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2009 Bowl Projections - Post Week 11

The Pac-10 is the best conference in college football.


There.   I said it.  It seems weird, but no other conference goes 6 deep with quality teams.  Oregon, Stanford, USC, Arizona, California, and Oregon State give the Pac-10 depth that no one else can match.  I will readily admit, that Oregon, the likely champ, does not compare to Floribama or Texas.  It may not be as good as Ohio State, Cincinnati, or Georgia Tech for that matter.  But when the other Pac-10 teams match up with the other conferences in bowl games, I expect to see an outstanding league record.

In the Big Ten, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Northwestern seem pretty well locked into their slots.  It would take a huge chain of events to move them.  I expect to see more movement of their opponents than of them as we go forward.  There will be an Iowa/Penn State decision to be made, and don't expect the answer until December 6th. Unless Michigan shocks Ohio State next weekend, Michigan State and Minnesota can make their hotel reservations, too.  Full projections for the Big Ten, BCS, and all other bowls after the jump.

Remember the rules.

  1. These are projections.  I am taking into account what will happen in future games, not assigning teams based upon current standings.
  2. 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.  
  3. The order of BCS selection is 1) Replacement for #1 Team; 2) Replacement for #2 Team; 3) Orange Bowl; 4) Fiesta Bowl; 5) Sugar Bowl.
  4. The Champs Bowl picks its Big Ten team ahead of the Alamo Bowl this year.
  5. For the full rules on BCS selections, look here
Bcs_championship_logo2009_sm_medium_medium Alabama_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Texas_old5_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Did you see anything yesterday that changed this matchup?  I didn't.
Orangebowl_2005_small_medium_medium Georgia_tech_medium_medium_medium Texas_christian_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium With no traditional power or huge traveling fan base available, maybe the Orange Bowl takes TCU as the top ranked unbeaten team?  The TCU defense against the Tech offense would be fun to watch.
Fiestabowl_2006_medium_medium Iowa_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Boise_st_medium_medium I am presuming that after the polls come out tomorrow, Iowa will be no lower than 17 in the BCS standings.  If that's the case, a 10-2 Iowa will likely be in the Top 14 by the final rankings.  I'm projecting that the Fiesta picks Iowa over 10-2 Penn State.  If you want to argue otherwise, be my guest.  It'll be a tough call.  As for the other spot, does the Fiesta take a 10-2 Oklahoma State team (assuming that they win in Norman)?  Maybe.  But I'm guessing that they look to 13-0 Boise instead.
Sugarbowl_2006_sm_medium_medium Florida_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Cincinnati_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Still think that this will be the SEC Championship loser versus the Big East champion.  Pittsburgh is sure giving me pause...
Rosebowl_small_medium_medium Ohio_st_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Oregon_old10_medium_medium Congratulations, Ohio State.  Now win.
Capitalonebowl2002_small_medium_medium Penn_state_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Lsu_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Again, if you want to flip Iowa and Penn State, be my guest.  LSU is a lock for Orlando.
Outbackbowl_2008_sm_medium_medium Wisconsin_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Tennessee_medium_medium I don't see any way in which Wisconsin moves from this spot.  I think a 9-3 Iowa or Penn State squad gets selected ahead of the Badgers.  I'm going with 7 win Tennessee over 7 win Georgia, 7 win Auburn, and 7 win Arkansas.
Champssportsbowl_2004_medium_medium Northwestern_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Clemson_medium_medium Congratulations to Northwestern on reaching 7 wins.  The fact that none of the teams below you accomplished that means that you get a great bowl matchup.  Getting the 8th against Wisconsin won't move you up any further.
Alamobowl_2007sm_medium_medium Michigan_st_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Oklahoma_medium_medium 6-6 Michigan State goes to San Antonio.  If Sparty can upset Penn State, they'll go to Orlando for the Champs Bowl instead.  Expect to see the Oklahoma/Texas Tech winner here.
Insightbowl2002_small_medium_medium Minnesota_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Missouri1_medium_medium Barring an upset of Iowa, which would bump the Gophers over a 6-6 Michigan State, or a Wolverine win that sends the Gophers to Detroit, Minnesota is headed back to the desert for the third time in four years.
Images_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Middle_tennessee_st_medium Northern_illinois_medium_medium Unless Michigan wins, this game goes unfilled by the Big Ten.  Again.
Images_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Purdue_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium




At this point, Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue have guaranteed themselves a winter without a bowl game.  Michigan can reach 6 wins if they can pull the upset over the Rose Bowl bound Buckeyes on Saturday.  If they do, they'll get the best bowl slot available for a 6-6 team (likely the Alamo Bowl). I'm not counting on it.  I think that all four of these teams will be On the Couch with the Queso Bowl (now sponsored by Ro*Tel).

And now we add the other 23 bowl games...

Newmexicobowl_small_2006_medium_medium Nevada_medium_medium Wyoming_medium_medium
Stpetersburg_bowl_2008_ii_sm_medium_medium South_florida_medium_medium Southern_mississippi_medium_medium
Neworleansbowl_2006_medium_medium Troy_medium_medium Southern_methodist_medium_medium SMU controls its own destiny to win C-USA West.  I think that they do, but they lose to ECU in the championship game.  Troy has made this their annual winter home.
Lasvegasbowl_maaco_2009_sm_medium_medium Oregon_st_medium_medium Byu_medium_medium BYU will be asked to go to Las Vegas every time they can.  Oregon State is a good matchup.
Poinsettiabowl_small_2006_medium_medium Arizona_medium_medium Air_force_old2_medium_medium
Hawaiibowl_2003_medium_medium Fresno_st_medium Marshall_old18_medium_medium
Meinekecarcarebowl_sm_2005_medium_medium Pittsburgh_medium_medium Boston_college_medium_medium 10-2 Pitt may be the biggest loser in the bowl pairings.  With Notre Dame not earning a BCS bid, they'll go to the Gator Bowl and push all of the Big East teams down a rung.  Pitt deserves better than this.
Emeraldbowl2006_sm_medium_medium Stanford_old8_medium Florida_st_medium_medium Florida State will need to beat Maryland to keep their bowl streak going (you don't think they'll win in Gainesville do you?).  Stanford stays close to home for a nice matchup.
Musiccitybowl_2006_sm_medium_medium Georgia_medium_medium North_carolina_medium_medium This would be a great matchup.  Why doesn't this game happen during the regular season from time to time?
Independencebowl_2006_medium_medium Iowa_st_2008_medium_medium South_carolina_old13_medium_medium_medium Iowa State could get out to the Insight Bowl if they upset Mizzou next weekend.
Congressionalbowl_2008a_sm_medium_medium Ohio_old11_medium Central_florida_medium_medium The ACC can't fill this spot.  Ohio's 7 wins will get them a bid somewhere.  I'm saying that somewhere is DC.
Humanitarianbowl_2007sm_medium_medium Ucla_old_medium_medium Idaho_medium_medium The current projections have room for one 6-6 team.  It's UCLA, and they will head north to the blue turf.  
Texasbowl_non_medium_medium Texas_am_old1_medium_medium Navy_medium_medium Navy has clinched this bid.  Will pent-up Aggie fans travel to Houston?  I suspect they will.
Holidaybowl2002_small_medium_medium Southern_california_medium_medium Nebraska_medium_medium_medium_medium Stanford may end up with a better record, but this would be a dream matchup in San Diego.
Armedforcesbowl_logo_medium_medium Utah_medium_medium Houston_old8_medium_medium Houston is going to need help to win the Western Division of C-USA.  I don't think that they get it.  The good news is that they get a great matchup in Ft. Worth.
Sunbowl_2006_medium_medium Texas_tech_medium_medium California_medium_medium Texas Tech fits well here.  Look for the Cal/Stanford winner to be their opponent.
Chickfila_bowl_sm_medium_medium Virginia_tech_medium_medium Auburn_medium_medium Chick-Fil-A will have its choice of the Hokies, Clemson, and Miami.  Clemson/Auburn wouldn't be a surprise either.
Gatorbowl_2008_sm_medium_medium Miami_fl_medium_medium Notre_dame_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Even Notre Dame haters would love a good Catholics vs. Convicts game.
Internationalbowl_sm_medium_medium Rutgers_medium_medium Central_michigan_medium_medium This would be a really good game.  The MAC champion is not tied to any one game, and I suspect the league will try to get them a good matchup.
Papajohnscom_bowl_2009_sm_medium_medium West_virginia_medium_medium Kentucky2_medium_medium 6-6 Kentucky gets the SEC's last spot.  The Big East places teams, and they'll want one of their better teams to face an SEC member.
Cottonbowl_2007_sm_medium_medium Oklahoma_st_medium_medium Mississippi_medium_medium The Cowboys have cemented their place as second best in the Big 12.  Auburn's loss to Georgia moves Ole Miss to a return trip to Dallas.
Libertybowl_2004_medium_medium East_carolina_medium_medium Arkansas_medium_medium Houston's loss sets up an ECU/SMU C-USA title game.  I've got ECU winning and going back to Memphis.  The Liberty Bowl is happy to have Arkansas.
Gmacbowl_small_medium_medium Temple_old8_medium_medium Louisiana-monroe_medium UL-M replaces the ACC, which can't fill its last two spots.  A seven win ULM team will get chosen above a more (TV friendly" 6 win team.