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2010 Bowl Projections - Post Week 3

Whatever you think that you know about the Big Ten, hold your thought for two weeks.  We won't learn anything new next week. It is, quite simply, the worst schedule of games that I have ever seen a major conference have. Ever. I can't emphasize enough that this is not hyperbole. But more on that later in the week.

Right now, what do we know? We know that Ohio State is awesome. We know that Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Penn State are good, but flawed, teams. We know that Minnesota is the worst in the league. Beyond that, it's up in the air. Could Michigan State have a magical 11-1 season? Maybe. Could Wisconsin? Iowa? Sure. Could any of those teams crash to 7-5? Absolutely. The margin is very thin for all of them.

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.

  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.
  5. For the full rules on BCS selections, look here

Got it?  Good.  Let's get on to the projections.

Bcs_championship_logo2010_sm_medium_medium_medium Ohio_st_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Nebraska_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Anyone want to take potshots at the Cornhusker offense now? I still think that both of these teams run the table. I don't think that and 11-1 team will be in the BCS Championship Game this year.
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Could Oregon run the table? I think that it's a fair question at this point. Stanford, Arizona, and USC should challenge them, and there is that pesky Civil War, but 12-0 Ducks is a distinct possibility. 

Boise gets to smell Roses after going 12-0, but finishing 4th or 5th in the final BCS polls. Here's the thing. No, Boise can't control the WAC, but they could control the other four games on their schedule. If they wanted to make a statement, they needed to play more than two BCS teams.

Sugarbowl_2006_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Alabama_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Wisconsin_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

I've been thinking that Alabama would lose a game, but do we know if they could go undefeated? That offense looked scary good against Duke (admittedly, so did Wake's offense) with Ingram back. The next three games should tell the tale (@Ark, FL, @So. Car). Sweep that, and 12-0 is possible. Any undefeated SEC team will get a bid in the BCS title game.

I was all set to move Michigan State here, but I just don't know what to make of them absent Dantonio. Hopefully, he has a full and speedy recovery.

Orangebowl_2010_sm_medium_medium_medium Miami_fl_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Auburn_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

Still Miami, but you could pick any ACC team to fill the spot.

Assuming that the SEC champ is not in the title game, look for the second team to find its way to Miami.

Fiestabowl_2006_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Oklahoma_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium West_virginia_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium While the teams may change, the likelihood that this is Big 12 Runner Up vs. Big East Champ is pretty high.
Capitalonebowl2002_small_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Iowa_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Arkansas_medium_medium_medium_medium

If Iowa can go 10-2, they can get to a BCS bowl. At 9-3, I think that they fall to the Cap One.

I have no idea of what to make of the middle of the SEC. Florida has not been impressive, but neither has anyone else. Let's put Arkansas here this week. They don't need to beat Alabama on Saturday to slot this high, but keeping in it close is in order.

Outbackbowl_2008_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Penn_state_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Florida_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Call this the "You do not want to face us in 2011 Bowl."
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I can't wait for the Michigan-Michigan State game. While Denard and the Big Blue have had their moments, realize that UConn just lost to Temple and Notre Dame lost to Sparty. In other words, we don't know if Michigan is any good yet.

This will end up being the 7th choice from the SEC. Seems like a possible home for Kentucky.

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I'm not moving Michigan State until we know the situation for their coach. Teams react different ways to those issues. If it brings them together, their Ohio State-free Big Ten schedule could land them in a BCS bowl. If it is a cratering loss, they could end up 6-6 again. This assumes 7 or 8 wins.

I still like the Big 12 North runner-up here. That should be the K-State/Mizzou winner.

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If the Cats get past Central Michigan this weekend, they'll finally put the tradition of a bad non-con loss behind them.

Expect a 6 win team from the Big 12 in this game. Sounds like Okie State to a T.

Dallasclassic_2010_sm_medium_medium_medium Purdue_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Southern_methodist_medium_medium_medium_medium

Purdue, Indiana, Illinois...surely one of those teams will rise up to 6 wins. I'm still Boiling Up!, but with diminishing confidence.

A C-USA team will fill the slot when the Big 12 can't. Look for a Texas team, and a rejuvenated SMU makes sense.

Littlecaesarsbowl_2009_sm_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Troy_medium_medium_medium_medium Temple_old8_medium_medium_medium_medium The Big Ten can't fill it's spot, and the Pizza Bowl is obligated to the second choice from the Sun Belt when that happens.
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When you can't get to six wins, you know that you'll spend the bowl season On the Couch with the Queso Bowl (now sponsored by Ro*Tel).  

Indiana didn't look great at Western Kentucky, but it was good enough. Their non-con should get them to four wins - I just don't see two more in conference play. Illinois barely got by Northern Illinois, which also makes me doubtful that they can find the three conference wins they'll need. Minnesota will need at least a .500 conference record, and that's just not happening.

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