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Post Week 7 - Bowl Projections

Off Tackle Empire's latest bowl projections for the Big Ten and the BCS following week 7 of NCAA football action.

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

With the release of the first BCS Rankings on Sunday the bowl picture gets a little clearer for the GREATEST CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD PAWWWWWWWWL. That's right, the SEC has a monopoly with a ridiculous 6 (six, seis, sechs) teams ranked in the top 15. This would be a good time to remind you that only 2 (two) teams from a single conference can make BCS bowls and there's plenty of key matchups remaining including LSU @ A&M, LSU v. Alabama, LSU v. Mississippi State, South Carolina @ Florida, Georgia vs. Florida and Florida @ Florida State. In summation: aside from Alabama, no SEC team is escaping the regular season schedule unharmed.

Elsewhere, Kansas State, Notre Dame (@@#$%^&!@#), Oregon State, Louisville and Cincinnati remained perfect on the season. Teams like Texas and West Virginia weren't so fortunate. If Mack Brown doesn't "resign" at the end of this season I don't know if Texas will ever get rid of him. Following a game that resembled the Battle of Little Bighorn, with Landry Jones and Blake Bell playing the roles of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, Longhorn fans have had enough of the man who brought them so much, so long ago (relatively speaking, of course). And then there's West Virginia...

Was West Virginia ever a national title contender? No. Their defense was bound to cost them a game or two in the Big 12. Was West Virginia expected to lose a game to Texas Tech? Was West Virginia expected to get demolished by the Red Raiders? Was West Virginia expected to get laughed out of the stadium in Lubbock? No, no and no. I had no doubt that the Mountaineers could win the Big 12 with Geno Smith playing at such a high level. Then their defense started giving it up easier than a Tri-Delta after semi-formal. The Mountaineers get Kansas State at home this week so we'll see what they're really made of come Saturday night. In less shocking news the Big 10 has exactly 0 (ZERO) teams ranked in the initial BCS poll. But what did you expect when the best teams in the conference (standings wise) did the following:

  • Cheated.
  • Vacated.
  • Lost to Central Michigan.
  • Lost to Vacated.
  • Got demolished by Cheated.
  • Lost to the team who got demolished by Cheated.

All jokes aside, Michigan is getting a raw deal. Yeah, they got pummeled by Alabama. Yeah, they looked lost against Notre Dame. Those are two top 5 teams. Since that time they've defeated two conference opponents by a combined score of 89-13. Were those opponents hilarious? Yes. Yes they were. But still. Michigan is starting to look like the team we thought they'd be at the start of the season. Unlike that other team in Michigan... Is Michigan State the most disappointing team in the conference? They get my vote. Wisconsin was long our whipping boy following their loss to Oregon State...and then the Beavers won four straight games against solid opponents including UCLA and Brigham Young. The Spartans have lost three straight home games and look absolutely incompetent on offense. As an Iowa fan who has his own issues at QB, I feel for the Spartans and their "problems." You can't win if you can't score. Unless you're the Hawkeyes. FGs FTW!

  • Purdue deserves to be taken seriously. Wait, no they don't.
  • Northwestern rolls on. Minnesota gets rolled on by Venric Mark.
  • Iowa wins an unexpected game and loses a running back in the process. What're the odds?
  • Is Indiana getting better? Maybe getting better at picking up moral victories.
  • Illinois. Oh my. Illinois. The Fighting Illini are on bye this week. The bye is favored by 3.

On to the projections.

First, remember the rules:

  • 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 (and we're bringing the title game back to South Beach this season) is 1) Replacement for #1 Team; 2) Replacement for #2 Team; 3) Fiesta Bowl; 4) Sugar Bowl; 5) Orange Bowl.
  • 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 (2010 season) it occurred over the current four-year contract.
  • The Insight Bowl is now the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Per the one and only Brendan Stiles, the Gator Bowl gets the first pick between the two.
  • Apparently, the Outback Bowl only takes teams from the SEC East and Auburn.
  • The TicketCity Bowl is now the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Here's a full breakdown of the Big Ten bowl tie-ins:


Bowl Game


No. 1

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, California

Pac-12 No. 1 or BCS

No. 2

Capital One Bowl
Orlando, Florida

SEC No. 2

No. 3

Outback Bowl
Tampa, Florida

SEC No. 3

No. 4

Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, Florida

SEC No. 6

No. 5

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Tempe, Arizona

Big 12 No. 4

No. 6

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
Houston, Texas

Big 12 No. 6

No. 7

Heart of Dallas Bowl
Dallas, Texas

Big 12 No. 8

No. 8

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Detroit, Michigan


Now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, let's get to the projections.



Alabama_mediumvs. Oregon_medium

Why Alabama: The only threat to the Tide are the LSU Tigers. The LSU Tigers are too much of a threat to themselves.

Why Oregon: Oregon was on bye this week. They take on Arizona State this Thursday. Todd Graham has already announced his retirement from ASU.



Michiganhelmet_medium vs.

Why Michigan: It will be interesting to see how the Wolverines fare against a Big Ten team with a pulse (and a defense). If they can beat Michigan State and Nebraska, they get Northwestern and Iowa at home before travelling to the Shoe. Simply put: there's no one that looks better than the Wolverines right now.

Why USC: The Trojans didn't exactly blow the doors off Washington but a win is a win. They land here after the Ducks make the title game.



Kansas_state_helmet_medium vs. Notre_dame_old1_medium

Why Kansas State: K-State has to be one of the most unspectacular teams in the nation but they keep on winning. They'll lose a game, probably to West Virginia or Texas Tech, but will still make the Fiesta Bowl as the Big 12 Champion due to their defeat of OU.

Why Notre Dame: The Domers lose to OU and possibly USC...but that's it.



South_carolina_old13_mediumvs. Oklahoma_medium

Why South Carolina: You're probably expecting to see Florida here. Well, I'll explain. The Gators get South Carolina at home, Georgia at the dome and Florida State at Tallahassee. South Carolina has to go to Florida and Clemson. Even if they lose to Florida, and I think they will, they'll win out. Florida will lose another game (or two) along the way and lose to Alabama in the SEC Championship. What's the rule about the loser of the conference championship never making a BCS game?

Why Oklahoma: OH HAI OU. Listen, it's not that West Virginia looked so bad against Texas Tech. It's that OU looked so good against Texas. The Sooners went full murder death kill on the Longhorns and look to be the team we thought they were at the start of the season.



Florida_st_medium vs. Louisville_medium

Why Florida State: STILL LOL.

Why Louisville: Louisville is now 6-0. Guess who else is 6-0? Rutgers. OH SNAP BIG EAST SECOND BEST CONFERENCE IN THE LAND.


Capital One

Nebraska_mediumvs. Florida_medium

Why Nebraska: Sparty down. Herbie up.

Why Florida: Despite having an excellent record the Gators will fall here after losing a couple and the SEC Championship game.



Wisconsin_medium vs. Georgia_medium

Why Wisconsin: Someone has to "win" the Leaders.

Why Georgia: Another SEC team with an excellent record will fall to a "lesser" bowl.


Northwestern_mediumvs. Texas_medium

Why Northwestern: The Wildcats are now bowl eligible. Arguably their biggest game of the season is this Saturday.

Why Texas: I knew it was you Texas. I knew it was you.



Iowa_medium vs. Tennessee_medium

Why Iowa: Well...this is an interesting change of events. Penn State and Purdue at home, Indiana on the road, Nebraska at home? Can Iowa win 3 of those games? I think so.

Why Tennessee: As expected the Vols lost to Mississippi State. Now they'll lose to Alabama. Then they'll lose to SCar. Then they'll win out.


Car Care

Michigan_st_medium vs. Texas_christian_old18_medium

Why Michigan State: While plenty of Michigan State fans are convinced they can no longer make a bowl game I'll point out that they get Nebraska/Northwestern at home and finish the season at Minnesota. An upset and a win in Twinkie Town? I believe in you Sparty. For some reason.

Why TCU: You're probably thinking I'm too lazy to take TCU out of this bowl game. Actually, it's just that I don't think TCU is that good.


Heart of Dallas

Minnesota_medium vs. Troy_medium

Why Minnesota: Minnesota already has 4 wins and gets Purdue at home. I think they can beat the Boilers and the Fighting Illini on the road to get to 6-6. If they can't beat the Boilers, Purdue is going to Dallas.

Why Troy: Apparently, the C-USA and Big 12 alternate years for this bowl tie-in. As I don't think the Big 12 will have 8 bowl eligible teams (they'll have 7), and I don't think the C-USA will have more than 4 or 5 bowl teams, Troy will get in here. Also, I picked Troy's name out of a hat.


Little Caesars

Arkansas_st_medium vs. Ohio_old11_medium

Why Arkansas State: NEED MOAR SUN BELT.






Why Illinois: Am I the only guy who thinks Tim Beckman has absolutely no idea what he's doing?

Why Indiana: Moral victories are not real victories.

Why Ohio State: Moral losses are not real losses.

Why Penn State: Penn State is already on their way to that 7-5 prediction.

Why Purdue: @ Ohio State, vs. Penn State and @ Iowa. I think those are three losses right there. Illinois and Indiana? I think Purdue can beat those teams. Minnesota? I don't think so. 5-7 it is.

All helmet images credit to The Helmet Project.