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B1G 2011 // Bowl Projections - Heatstroke Edition

Maybe it's the heat. I keep having these weird visions of how the college football season plays itself out. The picks below follow those crazy visions to their bowl culmination. My final pre-season predictions will come in late-August, but these bowl picks are based upon my over/under picks that you saw yesterday. There are some non-conventional things happening, but isn't that the norm?

Oh, and Ohio State? You're bowl banned. So are Oregon and North Carolina. As of now, the conventional wisdom is that the NCAA will act prior to the end of the 2011 season for all three (and remember, USC is still out this season, too). Once we hit August, we'll go back to assuming that they're eligible (until and unless the NCAA says otherwise), but for now, Ohio State and its ilk can find out what it's like to kick back with the Ro*Tel.

First, let's remember that even when the heat overcomes me, there are 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) Fiesta Bowl; 4) Sugar Bowl; 5) Orange Bowl.
  3. 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.  This was only required of the Rose Bowl the first time it occurred over the current four-year contract. 
  4. The Insight Bowl picks its Big Ten team ahead of the Gator Bowl this year.  It will rotate the other way next year.

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

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I'm sold on Oklahoma. They're talented. They're experienced. They have a favorable schedule. They may not be the best team in the country, but they have the best shot at getting to the big game in the Big Easy.

Can Wisconsin run the table and go 12-0? This vision said that they can do it. The defense is just good enough. Russell Wilson adds an even more dynamic dimension to their offense. There's a scary game in the Horseshoe, but they survive as one of the only two undefeated teams in the country. 

2011rosebowl-vizio-logo_medium_medium Lsu_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Arizona_st_medium

The Rose Bowl wants to pick a B1G team. Unfortunately, no other Big Ten team is in the Top 14 of the BCS standings. With the second pick (after the Fiesta replaces OU), the Rose Bowl invites the SEC West co-champ, 11-1 LSU.

Congratulations, Pac-12. No USC. No Oregon. Arizona State beats Stanford in the first title game. Both teams had three losses going into the game. Yippee.

150px-fiesta_bowl_logo Notre_dame_medium_medium_medium_medium Texas_am_medium

Notre Dame is just good enough to get to 10 wins against a manageable schedule, heavy on ACC and Big East squads. Because they're Notre Dame, the Fiesta takes them to replace Oklahoma.

Rather than take 11-1 Boise State, the Fiesta Bowl stays loyal to its aligned Big 12 and takes the 10-2 Aggies. 

Logosugarcolor_medium Alabama_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Boise_st_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

There is much outcry in the South. Once-defeated SEC Champion Alabama is denied an opportunity to continue the league's streak of championships. The Tide heads to New Orleans disappointed.

Boise State heads to New Orleans excited. In addition to getting to play against old money, they become the first non-BCS League team to make a BCS Bowl game with one loss. Dropping their opener to Georgia, but rallying to finish 11-1, in the Top 16, and ahead of the Big East Champions. 

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The ACC is still the Hokies' playground...until Florida State runs the table in 2012.

Oh, Big East. Pitt's probably the best team. They probably win 8 or 9 games. They also lose this game by 17.

2011capitalonebowl-logo_medium_medium Penn_st_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Arkansas_medium

Penn State finishes 9-3, and gets picked for Orlando. It's the Lions third straight trip into Florida, but there are rumblings that JoePa will hang 'em up after the game. Of course, these rumors are being spread by CapOne officials looking to boost the gate.

Arkansas is the third best team in the SEC West. They have three losses, but the three teams that beat them are all in BCS games.

2011outbackbowl-logo_medium_medium Nebraska_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Georgia_medium_medium_medium_medium

Nebraska finishes at 9-3, and wins the tiebreaker (over Michigan and Iowa) to win the Legends. They lose to the Badgers again and get passed over for the third place team from the other division. Some things never change...

And Georgia tells a similar tale. They finish at 9-3, but lose to Alabama in the SEC Title game.

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Michigan improves by one win to 8-4. It's a milepost on the way to playing Florida State in the BCS Title Game after the 2012 season. I'm sorry, I just blacked out from the heat. What did I write? Hmmmm...

Oklahoma State still has the phenomenal offense. The defense isn't as good, though. That, coupled with a tough road slate, drops the Pokes to 8-4.

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Iowa, although not as good as the 2010 edition, rides a more favorable schedule to 8-4. 

South Carolina finishes 8-4 as well. It's better than their historic average, but it's a let down after their 2010 season.

Meineke-cc-bowl-2011_medium_medium Michigan_st_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Kansas_st_medium_medium

Trivia question for you: When was the last time Michigan State had back-to-back 8 win seasons. That's right, 1989-90. Since 1954, they've only managed two eight win seasons in a row twice. With a ridiculously hard schedule, I'm not seeing it happen a third time. 7-5 Sparty goes to Houston.

K-State finds a sixth win. Otherwise, this will be an at large team. Bill Snyder and Mark Dantonio see who can grimace longer.

Ticketcitybowl-2010-logo_medium_medium Northwestern_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Southern_methodist_medium

After getting passed over by the Car Care Bowl, 8-4 Northwestern returns to Dallas. This is their next, best chance to end their 62 year bowl losing streak.

C-USA keeps the local team for the game, hoping to show that it can provide a good crowd with its teams. Doesn't work.

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With no eligible B1G teams, Little Caesars looks to C-USA.

Kent State is the surprise team in the MAC.

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The Buckeyes finish 10-2. They would have been headed to Pasadena. Instead, they're getting new tattoos. Paid for with cash, you can be certain.

When you can't get to six wins, you spend the bowl season On the Couch with the Queso Bowl. In the long term, I'm slightly optimistic about Minnesota. Not this year, though. Not with that schedule.

Purdue...oh, Purdue. I have no idea what to make of you. I think you're a five win team that could get one more and to a bowl game. But in this vision, you didn't.

Illinois has gone twenty years without consecutive winning seasons. That streak should end in 2011. However, after it doesn't, Zook's tenure ends instead.

Indiana is the worst team in the league.