Post Week 3 - 2011 Bowl Projections

Is the Big Ten even any good this year? I'm thinking, no. Outside of Wisconsin, our Hereford-sized bell cow, no one really looks remarkable. Yes, the majority of or teams will have at least three wins as they head into conference play. But, our non-conference schedules were designed for that. When you actually watch the teams, we don't look like the dominant forces that you saw in 2009. I'll say it. The league is down this year. There's a lot of mediocrity in our ranks. While it's going to hurt us with national perception at the end, it should make for a fun regular season.

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_medium Virginia_tech_medium_medium_medium_medium Alabama_medium_medium_medium_medium

Virginia Tech just keeps chugging along.

After watching them in person, it is ridiculous how fast Alabama's defense is.

Rosebowl_small_medium_medium_medium_medium Wisconsin_medium_medium_medium_medium Oregon_medium_medium_medium_medium

We'll know so much more in two weeks, but it's still Wisconsin's league, right?

I thought about moving Stanford here. I think the Pac-12 is going to come down to a one game season for both teams.

Fiestabowl_2006_medium_medium_medium_medium Oklahoma_medium_medium_medium_medium Stanford_old8_medium_medium_medium_medium I have both of these teams dropping one game along the way, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this matchup played in New Orleans as the championship game either.
Sugarbowl_2006_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium Lsu_medium_medium_medium_medium Boise_st_w_medium

LSU's defense is legit. It's offense is still worrisome. Can Lee lead them to enough points when  they go to Tuscaloosa? I don't see it.

Score comparisons with Toledo say that Boise is better than Ohio State. Eyeball test does the same.

Orangebowl_2010_small_medium_medium_medium_medium Michigan_medium_medium_medium_medium West_virginia_medium_medium_medium_medium

With the schedule they have, which looks easier today than it did 24 hours ago, Michigan can get to 10-2. That'll get them here.

West Virginia's game at South Florida on 12/1 looks to decide who'll be in the Orange Bowl. No one else in the Big East is in the same class as those two.

Capitalonebowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium Nebraska_medium_medium_medium_medium South_carolina_old13_medium_medium_medium_medium

Can Nebraska play two complete halves of football? Is their defense really as good as publicized? I still have them as a 10-2 B1G Championship game loser.

South Carolina is another 10-2 championship game loser.

Outbackbowl_2010_small_medium_medium_medium_medium Illinois_medium_medium_medium_medium Florida_medium_medium

Thank you, Illinois. That may end up being the best non-conference win that the league gets this year. After reevaluating some of these B1G squads, Illinois has the schedule to get to 9 or even 10 wins. Unless, they Zook it up.

Florida got the win over Tennessee, but they also showed some weaknesses that will be exposed as they start playing against the better SEC teams.

Insightbowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium Ohio_st_medium_medium_medium_medium Texas_medium_medium

I'm not sure what to make of Ohio State, yet. I think that it's looking like 2004, again. Yes, getting the NCAA Rule Violators back will help, but how many offensive deficiencies did Terelle Pryor cover up with his legs? 

Suddenly, Texas's games with Baylor and Iowa State are interesting. Who saw that coming?

Fl61806logo_medium_medium_medium Iowa_medium_medium_medium_medium Georgia_g_medium

Before the season, I had Iowa going 3-1 in the non-con with a loss to Iowa State, on their way to an 8 win season. With a win over La-Monroe next weekend, that's where they'll be.

I expect that we'll see the Georgia-Tennessee winner here.

Meineke_car_care_bowl_of_texas_small_medium_medium_medium_medium Michigan_st_medium_medium_medium_medium Iowa_st_medium_medium

Question: If Michigan's defense is horrible, and it gave up 31 points to Notre Dame, what does it say about Michigan State's defense when it gives up 31 to Notre Dame? Observation: This is an 8-4 team.

Iowa State's win on Friday night was huge. They still have to find three wins in the conference, but it should be possible.

Ticketcity_bowl_small_medium_medium_medium_medium Penn_st_medium_medium_medium_medium Houston_old8_medium

I'm worried about Penn State. After three games, I've thrown as many touchdown passes as they have. That's not good.

Expect the best non-champion team from C-USA West. It could well be Houston.

Littlecaesarsbowl_2009_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium Northwestern_medium_medium_medium_medium Toledo_medium Two things happened that made me reconsider Northwestern. First, they lost to Army. Not good. Second, Boston College lost to Duke. At home. That makes me rethink the Cats' Week 1 win. Maybe after a bye week Dan Persa comes back and is glorious. But when he comes back, will he be the same player?
Dg_easy_meals_2011_rotelqueso_medium_medium_medium_medium Purdue_medium_medium_medium_medium

Indiana_medium

Minnesota_medium_medium_medium_medium

If you can't get to six wins, you're on the couch with the Queso Bowl. Three wins, but I don't see a route to six for any of these teams.

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