Post Week 2 - 2011 Bowl Projections

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 10: Denard Robinson #16 of the University of Michigan throws a 43 yard touchdown to Junior Hemingway #21 in the second quarter during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Michigan Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Just when you thought that all was lost. Just when it seemed that the B1G was having the worst day since...well, this year's first day, Michigan won the most exciting game in the history of a twelve team Big Ten. What will drive the anti-Michigan crowd nuts, is how nicely their schedule sets up for a legitimate run at the BCS. Yes, their defense is flawed. No, they won't play against Notre Dame's turnover team every week. But, they're going to win their last two non-con games. They'll beat Purdue, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. That's eight. Can they get two wins from Northwestern, Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State? It says here they can. And at 10-2, they may not win the Legends, but they may get selected for the BCS ahead of the B1G Title Game loser, much like 10-2 Arkansas getting the SEC bid last year. There's still room. Feel free to hop on the Michigan bandwagon.

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. Ohio State, Oregon, North Carolina, Miami...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 Virginia_tech_medium_medium_medium Alabama_medium_medium_medium

Virginia Tech is chugging toward it's 13-0 season.

Alabama's defense looked scary. How many of those starters are future pros? Ten? Eleven? 

Rosebowl_small_medium_medium_medium Wisconsin_medium_medium_medium Oregon_medium_medium_medium

The B1G is Wisconsin's for the taking. I'm expecting 12-1 when it's all over.

I still like Oregon over Stanford, and I expect that LSU loss won't look bad on their final resume.

Fiestabowl_2006_medium_medium_medium Oklahoma_medium_medium_medium Stanford_old8_medium_medium_medium

If Oklahoma wants to reach the BCS title game, they'll need to run the table. I'm still thinking that they drop one somewhere.

10-2 Stanford gets an at large pick.

Sugarbowl_2006_sm_medium_medium_medium Lsu_medium_medium_medium Boise_st_medium_medium_medium

10-2 LSU goes to the Sugar Bowl as the replacement for Alabama.

Left with the choice between Boise State and West Virginia, the Sugar Bowl gives us a dream matchup.

Orangebowl_2010_small_medium_medium_medium Michigan_medium_medium_medium West_virginia_medium_medium_medium

Michigan is the replacement for Virginia Tech. 

West Virginia is the best that the Big East has to offer. This game is in the 40s.

Capitalonebowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium Nebraska_medium_medium_medium South_carolina_old13_medium_medium_medium

10-2 Nebraska drops the B1G Title game to Wisconsin. Getting passed over for Michigan makes it feel like old times in the Big 12.

SEC East champ South Carolina gets the bid for the SEC, with a similar 10-3 record.

Outbackbowl_2010_small_medium_medium_medium Ohio_st_medium_medium_medium Florida_medium

Look, Toledo is a good MAC team. But if Ohio State is a contender, that shouldn't matter. Today was the beginning of the end of the Fickel Era in Columbus.

It's a bit of a reach, and a return trip, but the Outback can't resist the sizzle of matching Florida with the Buckeyes.

Insightbowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium Penn_st_medium_medium_medium Texas_medium 8-4 Penn State versus 8-4 Texas. It's a sell out, and it does huge numbers for ESPN.
Fl61806logo_medium_medium Northwestern_medium_medium_medium Tennessee_medium

I can't believe that I'm saying this, but Northwestern gets to 9 wins. They still get passed over by Ohio and Penn State, but they get a better chance at ending their bowl skid.

Tennessee slips in at 7-5. Considering their non-conference schedule, it's not something to be that proud of.

Meineke_car_care_bowl_of_texas_small_medium_medium_medium Michigan_st_medium_medium_medium Iowa_st_medium

Sparty may be the third best team in the Big Ten, but that schedule will still see them lose four games.

This will be a 6-6 Big 12 team. Iowa State has a huge game at UConn on Friday night. A win, and this bowl game is possible.

Ticketcity_bowl_small_medium_medium_medium Iowa_medium_medium_medium Tulsa_medium_medium

7-5 Iowa gets the nod over 7-5 Illinois. Why? Illinois played in Texas last year, while Iowa hasn't bowled there since 2006. 

Expect to see the best from the C-USA West, outside of the league champ.

Littlecaesarsbowl_2009_sm_medium_medium_medium Illinois_medium_medium_medium Toledo_medium

Illinois begrudgingly packs its bags for Detroit.

Toledo gets the MAC bid. I would not take them lightly.

Dg_easy_meals_2011_rotelqueso_medium_medium_medium Purdue_medium_medium_medium Minnesota_medium_medium_medium

Indiana_old17_medium

If you can't get to six wins, you're on the couch with the Queso Bowl. With the opponents that they were playing, all three of these teams needed to win today to have a chance at even getting to six wins. You can argue whose loss was the most pathetic, but with where they stand, none of these three can get past five wins.
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