2013: Post Week 14 Bowl Projections

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Off Tackle Empire's wildly inaccurate bowl projections for the Big Ten following week 14. The Big 10 regular season is over :(

The chaos that was last weekend began in Lincoln on Black Friday when Iowa took down the greatest program there ever was since Paul travelled to Damascus. The Hawkeyes victory over the Cornhuskers secured them an 8-4 record and their first winning season in conference since 2009. Aside from that upset everything else was supposed to go to plan. And for the most part it did. Michigan State downed Minnesota, Ohio State survived Michigan's upset bid/two point conversion, Indiana beat [ERROR], Northwestern retained the Land of Lincoln trophy (congrats on not going winless in conference!) and then uh...well...this happened.

Throughout the year I kept on telling myself that Wisconsin was going to lose a football game. The homer in me thought it was going to be to Iowa. Wrong. The realist in me thought it was going to be to Minnesota. Wrong. Following those Badger wins I knew there was nothing stopping them from snatching up a BCS at-large bid. Well, almost nothing. I guess I didn't expect Christian Hackenberg to throw four touchdowns and the Badgers to give up nearly 500 yards of offense. Oh, and I also didn't expect them to turn the ball over three times. Cool story, Stave.

But those things happened and Wisconsin is now ranked 21st in the nation. From Orange Bowl to Orlando. Hey, I guess it's still in Florida...right?

As Wisconsin was soiling themselves in Madison the game of the century was unfolding in Auburn. I don't need to summarize. You all watched it. If you didn't you should probably just quit college football and go watch cricket or something. The end result is that Ohio State is currently 2nd in the BCS standings and is a Big Ten Championship win away from playing in Pasadena on January 6th.

And the talk has already began. Should Auburn jump Ohio State for the number two spot? Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs thinks so. In fact, he believes it would be a disservice to the nation if Auburn was left out of the BCS Championship. I get it Jay. You don't want 2004 all over again. But a couple things:

  1. You haven't even won the SEC Championship yet.
  2. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME. YOU LOST A FOOTBALL GAME.

Do you understand? You give up the right to complain about the system and the rankings when you lose a football game and the AQ team ahead of you is undefeated. And you lost to LSU. It's not even like you lost to someone elite. You lost to a team that lost to Mississippi. Maybe if you took care of business against the Tigers you would be in Ohio State's position. But you aren't. Ohio State is undefeated and they deserve their ranking. But you don't understand that, do you? Apparently the South doesn't either:

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Blatantly stolen from a Hamsterdam poster at BHGP.

I think this Tweet says it all:

Some BCS rules:

  • If a non-AQ school is ranked in the top 12 of the BCS they get an automatic bid; or
  • A non-AQ school can get an automatic bid if they finish in the top 16 and their final BCS standing is higher than that of a champion of an AQ school.
  • LOL DON'T WORRY ABOUT NOTRE DAME THIS YEAR LOL.
  • To get an at-large you have to win at least nine games and finish in the top 14.
  • No more than two teams from AQ conferences may appear in BCS games.

With those rules, here's what we've got for the BCS right now: Florida State, Ohio State, Auburn, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Stanford, South Carolina, Baylor, Michigan State, Arizona State, Oregon, Clemson, NIU, LSU and UCF.

I see these things happening:

  • Florida State steamrolls Duke in the ACC Championship game.
  • Ohio State struggles but beats Michigan State in the B1G Championship game. However, Michigan State still stays in the top 14.
  • Auburn defeats Missouri in the SEC Championship game.
  • Stanford beats Arizona State and knocks them out of the top 14 (they're currently 11th).
  • Oklahoma State defeats OU and wins the Big 12.
  • NIU defeats Bowling Green and wins the MAC. Because they're ranked higher than the champion of an AQ school (UCF) they'll get an automatic bid.

With that being said, here are the rules.

The B1G Rules:

  • Bowl Eligible Teams: Iowa, Michigan State, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Wisconsin.
  • 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. Some bowl games also have the "two loss-rule."
  • The order of BCS selection is 1) Replacement for #1 Team; 2) Replacement for #2 Team; 3) Orange Bowl; 4) Sugar Bowl; 5) Fiesta 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.
  • The Outback Bowl only takes teams from the SEC East and Auburn.
  • Penn State is not bowl eligible until 2016.
  • I base these projections upon what I believe will be the final conference standings. The game by game method is rather unscientific: who would win the matchup 9 times out of 10? Naturally, that means I can't predict insane upsets.
  • It's very rare for a conference championship game loser to make a BCS Bowl. In the history of the BCS only three conference championship game losers have made BCS games: 2003 Oklahoma, 2008 Alabama and 2009 Florida. Thanks to user Incipient_Senescence for doing the research on this one.

The Projections:

Pick

Bowl

Matchup

Projection

0

BCS Championship

Pasadena, CA

vs. No. 2

Ohio State vs. Florida State

0

Orange Bowl

Miami, FL

ACC vs. BCS

Clemson vs. Alabama

0

Sugar Bowl

New Orleans, LA

SEC vs. BCS

Auburn vs. UCF

0

Fiesta Bowl

Glendale, AZ

Big 12 vs. BCS

Oklahoma State vs. NIU

1

Rose

Pasadena, CA

vs. Pac-12/BCS

Michigan State vs. Stanford

2

Capital One

Orlando, FL

vs. SEC No. 2

Wisconsin vs. Missouri

3

Outback

Tampa, FL

vs. SEC No. 4

Iowa vs. South Carolina

4

Buffalo Wild Wings

Tempe, AZ

vs. Big 12 No. 4

Nebraska vs. Texas

5

Gator

Jacksonville, FL

vs. SEC No. 6

Michigan vs. Georgia

6

Texas

Houston, TX

vs. Big 12 No. 6

Minnesota vs. Texas Tech

7

Heart of Dallas

Dallas, TX

vs. C-USA

Syracuse vs. North Texas

8

Little Caesars

Detroit, MI

vs. MAC

Bowling Green v. Pittsburgh

As Ohio State and Florida State won their championship games they'll play for the crystal ball in Pasadena. The Orange Bowl has the first at-large pick and will obviously take Alabama, as Auburn will win the SEC and play in NOLA. Then...things get rough. The Sugar Bowl has the next pick and will have to decide between AAC champion UCF or MAC champion NIU. Neither of those are appetizing but they'll pick UCF because of proximity. The Fiesta Bowl, which has the final pick, will be forced to pair NIU with Oklahoma State because the Huskies will receive an AQ bid.

Michigan State loses in the B1G Championship but still goes to the Rose Bowl and plays Stanford. The people down in Tempe are drooling over the prospects of matching Nebraska up with an old Big 12 foe. If I told you Michigan was playing Georgia in a bowl game back in September you probably thought it was the Capital One or even a BCS game. It isn't, it's the Gator Bowl. Minnesota brings up the rear and plays Texas Tech in Houston.

As we won't fill our bowl allotment (thanks Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern and [ERROR]) the remaining bowls will go to teams from lesser leagues.

And yes, that means Iowa is going to the Outback Bowl and will indeed be picked above Minnesota. Come receive your shaming, GopherMike.

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