Bowl projections, week 14

Well, the last dominos that could have prevented Boise from getting in the BCS fell. The title game should be Alabama/Cinci, but will be the somewhat inevitable matchup. There will be no 'if the season ended today' post this week, because I don't think the BCS standings will be released before the BCS games will be announced, and certainly won't be with enough time for me to write something up.

 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. Alabama (SEC)
Rose: Oregon (Pac 10) vs. Ohio State (B10)
Fiesta: Iowa (at-large) vs. Boise State (at-large)
Sugar: Florida (at-large/in top 4) vs. Cincinnati (Big East)
Orange: Georgia Tech (ACC) vs. TCU (MWC/in top 8)

Here's the logic
BCS title game:
Alabma beat Florida convincingly. If Florida/Alabama had looked like Texas/Nebraska did, no one would have been surprised or questioned the winner's merits. As is, Nebraska only had half a team, and Texas just barely got by them. Because TCU played bad MWC teams at the end of the year (and this year's version of Utah and BYU would have had trouble beating us, and WVU or Pitt would have made them look silly) while Cinci played good Big East teams with a beat-up defense and a backup QB, lots of people seem to like TCU more than Cinci. But it's nonsense.

Other conference champions:
Ohio State earned the Rose Bowl bid by beating Iowa a few weeks ago. Oregon defeated Oregon State in the Civil War to earn the Pac 10 title (in what was a great game, for those of you also on the west coast, or willing to stay up late).

Georgia Tech won a defense-free ACC title game (though somewhat run-dominated, so it wasn't quite as high-scoring as the de facto Big East title game).

Cinci won the Big East title and finsihed a perfect season at Pitt in dramatic fashion. After Texas nearly laid an egg, that ought to be enough to put them in the title game. If we had done what Cinci did, the Orange would be playing for the national title, I think. But since it's Cinci, they're going to get to do the traditional Big East knocking off of an overrated SEC/Big 12 team that missed the title game.

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

The Fiesta chooses next to replace Texas. At this spot, one of the available Big Ten teams is nearly certain. Mid-major fans think TCU should get consideration at this spot, but there's just no way. Last time I checked, the Fiesta favored Iowa from the Big Ten pair.

With losses by USC and Clemson, the Orange is getting annoyed with the BCS. VT/Cinci last year. Louisville/Wake back in '06. They don't have any options that would sell tickets or get them a good game or good TV ratings. And they don't want Cinci again, so even though TCU would do better at the Fiesta and Cinci would do better at the Orange, they take TCU.

The Fiesta then has to select an opponent, and takes Boise because geography says its prferable to Cinci, and a 9-3 Virginia Tech isn't a good bet for drawing fans to Phoenix. If the Sugar were picking here, Boise would be out of luck.

And Florida 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. Though Bobby Bowden's retirement may have made WVU's appearance here inevitable. WVU accepted a bid to the Gator after beating Rutgers.

Meineke/Charlotte: Pitt. They're tied with WVU for second in the Big East, and two games up on USF and UConn.

International Bowl/Toronto: Rutgers. USF, Rutgers, and UConn are tied in the Big East standings. UConn went to Canada last year, and USF really doesn't want to be there. Bowl/Birmingham: USF. St.Pete doesn't really want the home team, and it's a lot more convenient to Tampa than to Storrs.

St. Petersburg Bowl: UConn. Being the last pick actually gets them a better location than #4 or #5.

staying home for the holidays: Syracuse (confirmed)

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

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