Like I said in the offseason, no one is getting through the SEC season undefeated. As long as Ohio State and Nebraska (or Oregon) take care of business, there should be an SEC-free BCS Championship Game for the first time in 5 years. And yes, I'm assuming that Auburn and LSU will drop a game soon enough.
In the Big Ten, my sudden question marks are Purdue and Penn State. Purdue's upset at Northwestern means that there is a road to six wins. Penn State's loss to Illinois means that six wins suddenly aren't guaranteed. The certainty is that Michigan State is, barring an incredible collapse, going to no worse than the Capital One Bowl.
Now remember, these are projections, not "if the season ended today" picks. I'm accounting for what I think will happen in the remaining weeks. Here are the Rules for 2010.
- 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 is 1) Replacement for #1 Team; 2) Replacement for #2 Team; 3) Sugar Bowl; 4) Orange Bowl; 5) Fiesta Bowl.
- If a Big Ten or Pac-10 team qualifies for the BCS Championship Game, the Rose Bowl will be required to take a non-automatic qualifier. This will only be required of the Rose Bowl the first time it occurs over the next four years.
- The Gator Bowl picks its Big Ten team ahead of the Insight Bowl this year. It will rotate the other way next year.
Got it? Good. Let's get on to the projections.