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Bowl Projections, week 8 2010

This series is the counterpart to my 'if the season ended today' series. Unlike that series, though, here I try to guess how things actually will be at the end of the year. This is most definitely affected by my biases (generally speaking, I like the Big East, Pac 10, Ohio State, and mid-majors; I don't like the ACC, SEC, and Big 12).

Teams in Italics have guaranteed a bid. Teams in Bold have guaranteed a bid to a specific game (or come so close that's a virtual guarantee).

BCS Bowls

BCS Title: Oregon (P10) vs. TCU (MWC/autobid as #2 and highest-ranked non-BCS AQ champ)
Rose: Ohio State (B10) vs. Stanford (at-large)
Sugar: Alabama (SEC) vs. Oklahoma (at-large)
Orange: Virginia Tech (ACC) vs West Virginia (Big East)
Fiesta:  Nebraska (B12) vs. Michigan State (at-large)

Here's the logic:

I think Oregon will be the only BCS AQ team to make it through the season undefeated.

TCU is very likely to jump Boise State if both remain undefeated, due to a higher strength of schedule in the MWC vs. the WAC.

Alabama wins the SEC because South Carolina loss or no, they really have looked like the best team in the SEC (I don't believe in LSU or Auburn). Virginia Tech wins the ACC because based on the history of the post-raid ACC I always project Virginia Tech to win the ACC until it would require an extremely unlikely chain of events. Ohio State is projected to win the Big Ten because I think MSU will slip somewhere and the Buckeyes will figure out what they did wrong. West Virginia is projected to win the Big East because I don't want to give Pitt too much credit for beating us.

With the non-AQ conference autobid going to a title game participant, the Rose is free to stage a Big Ten - Pac 10 game and selects Stanford as the #2 team in the Pac 10.

The Sugar has a lot of good options, but decides on Big 12 championship game loser Oklahoma because for some reason the BCS likes watching Oklahoma lose.

For the first time since Hawaii qualified for a BCS game, the Big East champ is not selected last and crazy Mountaineers fans get to go to Miami, because the Orange Bowl has a habit of ending up as Big East/ACC.

And Michigan State takes the Fiesta's at-large spot as I think they'll be the only other eligible Big Ten team, and hence the easiest way to sell tickets.

(at this point in the season, my objective and subjective picks for the BCS bowls are the same, since the non-BCS bowls don't have any requirements beyond bowl eligibility and some rules around 6-win team selections in ND's case)

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