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Bowl Projections - Post Week 9

And then there were two unbeatens (and three little guys). As we enter the month of November, it's more about hanging on as it is about impressing. Auburn has one tough game left (at Alabama). Oregon has two (vs. Arizona,  at Oregon State). Both could conceivably run the table. Both could could drop a game. The question for the month will be: can they hang on?

In our league, it would be so appropriate for us to finish one last time with a tie for the title. The way the schedules set up, you would think that the Iowa-Ohio State winner, Wisconsin, and Michigan State will be tied for the league crown. But there, too, the teams need to hang on in their other games.  So here we go. Remember the 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) Sugar Bowl; 4) Orange Bowl; 5) Fiesta Bowl.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.

11championship_medium Oregon_medium_medium Alabama_medium_medium Living somewhere other than Alabama, you may not realize how much SEC fans would love to get their hands on a PAC-10 team, to show the conference's dominance. I suspect that out in the forests of Oregon, the desire is mutual.
Rosebowlgame_80x80_medium Ohio_st_medium_medium Boise_st_medium_medium

From the gaggle of 11-1 Big Ten teams, Ohio State finishes with the best BCS ranking and takes the trip to Pasadena.

Boise is locked into the Rose Bowl after Alabama jumps them.

Sugarbowl_2006_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Auburn_medium_medium Nebraska_medium_medium

You can write the Auburn/Alabama loser in pen in this game - as long as Bama doesn't fall prey to the Mad Hatter this weekend.

The Big 12 Title game loser will be very attractive as the first at large pick.

Orange_80_medium Virginia_tech_medium_medium Wisconsin_medium_medium

Maybe Virginia Tech has their act together enough that this is a safe pick. Maybe not. As it is, they've all but clinched a berth in the ACC Championship Game.

11-1 Wisconsin getting the pick over 11-1 Michigan State? We'll know more after we see how the BCS rankings shake out, but for now I think that the Badgers will be ahead of Sparty. The fact that Sparty lost so bad is a big help for Wisconsin.

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Oklahoma versus Nebraska for the conference crown. It's a fitting end to the school's relationship. 

The Fiesta has the last pick, and they'll get stuck with the Big East champ. 

Capitalonebowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Michigan_st_medium_medium Arkansas_medium_medium 11-1 Sparty versus 10-2 Arkansas should be a fantastic game - if both teams show up. After the big expectations and hopes, is this too much of let down for either squad?
Outbackbowl_2008_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Iowa_medium_medium Florida_medium_medium 9-3 Iowa versus 8-5 SEC East Champion Florida. After the loss to Ohio State, the question will be: does Iowa really want to be at this bowl game. 
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Let's be clear: the Gator Bowl would much rather have Penn State or Michigan. However, Illinois' schedule and new-found ability to dominate is going to make it so that they won't be able to pick anyone but the Illini.

I believe that we'll see the second best team from the SEC East in this game. That'll be the loser of Florida/South Carolina.

Insightbowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Penn_st_medium_medium Texas_old5_medium_medium It says here that Penn State gets to seven wins with victories over Northwestern and Indiana. Texas wins three of their last four to finish with the same mark. This bowl game would have been a lot more fun to watch either of the past two years.
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The fact that both of these sets of Wildcats manage to get to at least 7 wins, gives them the bump over the better names beneath them on the pecking order. 

Northwestern is fascinating right now. They have the talent that that they could win all four of their remaining games and go 10-2. However, if they play like they did on Saturday against Indiana, they'll be 6-6. 

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That's it Michigan. We're through. Yes, you'l beat Purdue to get to six wins. But, I am done thinking that you'll do any more than that. I would love to see you beat Wisconsin or Illinois. I no longer think that you can.

Texas A&M got to five wins, but getting the sixth (let alone 7th) will be quite a challenge. My guess is that they beat Baylor to finish 6-6.

150px-little_caeasars_pizza_bowl_medium Northern_illinois_medium_medium Louisiana-monroe_medium_medium

Northern wins the MAC and get the bid to the Detroit.

ULM is the third best team from the Sun Belt, which gets the Big Ten's berth in the Pizza when the league can't fill it.

Images_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Purdue_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Indiana_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

When you can't get to six wins, you know that you'll spend the bowl season On the Couch with the Queso Bowl (sponsored by Ro*Tel).

Could Purdue win its two home games against Michigan and Indiana to get to 6 wins (and Detroit)? I haven't seen it in the past couple of weeks. Indiana REALLY needed to pull out the game against Northwestern to have a chance. Minnesota is already looking at queso flavors in their local Cub Foods.