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Post Week 12 - Bowl Projections

Off Tackle Empire's latest bowl projections for the Big Ten and the BCS following week 12 of NCAA football action.

Caption this suddenly relevant photo.
Caption this suddenly relevant photo.
Andrew Burton



For those of you hoping that the SEC's death grip on BCS Championship appearances would be broken this season...sorry. Leave it to a middling Big 12 team to ruin the conference's only legitimate shot at a national championship and Oregon to fall flat on their face in a November primetime game. The more things change the more they stay the same, right?

Now that Oregon and Kansas State have graciously handed the #1 and #2 spots to Notre Dame and Alabama the pundits and media have the Fighting Irish and Crimson Tide playing in the BCS Championship Game. But is it that cut and dry? While Notre Dame's spot is all but locked up due to USC losing half of their team to injury (and the fact that they're coached by Lane Kiffin) why do we automatically assume that the Tide will roll over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game? Alabama struggled against LSU, lost to Texas A&M and dusted a 1-win community college last week. Georgia, on the other hand, hasn't lost since the first week of October. Could you make an argument that Bulldogs can shock the world?

OK let's be honest. Georgia doesn't stand a chance against Alabama. 7 of Georgia's 10 wins came against teams with losing records and Georgia Southern is an FCS team. Then again, did Baylor or Stanford stand a chance? In the words of Kevin Garnett:

"I don't have Ray's number anymore...I'm not trying to communicate. I'm just being honest with everybody in here. ... It's just what it is."

Wait...that's not right. Regardless, college football wouldn't be college football if the team with the easiest path to BCS Championship didn't lose a game they had no business losing. That's why we love it.

Meanwhile, back in the Big Ten, this is happening:


via Ralpie Report

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.



Notre_dame_old1_mediumvs. Alabama_medium

Why Notre Dame: USC is down Barkley and coached by Lane Kiffin.

Why Alabama: The SEC East might as well be the ACC.



Nebraska_medium vs. Oregon_medium

Why Nebraska: We're assuming the Cornhuskers will easily dispatch the Badgers because Nebraska never has problems in conference championship games, right?

Why Oregon: No one feels sorry for you, Oregon. You should also be glad that UCLA is going to beat Stanford.



Kansas_state_helmet_medium vs. Clemson_medium

Why Kansas State: The Wildcats land here as the Big 12 champion.

Why Clemson: By process of elimination. Clemson beats SCar, no other SEC teams are eligible and the Tigers don't play in the ACC Championship Game.



Florida_medium vs. Oklahoma_medium

Why Florida: A one loss Gator team lands here as the SEC's replacement.

Why Oklahoma: A 10-2 OU team ends up here.



Florida_st_medium vs. Louisville_medium

Why Florida State: No change.

Why Louisville: I'm sorry but I refuse to believe that the best school in the Big East lost to Kent State.


Capital One

Michiganhelmet_medium vs. Georgia_medium

Why Michigan: No change.

Why Georgia: No change.



Wisconsin_medium vs. South_carolina_old13_medium

Why Wisconsin: No change.

Why South Carolina: No change.



Northwestern_medium vs. Mississippi_st_medium

Why Northwestern: No change.

Why Mississippi State: No change.


Michigan_st_medium vs. Oklahoma_st_medium

Why Michigan State: Sparty beats Minnesota and finishes the season at 6-6.

Why Oklahoma State: No change.


Car Care

Minnesota_medium vs. West_virginia_medium

Why Minnesota: Someone has to be the Big Ten's last remaining bowl eligible team.

Why West Virginia: TIRE. FIRE.


Heart of Dallas

Iowa_st_medium vs. Central_michigan_medium

Why Iowa State: The Cyclones didn't lose to Kansas. Now they get to go to Dallas!

Why CMU: Because Iowa fans want to die on the inside while watching this game.


Little Caesars

Western_kentucky_medium vs. Northern_illinois_medium

Why Western Kentucky: /name out of hat

Why NIU: They're the best team in the MAC.





Why Iowa: Anyone else think we should extend Kirk Ferentz's contract?

Why Illinois: I'm out of jokes. You can't kill the Illini program. It's already dead.

Why Indiana: Still have the Hoosiers beating Purdue.

Why Ohio State: But could the Buckeyes beat the Jaguars?

Why Penn State: Soon to be known as "That Team Who Loses to Rutgers."

Why Purdue: Danny Hope's final game is going to be a painful one.

All helmet images credit to The Helmet Project.