This is usually the part where I recap what happened across the national stage of college football and the Big Ten. Instead, let's just focus on some lessons learned:
Florida State isn't back and never will be while they're coached by Jimbo Fisher. No big deal though. They'll be a top 5 preseason team in 2013 and still manage to lose 4 or 5 games before it's all said and done.
"West Virginia can't win the Big 12 with their defense." LOL OK.
The SEC has put together 4 or 5 games where their offenses have been nothing short of atrocious. That won't stop ESPN from loving them or THE MEDIA TALKIN BOUT HOW BIG THEM DEFENSES ARE PAWWWWWWL.
South Carolina just scored again.
Notre Dame...might be back.
Oregon State KEEPS ON WINNING.
Oregon is unstoppable.
It's official: no one wants to win this conference. If you power ranked the Big Ten it would be Ohio State and everyone else. The one team who we thought could hang with the "elite" group got absolutely, positively, without a doubt, pisspounded in Columbus on Saturday night. Also, "elite" is a very relative term this year. Instead of going on about how laughable we all are I'll just move onto the projections.
Oh, and Ohio State just scored again.
First, 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 (and we're bringing the title game back to South Beach this season) is 1) Replacement for #1 Team; 2) Replacement for #2 Team; 3) Fiesta Bowl; 4) Sugar Bowl; 5) Orange Bowl.
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.
The Insight Bowl is now the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. There's also still no clarification on who gets to pick first between the Gator and the BWW. I'll assume the Gator gets to pick first.
Apparently, the Outback Bowl only takes teams from the SEC East and Auburn.
The TicketCity Bowl is now the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Here's a full breakdown of the Big Ten bowl tie-ins:
Rose Bowl Pasadena, California
Pac-12 No. 1 or BCS
Capital One Bowl Orlando, Florida
SEC No. 2
Outback Bowl Tampa, Florida
SEC No. 3
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Tempe, Arizona
Big 12 No. 4
Gator Bowl Jacksonville, Florida
SEC No. 6
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas Houston, Texas
Big 12 No. 6
Heart of Dallas Bowl Dallas, Texas
C-USA or MAC
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Detroit, Michigan
Now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, let's get to the projections.
Why Alabama: Alabama was on a bye so no poor bastard felt their wrath. Speaking of poor bastards, the Tide take on Missouri next week.
Why Oregon: The Ducks have looked nothing short of unstoppable on their way to a 6-0 start. They've faced 2 ranked teams and outscored them a combined 101-21. The back end of their schedule is difficult but who has looked better than the Ducks so far?
Why Michigan: Michigan looked like the team we thought they'd be at the start of the season against Purdue. Nebraska and Michigan State looked awful. So here we are.
Why USC: The Trojans lose to Oregon but still makes the Rose Bowl thanks to the Ducks playing in the national championship.
Why West Virginia: Tell me more about West Virginia's defense. Again, it doesn't matter how many points you give up when you score 5 more.
Why Notre Dame: The Fiesta Bowl gets first pick. How could they pass up the Domers?
Why South Carolina: Count me as one of those guys who thought South Carolina wasn't real for like the 5th straight year. Then they won a game that really mattered. They'll win a few more on their way to their Sugar Bowl. How does it happen? Well, they LOSE to Florida, who makes the SEC Championship game and loses to Alabama. South Carolina goes undefeated the rest of the year and sneaks in.
Why Kansas State: Kansas State started off slow against Kansas. They won 56-16.
Why Florida State: LOL.
Why Louisville: Louisville is 5-0. Yes, Louisville is 5-0.
Why Michigan State: Winning ugly is still winning. Plus, unlike another team in the Legends Division, the Spartans can actually win games on the road.
Why Florida: The Gators will beat South Carolina but lose to either Georgia or Florida State. Due to the tiebreaker, they'll still make the SEC Championship game but lose to the Crimson Tide. Due to the Gamecocks going to the Sugar Bowl the Gators will fall here.
Why Nebraska: Because to win the Big Ten you need to win games on the road. Nebraska seemingly cannot do that.
Why LSU: Ex-BCS contender LSU's offense, or lack thereof, continues to lose them games. They'll end up here.
Why Northwestern: The Wildcats are 5-1. Yep.
Why Texas: What's that, Texas is the 4th best team in the Big 12? That gets them here.
Why Tennessee: The Vols have a murderer's row for the next three weeks. They should lose all three and then win out.
Why Wisconsin: As bad as the Badgers have looked they could still represent their division in the B1G Championship game. The real test comes when they travel to Purdue.
Why TCU: Losing to Iowa State gets you here. Yes, I understand your QB was too drunk to play.
Heart of Dallas
Why Iowa: The Hawkeyes get Penn State, Purdue and Nebraska at home. Those three teams combined have exactly one road win. They'll manage to win 2 of those games (or maybe 3) and beat Indiana on the road.
Why ECU: Someone has to play Iowa in the beautiful Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Why Minnesota: The Gophers can win 2 more games. I hope.
Why Ohio: The Bobcats are 6-0. They can go bowling. The other Ohio team cannot.
Why Illinois: Sigh. You cannot have nice things.
Why Indiana: Kevin Wilson's Hoosiers dominated the Michigan State Spartans throughout the entire game on Saturday. Surely, this would be a program changing win for a much maligned football program. Naturally, they lost.
Why Ohio State: Dammit.
Why Penn State: Penn State is already on their way to that 7-5 prediction.
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