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Bowl Projections, week 8


Admittedly, this is still early, but the Big Ten SBNation blog and ESPN and CNN / SI have been doing these since the first week of the season, so I don't think I'm jumping the gun by starting them when the BCS standings become available.

BCS bowls:

BCS Title: Alabama (SEC) vs. USC (P10)
Rose: Oregon (at-large) vs. Iowa (B10)
Fiesta: Texas (B12) vs. TCU (MWC/in top 8)
Sugar: Florida (at-large) vs. Cincinnati (BE)
Orange: Virginia Tech (ACC) vs. Penn State (at-large)

Here's the logic
BCS title game:
I think Alabama will beat Florida in the SEC title game if the Gators don't lose before then. And I don't see anyone else in a BCS conference going undefeated. Beyond that, USC usually wins out after losing a random Pac 10 game, and that should be enough to get them to #2 after Florida and Texas have lost. Cinci or Iowa would likely jump any one-loss team in my estimation (with top-5 rankings from the pollsters and top-2 from the stat guys, it's probably enough), but I don't think either runs the table, and I'm not sure anyone does.

Iowa goes the Rose as Big 10 champs; they lose at Ohio State but win all of their other remaining games, while Ohio State loses at Penn State. Iowa owns the tiebreaker over Penn State due to a head to head win.

Texas goes to the Fiesta as Big 12 champ; they suffer a hiccup somewhere (probably vs. Oklahoma State), but it doesn't keep them from winning the Big 12 this year.

Virginia Tech goes to the Orange as ACC champ; the Hokies almost always end up on top when the ACC roulette wheel stops spinning. Miami's loss this week was the first shoe to drop on the road to this happening.

Cincinnati is guaranteed a bid as Big East champ. I figure they may lose to WVU or Pitt, but 6-1 in the Big East will be good enough to win the conference. My guess is actually WVU beats Cinci, Cinci beats Pitt, Pitt beats WVU... which sends the Big East to tiebreakers, and Cinci wins due to a higher BCS ranking (because they're 11-1 and the other two are 10-2).

TCU is guaranteed a bid as a non-BCS confernce champ in the top 8. The pollsters like Boise a little more than TCU, but the stats like TCU a lot more.

The Sugar first choses a team to replace Alabama. They have exclusive rights to a second SEC team, so they take Florida.

The Orange has to pick Virginia Tech's opponent next. If Ohio State is eligible, they go here, but I don't think a 9-3 Ohio State cracks the top 14, so Penn State gets the spot.

The Fiesta must select either TCU or Cincinnati to play Texas. Since TCU is much closer, they select Boise State.

This leaves Cincinnati to play Florida in the Sugar.

Big East bowls

Gator/Sun: Notre Dame is likely eligible for this slot, and takes it. This annoys Pitt fans to no end, as the Panthers should have a better record and a head-to-head win over ND.


Meineke/Charlotte: West Virginia will be snatched up by the first bowl that can take them, and can't take Notre Dame, so they go here.


International Bowl/Toronto: Pitt; probably considers Pitt and UConn, with no interest in USF


PapaJohns.com Bowl/Birmingham: UConn; I moved USF down two slots because they haven't looked good against Cinci or Pitt. If that was more because the Bearcats and Panthers are good than because the Bulls are so-so, they'll go here.

St. Petersburg Bowl: USF; it looks likely they'll be bowl eligible, and non-WVU Big East teams and CUSA teams can't be counted on to sell tickets

Filling some conference's unused slot: Rutgers

staying home for the holidays: Syracuse, Louisville

Update: Fixed some typos, reconsidered USF

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