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Post Week 13 - Bowl Projections

Off Tackle Empire's latest bowl projections for the Big Ten and the BCS following week 13 of NCAA football action.


USC tried. Failed.

Florida State tried. Failed.

Oregon State tried. Failed.

UCLA tried. Failed.

Clemson tried. Fuck Clemson.

Auburn didn't try and decided to lay down and take it like they were drunk after a kegger at Brohio State. Now Gene Chizik is updating his resume and hoping someone will hire him despite a head coaching record of 38-38 (24-38 without Cam Newton). Maybe he can join Tim Brewster in the "washed-up were supposedly once hot young coordinators" club and live off of Chizik Nickels.

Speaking of USC, who thought the Trojans would actually live up their #1 ranking and play for a national title? Only me? Oh, sorry guys. Sorry I thought Lane Kiffin wasn't a complete waste of space. Turns out he's just Monte's son. Nothing more, nothing less.

Now all Notre Dame has to do is sit back and wait for the SEC game to unfold. If Alabama wins they'll take on the Fighting Irish in Miami. If the Crimson Tide lose, it's all Bulldogs. While we're on the topic of Georgia why don't we look back on their excellent schedule and their opponents' Sagarin ratings (as of now):



Sagarin Rating

vs. Buffalo W, 45-23 135
@ Missouri W, 41-20 43
vs. Florida Atlantic W, 56-20 127
vs. Vanderbilt W, 48-3 29
vs. Tennessee W, 51-44 54
@ South Carolina L, 35-7 10
@ Kentucky W, 29-24 92
vs. Florida W, 17-9 4
vs. Ole Miss W, 37-10 33
@ Auburn W, 38-0 84
vs. Georgia Southern W, 45-14 99
vs. Georgia Tech W, 42-10 64

That calls for:

To review: Georgia beat exactly one top 25 team. The next "best" team they beat was Vanderbilt. The same Vanderbilt that lost to Northwestern and has wins over Presbyterian, Missouri, Auburn, UMass, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Wake Forest. None of those teams have winning records. But let's not stop there. On to Alabama:



Sagarin Rating

vs. Michigan W, 41-14 20
vs. Western Kentucky W, 35-0 82
@ Arkansas W, 52-0 65
vs. Florida Atlantic W, 48-3 127
vs. Ole Miss W, 51-44 33
@ Missouri W, 35-7 43
@ Tennessee W, 29-24 54
vs. Mississippi State W, 38-7 36
@ LSU W, 21-17 11
vs. Texas A&M L, 29-24 7
vs. Western Carolina W, 49-0 204
vs. Auburn W, 49-0 84

See above video. It's sobering, isn't it? Through the first five weeks the college football world was of the opinion "there's Alabama and there's everyone else." Now I'm asking myself "Holy hell, who did Alabama even play?" See, there's this belief that SEC teams are a cut above the rest because of PAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW SPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED and strength and lack of learning and probation and grade fixing and schoolbooks and paying fathers so that their sons will attend Auburn and Mike Shula and probation and heart problems and motorcycles and probation and engaged women with ficticuous positions in the athletic department and everything Houston Nutt did his entire head coaching career. In response to this belief I'd like to quote an article by Paul Newberry of the Huffington Post:

This season, the 14-team SEC has a grand total of 14 non-conference games against opponents from the other so-called major conferences. And four of those are pretty much mandated by in-state rivalries – an early season meeting between Kentucky and Louisville of the Big East, plus Saturday's games against three Atlantic Coast Conference opponents: Georgia hosting Georgia Tech, Florida traveling to Florida State, and South Carolina playing at Clemson.

Mississippi State and Texas A&M didn't schedule anyone from another Bowl Championship Series conference. The only SEC teams that played more than one were Vanderbilt, which lost to Northwestern (Big Ten) and travels to Wake Forest (ACC) on Saturday, and newcomer Missouri, which apparently has yet to learn how the game is played since it met both Arizona State (Pac-12) and Syracuse (Big East).

Obviously, that article was written before Florida and South Carolina defeated their respective opponents. Still, you shouldn't color me impressed. Aside from a couple in-state rivalries, where's the dominance over stiff OOC opponents? We're under the impression that the SEC is so dominant because all they do is play each other? This isn't to say that I don't think the SEC is the best conference in the nation or that the Big Ten is somehow on their level because LOLOLOL the Big Ten is turrible this season. I'm only saying that the SEC is incredibly top-heavy and their middle-tier/bottom-tier is mediocre to awful so stop boasting about how awesome it is from top to bottom. Oh, and the conference should also prove itself by scheduling OOC games that don't involve a directional Carolina.

I don't think it's too much to ask.

In the final week of the regular season a few of our beloved (or hated) Big Ten teams scratched their way to bowl eligibility, one made my upset pick look foolish and Illinois cannot (and never will) have nice things. Iowa and Nebraska kicked off the week of football by lulling everyone to sleep on Black Friday. The game started off as expected: Nebraska runs ball down Iowa's throat, Iowa does nothing to stop it, Iowa miraculously holds the Huskers to a field goal. Iowa then does the unexpected: drives right down the field and scores, taking a 7-3 lead. That was the last time we saw Iowa's offense. Something something Greg Davis something James Vandenberg something Rex Burkead, Iowa loses 13-7.

Northwestern bitchslapped Illinois 50-14. No, seriously, it was a bitchslapping and looked exactly like this:



Ohio State capped off their perfect season by defeating Michigan 26-21. I question whether Ohio State would've went undefeated if they weren't banned from the postseason. I think the bowl ban created a "well, it's not like there's anything to lose" mentality and gave the Buckeyes an extra chip on their shoulder. Then again, I always overestimate the importance of emotion in college football and could easily turn that statement around by pointing out how important it is that they didn't have anything to play for.

Purdue beats Indiana. Purdue then beats Danny Hope.

Michigan State clawed past Minnesota and got bowl eligible. Jerry Kill had another seizure during halftime (I believe). Check MNWildcat's article for that.

Oh Biels. You lost to Sam Ficken. LOL.

Finally, if Kent State wins the MAC this weekend and UCLA loses the Pac-12 Championship game, there's going to be a wrench thrown into these projections. Fortunately, I think NIU will beat the Golden Flashes.

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: Turns out the Irish played one of the better schedules in the nation.

Why Alabama: You got Gene Chizik fired, are you happy? Are you also happy your schedule was vastly overrated and the only real games you've played this season were against LSU, Texas A&M and now Georgia?



Nebraska_medium vs. Stanford_old8_medium

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

Why Stanford: UCLA failed to upset Stanford, thus the Cardinal will play in the Rose Bowl after defeating the Bruins for the second time in 6 days.



Kansas_state_helmet_medium vs. Oregon_medium

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

Why Oregon: With the first pick the Fiesta Bowl will take the explosive Oregon Ducks. We'll see a matchup of premier quarterbacks in a game that is sure to end 14-7, instead of 44-48.



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: Still the ACC Champion.

Why Louisville: If Kent State wins the MAC they'll end up here. As I don't think they'll win the MAC, Louisville plays in the Orange Bowl.


Capital One

Michiganhelmet_medium vs. Georgia_medium

Why Michigan: Big Ten's "second best" team.

Why Georgia: They lose the SEC Championship game, getting them here.



Northwestern_medium vs. South_carolina_old13_medium

Why Northwestern: Following Wisconsin's OT loss to Penn State, the Wildcats jump the Badgers and end up here.

Why South Carolina: No change.



Wisconsin_medium vs. Mississippi_st_medium

Why Wisconsin: A 7-6 Big Ten team in the Gator Bowl? Hooray!

Why Mississippi State: Over-rated CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP.


Michigan_st_medium vs. Oklahoma_st_medium

Why Michigan State: As expected, MSU gets to six wins and BWW takes them.

Why Oklahoma State: No change.


Car Care

Minnesota_medium vs. West_virginia_medium

Why Minnesota: Minnesota gets the nod over Purdue because they actually have a head coach.

Why West Virginia: TIRE. FIRE.


Heart of Dallas

Iowa_st_medium vs. Purdue_medium

Why Iowa State: Iowa's most hated in-state rival...

Why Purdue: versus Iowa's most hated conference rival.


Little Caesars

Western_kentucky_medium vs. Northern_illinois_medium

Why Western Kentucky: I've had this pick for a while now. Jerry Palm needs to stop reading my stuff.

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





Why Iowa: Greg Davis will either receive a lifetime contract or be fired by the time you're reading this.


Why Indiana: Baby steps.

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

Why Penn State: #TeamButtholeChinForCOY

All helmet images credit to The Helmet Project.