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Post Week 8 - Bowl Projections

Off Tackle Empire's latest bowl projections for the Big Ten and the BCS following week 8 of NCAA football action.

Leon Halip

Sorry for the delay in bowl projections, errybody. I had a lot of scores to look over and a few highlights to watch as I spent all day Saturday drinking, all day Sunday crying and all day Monday/Tuesday crying and drinking. Based on all that, a few notes:

  • Oregon can score 50 points in the first half against any team in the Pac-12 and rest their starters for the rest of the game.
  • South Carolina is still South Carolina. After demolishing Georgia (who is also still Georgia) and losing narrowly to LSU, I figured they could at least hang with Florida. They did not.
  • Speaking of Florida, wow. Wins over three ranked teams and only Georgia and Florida State left on the schedule? They could make the BCS despite losing the SEC Championship Game…or they could win the SEC Championship game.
  • Kansas State is for real. The only thing that stands between them and the national championship are Texas Tech and Texas.
  • West Virginia’s seemingly unstoppable offense is very much stoppable. They only looked ready for the Big 12 after playing two teams with cupcake defenses in Baylor and Texas.
  • Did you know Mississippi State is 7-0? Probably not. Next up: Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU. They could be 7-3 before we know it.
  • Rutgers and Louisville are still 7-0. The Big East will be decided on November 29th, it seems.
  • Iowa State was ranked. Yeah, that actually happened.

A few questions on the Big Ten that I’m wondering if you guys can answer:

  • Why is Danny Hope still employed?
  • Can Northwestern hold a close lead in the 4th quarter?
  • Can Iowa take a lead in a football game?
  • Will Indiana win another game this season?
  • Could Michigan State go on a 5 game losing streak?
  • Will the Big Ten West be decided this weekend?
  • Why are the sanctioned teams the best ones?
  • Why is the Big Ten so hilarious?
  • Is it basketball season yet?

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: There's Alabama and there's the rest of us.

Why Oregon: This will be an explanation for both K-State and Oregon. I'm banking on both teams going undefeated in the regular season. That means K-State will have wins over #6 OU, #13 WVU, #14 T-Tech and #23 (for now) Texas. Oregon will have wins over #22 Arizona, #23 Washington, #9 USC (Twice), #17 (for now) Stanford and #7 (for now) Oregon State. I'm fully aware that K-State is ahead in the BCS as of now but I don't think they'll finish the season ahead of Oregon.



Michiganhelmet_medium vs.

Why Michigan: Michigan finally got physical and beat the Spartans. All they have to do now is beat Nebraska and Northwestern. Which is easier said than done.

Why USC: USC, still not as good as Oregon.



Kansas_state_helmet_medium vs. Notre_dame_old1_medium

Why Kansas State: See above. Sexiness gets you in the championship. K-State isn't sexy.

Why Notre Dame: Let's put it this way...if every game were in South Bend the Fighting Irish would be playing in the national title game. Also, this inability to choose a QB thing is going to lose them a game or two.



Florida_medium vs. Oklahoma_medium

Why Florida: Yes, I know conference championship losers rarely go to BCS games. But when they go undefeated the entire regular season? C'mon, the Sugar Bowl isn't going to pass the Gators up in favor of a 2 or 3 loss LSU or South Carolina.

Why Oklahoma: The Sooners get Notre Dame this weekend. EVEN IF they lose they'll still make the Sugar Bowl by winning out.



Florida_st_medium vs. Louisville_medium

Why Florida State: Remember when Virginia Tech was supposedly the best team in the ACC?

Why Louisville: Louisville and Rutgers are now 7-0.


Capital One

Nebraska_mediumvs. Lsu_medium

Why Nebraska: I've got the Huskers losing to Michigan and the Wolverines going to the Rose Bowl. Thus, they land here.

Why LSU: Two or three SEC teams should end up with 10-2 records. LSU lands here after the tiebreakers.



Wisconsin_medium vs. Georgia_medium

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

Why Georgia: With SCar going to the Cotton Bowl via tiebreaker, the Bulldogs end up here.



Northwestern_mediumvs. Texas_am_a_medium

Why Northwestern: Northwestern loses another heartbreaker in the final minutes of the game. I can still see the Wildcats winning 8 games, I just see the Badgers winning 9.

Why Texas A&M: The Aggies are currently 5-2 and have Alabama and Mississippi State to play. At 8-4 they'll land in the Gator Bowl.


Iowa_medium vs. Texas_medium

Why Iowa: A 6-6 Iowa team making the BWW Bowl for the third consecutive year?! Thanks, sanctions!

Why Texas: Because Mack Brown needs money. He's poor.


Car Care

Minnesota_medium vs. Oklahoma_st_medium

Why Minnesota: The Gophers beat Purdue at home and Illinois later in the season, getting them into a bowl at 6-6.

Why Oklahoma State: The Cowboys beat a "ranked" team last weekend. Yes, that actually happened.


Heart of Dallas

Bowling_green_medium vs. Troy_medium

Why Bowling Green: /name out of hat

Why Troy: /name out of hat


Little Caesars

Arkansas_st_medium vs. Ohio_old11_medium

Why Arkansas State: /name out of hat

Why Ohio: Hey, the Bobcats are now 7-0! They could also beat 3/4ths of the teams in the Big Ten!





Michigan State: Let's play the remaining schedule game: @ Wisconsin, vs. Nebraska, vs. Northwestern, @ Minnesota. I can see the Spartans winning in Minnesota but where does the 6th win come from? An upset against the Huskers or Wildcats? Possible, but unlikely.

Why Illinois: Hey, at least they got an SBNation blog! /nice things

Why Indiana: Remember when we thought Indiana was getting better? Then they lost to Navy.

Why Ohio State: No Brax? No problem.

Why Penn State: I thought Penn State would go 7-5. Now I can see them winning 8 or 9 games.

Why Purdue:

All helmet images credit to The Helmet Project.