Bowl Projections, post-week 12 2010

This is up later than usual because thinking about college football since last evening has just been depressing. Nonetheless, this series must go on. So...

BCS Bowls

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

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

Oregon had the week off (as did Auburn and TCU). Poll voting patterns last week suggest Boise will pass TCU unless they lose, so they move into the title game with an anticipated Auburn loss.

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. The Badgers seem to have a pretty firm grasp on the top spot in the polls barring a loss. MSU's series of near-loss experiences is making it hard to understand how they beat Wisconsin.

Virginia Tech wins the ACC because they always do (and they're the only team undefeated in ACC play right now). They've locked up a spot in the ACC championship game.

I have no idea who will in the Big 12; Oklahoma State gets an extremely tentative projection because except for the Nebraska loss, they've really looked like the best team in the Big 12 (and were missing their star receiver vs Nebraska). Also, they're looking quite good, and get Oklahoma at their place.

Auburn wins the SEC despite losing the Iron Bowl. Unless Cam Newton is actually declared ineligible by the NCAA or SEC (there's no point in benching Cam at this point if he hasn't been officially suspended; Auburn is not bowl eligible if the wins he played in are vacated), he'll play in the SEC championship game, and that likely means they beat South Carolina a second time. At least, unless the media circus gets completely out of hand.

I'm still projecting Pitt loses at least one more game, which probably sets them up in a tie they can't win (there are no tie scenarios Pitt can win at 5-2; 4-3 Big East champ scenarios are much too confusing to try and make sense of). This week's projected champion, once and future kings of the Big East, West Virginia (they win the Big East outright if they win out unless UConn does as well, and despite the comedy of errors the Huskies foisted on both us and the 'eers, I can't see them doing that).

With Boise in the BCS title game, the Rose does not have to select an eligible non-AQ team to play Wisconsin, and so will feature a Big Ten/Pac 10 game if both conferences have eligible teams. Stanford will finish BCS eligible (even if they lose their remaining game to Oregon State, it's hard to see them dropping out of the top 14).

The Sugar Bowl selects Ohio State to play Auburn, prompting cries of outrage from East Lansing and Fort Worth, solidifying TCU's decision to join the Big East, where this won't happen.

The Orange Bowl selects LSU as the biggest draw remaining to face Virginia Tech, prompting even more cries of outrage from Boise.

West Virginia actually has a pretty good-sized fan base, but not enough to keep the Orange from taking LSU ahead of them, so they go to the Fiesta with the last pick.

Other Big East Bowls

Champs Sports Bowl (Orlando): Notre Dame. Okay, I was wrong, it's not all that unlikely that ND beats USC this year.
Meineke Car Care Bowl (Charlotte):  South Florida. Pitt was here last year.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (NYC): UConn .
Autozone Liberty Bowl (Memphis): Pitt.
BBVA Compass Bowl (Birmingham): Louisville. Probably the fan base most likely to show up for this game (USF was there last year, WVU would be terribly disappointed, and the rest of us northeastern types really don't want to go to Alabama)
Beef O'Brady's Bowl: Syracuse. May be overreacting this week.

Home for the holidays: Cinci, Rutgers. Both of these teams will have a major struggle to reach bowl eligibility (both would need to win both of their remaining games), and I don't think they will.

Edit: Forgot to send Pitt to a bowl.

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