Bowl Projections, week 13

Oklahoma State lost, and made projecting the final at-large BCS spot somewhat difficult, because I still can't see a BCS bowl taking Boise unless they have no other good options.

Teams in Bold have wrapped up their BCS bid.  Although it's theoretically possible for Boise to pass TCU, it wuold take some bizarre behavior by the voters and computers.

BCS bowls:

BCS Title: Texas (Big 12) vs. Florida (SEC)
Rose: Oregon (Pac 10) vs. Ohio State (B10)
Fiesta: Iowa (at-large) vs. TCU (MWC/in top 8)
Sugar: Alabama (SEC) vs. Cincinnati (Big East)
Orange: Clemson (ACC) vs. USC (at-large)

Here's the logic
BCS title game:
Well, there's certainly no reason to switch on Floribama this week. And even if Texas let A&M hang around, they're still likely to crush Nebraska. So we get the BCS title game everyone has been expecting all season.

Other conference champions:
Ohio State earned the Rose Bowl bid by beating Iowa a few weeks ago, and the Big Ten regular season is over. The Civil War in Eugene decides the Pac 10 champ; an Oregon win knocks Oregon State down, and is one of things needed to make this projection happen.

Georgia Tech lost their QB in their non-conference loss to Georgia. Clemson also lost their rivalry game to an SEC team, but if Nesbitt misses the ACC title game or is significantly hampered, you've got to like Clemson here.

After Pitt's loss to WVU, any temptation to switch the projected Big East champ is done (and a Cinci win to knock Pitt below USC is required to set up my projections). TCU is guaranteed a bid as the highest-ranked non-BCS confernce champ in the top 8; as mentioned in the lead-in, this almost certainly cannot change.

The Sugar chooses first to relace Florida. Since they've got dibs on another SEC team, and Alabama just might end up with an automatic spot by virtue of being in the top 4 even if they lose, they take the Tide here.

The Fiesta chooses next to replace Texas. At this spot, one of the available Big Ten teams is nearly certain, though if USC becomes available, it becomes a lot more fuzzy. Mid-major fans think TCU should get consideration at this spot, but there's just no way.

With a few wins by the favorites, USC becomes available and between that and a Clemson win, the Orange Bowl gets to exhale after thinking its possibilities for a well-attended bowl game had disappeared on Thanksgiving with the Oklahoma State loss. The Orange Bowl committee loves this game. USC likes not going to the Rose Bowl (though they would have preferred taking another route to a non-Rose BCS game). Nobody outside of USC fans likes watching USC beat up on Clemson in the actual game.

The Fiesta then has to select an opponent, and takes TCU because geography says its prferable to Cinci.

And Alabama has to play Cinci in the Sugar Bowl, because the Sugar Bowl picks last.

Big East bowls

Gator (Jax)/Sun (El Paso): WVU. ND is no longer eligible, and Pitt pretty much flubbed the spot away by losing to the 'eers (and to Cinci next week).

Meineke/Charlotte: Pitt. I like WVU over Rutgers and USF over UConn next week, which gives Pitt sole possession of third place despite a loss.

International Bowl/Toronto: USF. South Florida going to Canada for a bowl is somewhat amusing. Bowl/Birmingham: Rutgers holds on to this spot by not losing to Louisville after losing to us. They stay ahead of UConn because UConn will likely lose to USF (even in Hartford in December).

St. Petersburg Bowl: UConn

staying home for the holidays: Syracuse (confirmed)

staying home for the holidays and firing the coach: Louisville (confirmed)

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