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Bowl Projections, week 9 2010 (irrational exuberance week)


This week's edition gets a bit of a shakeup due to last week's events and is almost certainly guilty of jumping to conclusions based on insufficient evidence. Note that these are my projections; they're what I think will happen at this time (though this is inevitably shaded at least a little by what I want to happen but is mathematically possible).

BCS Bowls

BCS Title: Oregon (P10) vs. Missouri (B12)
Rose: Ohio State (B10) vs. Utah (MWC/autobid as highest-ranked non-BCS AQ champ)
Sugar: Auburn (SEC) vs. Boise State (at-large)
Orange: Virginia Tech (ACC) vs Wisconsin (at-large)
Fiesta:  Oklahoma (at-large) vs. Syracuse (Big East)

Here's the rationale (such as it is, in this crazy season)

Oregon to the title game is a pretty conventional pick. But why Missouri on the other side? Because looking at their schedule, they should not lose a game (their toughest remaining games are @Nebraska -- who has lost to Texas and allowed a ton of points against Okie State -- and a rematch in the B12 title game against an Oklahoma team they've already beat). Right now I expect Missouri to join the Ducks as the only AQ conference undefeated teams at the end of the year.

Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State end up in a three-way tie at 7-1 in the Big Ten; this ends up going all the way to BCS rankings for the tiebreaker, and sends Ohio State to the Rose Bowl.

Virginia Tech wins the ACC because they always do (and they're undefeated in ACC play right now).

Auburn wins the SEC despite losing the Iron Bowl because Les Miles manages to work his mojo on the Tide in Baton Rouge next weekend, but unlike Alabama, Auburn doesn't have the cachet to get to the title game with one loss and another undefeated AQ conference team around.

We win the Big East after winning all of our remaining games (because, why not? it's time to think big, and we're quite possibly better than everyone else on our schedule) and after Pitt inexplicably drops games @USF and in the Backyard Brawl because that's how they roll. West Virginia also wins out in the Big East, but we own the head-to-head tiebreaker there (srsly, we do).

With Oregon in the title game, Utah goes to the Rose Bowl as the highest-ranked non-AQ team after beating TCU (and the Rose Bowl pretends that since Utah will be in the Pac 12 next year, it's really a Big Ten - Pac 12 game, though not for official purposes).

The Fiesta selects Oklahoma to replace Missouri because the Big 12 really doesn't want them to take Nebraska, and they care enough about the Big 12 tie to not just blow them off and take a current Big Ten team.

Under intense pressure from the SEC to give Auburn the best possible opponent, the Sugar selects Boise State as the highest-ranked remaining team (also because they can sell out the game with just Auburn fans).

The Orange Bowl selects Wisconsin as the biggest draw remaining to face Virginia Tech, prompting cries of outrage from East Lansing.

And because we have a relatively small fan base, we go to the Fiesta to face Oklahoma.

Other Big East Bowls

Champs Sports Bowl: West Virginia. After losing to Navy, it's almost impossible for Notre Dame to take this spot (they'd need to beat USC or Utah), which means it goes to West Virginia if they're not in the BCS and it's at least plausible that they belong here.
Meineke Car Care Bowl:  Pittsburgh.
Birmingham Bowl: South Florida (ties with Cinci for 4th in the Big East, but a softer non-conference schedule means the Bulls are bowl eligible and the Bearcats are not)
Beef O'Brady's Bowl (or perhaps New Era Pinstripe Bowl): Louisville (..and that's why the Cards are 6-6 after going 3-4 in the Big East)

Home for the holidays: Cinci, Rutgers, UConn

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