next year against each other in Atlanta. That means limited fan interest. Since the next team from the ACC would be FSU (who was in Atlanta last year), look for the Gators to get picked over Auburn to avoid the frequent Tiger-on-Tiger matchup.
Libertybowl_2004_medium_medium Tulsa_medium Mississippi_st_medium If Houston goes to the BCS, this won't be the C-USA champion.
Sunbowl_2010_small_medium_medium Virginia_old5_medium Utah_medium Rout by Virginia Tech aside, it was still a really nice year by Virginia.
Musiccitybowl_2010_small_medium_medium North_carolina_st_medium Vanderbilt_old13_medium Vandy's second bowl bid in four years. They still don't get to leave the city.
Pinstripebowl_2010_sm_medium_medium Rutgers_medium Missouri1_medium

It wouldn't surprise me if MIzzou doesn't get one of the Big 12's tieins, and has to fend for itself on the open market.

I wonder if this is the only bowl happy to have a Big East Tie In.

Armedforcesbowl_logo_medium_medium Byu_medium_medium Southern_methodist_medium BYU has accepted this bid already.
Alamobowl_2007sm_medium_medium Kansas_st_medium California_medium

Is there a quieter 10-2 team than Kansas State (home win over Iowa State next weekend presumed)?

It's going to be 7-5 Cal or 7-5 Washington here. After the BCS, that's the best that the Pac-12 has left.

Champssportsbowl_2004_medium_medium Florida_st_medium Notre_dame_medium_medium

They can pick the first post-BCS Big East team or Notre Dame. Not exactly a tough choice.

Expect the winner to be overrated by 10 spots in next year's preseason poll. Expect the loser to be overrated by 10 spots in next year's AP poll.

Holidaybowl_2010_small_medium_medium Washington_medium Texas_medium

I expect that this will be the Baylor-Texas loser.

On the other side, it will be the 7-5 team that the Alamo Bowl doesn't choose.

Militarybowl_2010_small_medium_medium Western_michigan_medium Wake_forest_medium MAC is the backup for Navy.
Belkbowl_2011_small_medium_medium West_virginia_medium Georgia_tech_medium A nice matchup for Charlotte. This bowl always seems to get a good pairing.
Independencebowl_2009_sm_medium_medium Air_force_old2_medium North_carolina_medium
Hawaiibowl_2003_medium_medium Louisiana_tech_medium San_diego_st_medium SDSU fills in for C-USA, which can't fill its spot.
Lasvegasbowl_maaco_2009_sm_medium_medium Texas_christian_old18_medium Arizona_st_d_medium 6-6 ASU is on the list of biggest disappointment. High on the list...
Poinsettiabowl_small_2006_medium_medium Boise_st_medium Nevada_medium Not where Boise thought that they'd end up.
Stpetersburgbowl_2010_small_medium_medium Pittsburgh_medium Southern_mississippi_medium When 5-6 PItt faces 5-6 Syracuse, the Beff O'Bradys is on the line. If that doesn't get you fired up...
Neworleansbowl_2010_small_medium_medium Louisiana-lafayette_medium_medium Connecticut_medium

Congratulations to U-LaLa on accepting their first ever bowl bid.

UConn will need to beat Cincy this weekend to become bowl eligible. It says here that they do. They fill in for C-USA, which can't fill this slot.

Idahopotato_bowl_medium_medium Toledo_medium Utah_st_medium
Newmexicobowl_2011_small_medium_medium Wyoming_e_medium Temple_medium Pac-12 can't fill their slot here, either. The MAC is happy to help out.

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