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Post Week 3 - 2012 Bowl Projections

Maybe it’s just USC. Despite having ridiculously talented teams year in and year out the Trojans somehow manage to drop an unexpected game (or two) and knock themselves out of the national title game. In 2006 it was Oregon State and UCLA. In 2007 it was Oregon and Stanford. In 2008 it was Oregon State…again. You know all those people we labeled "batshit crazy" because they were calling for Pete Carroll’s head? Yeah, that was the reason. No matter how good Southern California is or was they could always be better. At least…according to some people.

So now we’re right back where we started. The two best teams in the nation belong to the SEC, the Pac-12 could suddenly be won by Oregon and Bob Stoops is sitting back watching like that giant cockroach saying "goooood, goooood." It makes me comfortable to believe that the national title contenders will be undefeated but after the first three weeks I feel like anything is possible.

ANYTHING IS the college football season.

Then there’s our beloved conference. Michigan State had an opportunity to make a national statement by defeating Notre Dame in East Lansing on Saturday. Instead, they put up a classic SPARTY NOOOOO performance and were held to 237 total yards and 3 points. And raise your hand if you thought that Minnesota and Northwestern would go into week 4 at 3-0? Put your damn hand down. I don’t believe you.

Also, Indiana lost to Ball State, Penn State won and it doesn’t matter what Wisconsin does anymore.

Oh Biels.

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. There's also still no clarification on who gets to pick first between the Gator and the BWW. I'll assume the Gator gets to pick first.

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. 4/5 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Tempe, Arizona
Big 12 No. 4
No. 5/4 Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, Florida
SEC No. 6
No. 6 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
Houston, Texas
Big 12 No. 6
No. 7 TicketCity Bowl
Dallas, Texas
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. Oklahoma_medium

Why Alabama: Roll Tide.

Why Oklahoma: Why do I have the feeling there's a possibility LSU could play Alabama in the BCS National Championship again? Regardless, I don't think the voters will let it happen. Of all the remaining possibilities the Sooners make the most sense. Oregon loses to USC, Clemson loses to Florida State and no one else is title worthy. The Sooners get Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma at home and only have to beat West Virginia in Morgantown. Everything will change when they lose to Iowa State though.


Michigan_st_medium vs.

Why Michigan State: Michigan State is guaranteed one SPARTY NOOOO game a season and it came against Notre Dame. Are they still good enough to go undefeated in the Big Ten? It didn't look like it on Saturday. Are they still good enough to win the Big Ten? Absolutely.

Why USC: Kiffikins.


Westvirginiahelmet_mediumvs. Oregon_medium

Why West Virginia: With Big 12 Champion Oklahoma heading to the BCS National Championship, the Fiesta Bowl will take the second best team.

Why Oregon: Oregon will lose to USC and probably drop another game to Stanford or California. As they'll still be a top 14 team and the Fiesta Bowl would die for such a high powered offensive matchup, I see them playing West Virginia.


Lsu_mediumvs. Clemson_medium

Why LSU: Because they can't beat Alabama.

Why Clemson: People love Dabo in the South. Right?


Florida_st_medium vs. Louisville_medium

Why Florida State: I still have Florida State beating Clemson. Will it happen? Stay tuned this Saturday. Whoever wins that game could be a national title contender.

Why Louisville: The Cardinals are still undefeated and have quality wins over Kentucky and North Carolina. Hell, it might be November before they lose a game.


Michiganhelmet_medium vs. Georgiahelmet_medium

Why Michigan: I'm only going to say this once: if Michigan defeats Notre Dame I'm going to go batshit crazy.

Why Georgia: Nothing changes for Georgia, who will be the third best team in the SEC.


Nebraska_mediumvs. Mississippi_st_medium

Why Nebraska: The Badgers loss (and near loss) is the Husker's gain.

Why Mississippi State: The Bulldogs only beat Troy 30-24 last Saturday.

Northwestern_mediumvs. Texas_christian_old18_medium

Why Northwestern: Because there are still conference games to be played.

Why TCU: Again, there are at least four teams in the Big 12 better than TCU. They'll probably lose to all four of them.


Wisconsin_medium vs. Tennessee_medium

Why Wisconsin: The more unimpressive they look, the more they fall.

Why Tennessee: Following their loss to the Florida Gators the Vols are probably the 6th best team in the SEC.


Illinois_medium vs. Texas_tech_medium

Why Illinois: Again, with Scheelhaase benched the Illini aren't very good. Fortunately, he's got just over a week to heal up before Illinois starts playing real teams.

Why Texas Tech: Still have the Red Raiders heading to the Car Care Bowl as they're the 6th best team in the Big 12.


Purdue_mediumvs. Tulsa_medium

Why Purdue: Purdue's bowl pecking order will could be determined week 6 against Wisconsin. Whoever wins that game will set themselves up for the Gator or Car Care Bowl. As I think Wisconsin still beats Purdue, the Boilers fall here.

Why Tulsa: Still Tulsa.


Iowa_mediumvs. Northern_illinois_medium_medium_medium

Why Iowa: Iowa's offense moved the ball last week...against an FCS team. Yet again, their schedule alone is enough to get them 6 wins.

Why NIU: A rematch of one of the worst games ever? Why not.




Why Minnesota: Is Minnesota better than Iowa at Kinnick, Northwestern, Wisconsin at Camp Randall, Purdue, Michigan, Illinois at Memorial, Nebraska at Memorial or Michigan State? If you're drunk/a Minnesota fan, sure. If you're a logical


Why Ohio State: Now that Wisconsin has gone all LOLOL on us it's really unfortunate the Buckeyes aren't postseason eligible. They could make some noise. I still think they'll win the division though.

Why Penn State: Way to beat up that service academy, Penn State. You feel good about yourself?

All helmet images credit to The Helmet Project.