Bowl Projections, week 10

I was hoping to leave the crazy projections behind with last week, but we got so many crazy actual results on the field this week that I'm not sure how to project things. Still, I'm going to try.

BCS bowls:

BCS Title: Texas (Big 12) vs. Florida (SEC)
Rose: Oregon (Pac 10) vs. Ohio State (B10)
Fiesta: Penn State (at-large) vs. Cincinnati (Big East)
Sugar: Alabama (SEC) vs. TCU (MWC/in top 8)
Orange: Georgia Tech (ACC) vs. USC (P10)

Here's the logic
BCS title game:
I'm finally bowing to the inevitable and projecting an SEC champion vs. Texas game. I don't like it, but it seems like nothing's going to derail it at this point. Right now I give the edge to Florida in the SEC.

Other conference champions:
By winning this week while Iowa lost, the Buckeyes just became Big Ten favorites again. I'm still projecting Oregon as Pac 10 champ even after losing this week due to the way tiebreakers fall out, and because Arizona is just starting the toughest part of their schedule.

Georgia Tech goes to the Orange as ACC champ; they nearly have their division wrapped up (they're a game up on Miami and VT, have tiebreakers vs. VT, and only have to play Duke), which means the usual Virginia Tech wins the ACC story won't happen, and it's hard to see them losing the ACC title game. Though it's the ACC, so stranger things have happened.

Cinci is still projected to win the Big East but it's getting tempting to switch that to Pitt. TCU is guaranteed a bid as a non-BCS confernce champ in the top 8. The coaches and computers prefer them to Boise, though the Harris voters didn't as of last week..

The Fiesta chooses first to replace Texas. Since no Big 12 team is available, the Fiesta Bowl committee takes Penn State -- the best-travelling team available, without a moment's hesitation (the guess here is that PSU will win out and move ahead of Iowa after the Hawkeyes lose to Ohio State).

The Sugar chooses next 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 Orange finds itself in a difficult position, with its options limitted to Cinci, TCU, and one of the available at-large teams. But no Big Ten or SEC teams are available due to the two team per conference limit (though odds are LSU -- and even two-loss Iowa -- are in the final top 14), no Big 12 teams are available because no one other than Texas even remotely resembles a top-14 team, an ACC team would be a rematch even if someone was eligible, Big East and non-BCS teams don't travel well, and a two-loss USC team is a bit of a question mark. Still, it's the best option available, so they go there.

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

And Alabama has to play Cinci in the Sugar Bowl.

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. In fact, if they beat WVU and ND handily and lose a close one to Cinci, as I currently expect, they're going to be upset they're not in the BCS.

Meineke/Charlotte: WVU's loss to USF puts them low enough in the selection order that Pitt goes here even with a somewhat worse fan base.

International Bowl/Toronto: ... but the 'eers don't drop far. WVU goes here. Bowl/Birmingham: Rutgers. Looked good against UConn.

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, and winning their bowl game handily: UConn

staying home for the holidays: Syracuse

staying home for the holidays and firing the coach: Louisville

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