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Bowl Projections, final 2011

Reminder: Since this is the final week, the regular season is over (as are conference championship games). The actual final BCS rankings will not be available with sufficient time before the bowls are actually announced for me to do a write-up tomorrow, so there's more guesswork involved than usual in terms of current ranking, though there are no more future games to guess the outcome of.

After final giving up on some things I'd projected for most of the year happening, it looks like they either did or might have happened -- Oklahoma State's blowout of Oklahoma makes a non-rematch title game a very real possibility, and Houston's loss may have allowed TCU to sneak in. On the other hand, Clemson and Wisconsin won the ACC and Big Ten title games, respectively, proving me wrong there.

Bowl

Projection (rankings are projected)
BCS Championship #1 LSU (SEC) vs #2 Oklahoma State (B12)
Rose #6 Oregon (P12) vs #10 Wisconsin (B10)
Fiesta #12 Michigan (B10/at-large) vs #8 Kansas State (B12/at-large)
Sugar #3 Alabama (SEC/3-4 rule) vs #13 TCU (MWC/top non-AQ)
Orange #19 Clemson (ACC) vs #22 West Virginia (Big East)

The selection order for the BCS bowls this year is Fiesta, Sugar, Orange.

BCS Championship: With Oklahoma State's blowout win in Beldam, I may be engaging in wishful thinking, but I'm projecting the Cowboys to the title game.

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin won the Big Ten title game on a running into the kicker penalty; UCLA gave Oregon more trouble than they should have, but the game was still a blowout. This game is set.

Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State is in the title game, and Oklahoma out of the top 14 in my projections. To replace Oklahoma State, the Fiesta selects Michigan (the best draw of the available teams). Then with the first selection in the rotation, they choose Kansas State. Stanford is a better team, but given the options available they're unlikely to be selected in a discretionary at-large spot (the same goes for Boise).

Sugar Bowl: The LSU/Alabama loser always figured as the likely team here,and now that I'm back to projecting something other than a rematch for the title game, Alabama goes here. With the second selection from the rotation, they must choose West Virginia or TCU (if they move into the top 16 as I'm projecting, though the pollsters may be more friendly to the teams that lost today than I am, and Clemson may move ahead of TCU as well). It's possible the Sugar will go for WVU over TCU given that choice, and if I'm wrong and we do get a rematch, then this gets reshuffled somewhat.

Orange Bowl: Clemson won the ACC title game easily, while the dominoes fell out so that WVU should be the Big East's BCS representative on the BCS rankings tiebreaker..

Non-BCS Big East bowls (projections for Big East schools only)

Champs Sports: Notre Dame. Unless the Irish can sneak into a higher-profile bowl somehow, they're here.

Belk:Louisville. That one is easy.

Pinstripe: Rutgers. Mostly for variety. Will not sell as many tickets as we did.

Liberty/Compass: Cinci.

Beef: Pitt.

No Bowl: USF, UConn, Syracuse.

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