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Predicting the BCS in October...Seems Easy Enough

We're far enough into the season where we can take some educated guesses at what the BCS Bowl Picture will look like in a few months.

ACC

Coastal Division

One would
assume that its Clemson's to lose, but in fact, they may have already lost it. Clemson's loss to Boston College back on September 9th looks like it will come back to haunt the Tigers. Clemson has a pissed-off Virginia Tech, Maryland, NC State and South Carolina left on the schedule. They could go 4-0, they could go 2-2, depends which VT and NCST teams show up. But even if they win out, Boston College has a good shot at doing the same. They've got a cakewalk against Buffalo, thier last test against Wake Forest and then Duke, Maryland and that skitzo Miami team. Truth is, Miami could easily step up and save thier season in that one and I expect that Clemson will be rooting for the Canes bigtime. Even with the loss, I think BC can still one-up the Tigers.
Pick: Bosto
n College

Atlantic Division (who named these divisions anyway? They make no sense whatsoever)
It's a three-team race. Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech or Miami will knock the other team out this weekend when they play. After that one, Tech has a smooth ride with Duke, NC State, Maryland and a down Georgia. If Miami can beat Georgia Tech, they'll have the other Tech to deal with in 2 weeks. If they can win out in the next two weeks, thier late-season matchup with BC will hold little value. Virginia Tech has thier work cut out for them...Clemson this week, Miami next week and Wake Forest in a month...plus they're already a game behind Miami and Georgia Tech. I think ultimately the winner of the Georgia Tech-Miami game is the victor.
Pick: Georgia Tech


ACC Champion: In one of those seasons where the best team in the conference doesn't even get to play for the championship, I think Georgia Tech gets the bid and Clemson has a good shot at an At-Large.

Big East

I think this one's been talked to death so we already know, the winner of the West Virginia -
Louisville game will almost undoubtedly win the Big East and go undefeated in the process. But is it time to serious start discussion the possibilities of Rutgers jumping into the fray. If Rutgers defeats UConn next weekend, as they should, they will be undefeated on November 9th when Louisville comes to town, possibly also undefeated. Is it possible that Louisville could beat West Virginia, then lose to Rutgers, setting up a shocking Big East decisive game on December 2nd when the Knights travel to West Virginia? It would be Commissioner Mike Trangese's cream dream. The truth is, we STILL don't know how good Rutgers is and we fully expect the Cardinals and the Mountaineers to walk all over them. But...it's possible.

Anyway, I think Louisville gets a little revenge on West Virginia for last year's OT classic and then they beat Rutgers. That'll leave South Florida (who beat Louisville last year), UConn and a good Pittsburgh team standing between them and being undefeated. Don't be surprised if the Big East, which was supposed to be the easiest conference to call, gets very muddled. I think regardless of the WVU-L'ville turnout, the Rutgers-WVU game is going to have huge implications.

Big East Champion: Louisville, but I'm not sure they go undefeated. West Virginia gets At-Large consideration.

Big 12

North Division
There's only two teams in the division with winning records, in-conference and overall. Missouri is about to prove just how good they are, taking on Oklahoma and Nebraska back-to-back. Nebraska, meanwhile, doesn't have much of a cakewalk either with a frisky Okla State, Missouri and Texas A&M looking to take advantage. Obviously, the winner of the head-to-head
has the advantage and I think while Nebraska showed a lot of heart in the loss to Texas, it also took the wind out of them.
Pick: Missouri

South Division
The Big 12 is depleted overall this year and Texas should have no problem running the table from
here on out. They're a game up and have wins against Baylor and Oklahoma, which might as well put them both games back. That only leaves Texas A&M on November 24th at the only real threat. A&M will have just finished playing Oklahoma and Nebraska as well, so don't expect them to be sitting there with just one conference loss by then anyway.
Pick: Texas

Big 12 Champion: The Big 12 Championship game has a history of upsets, at least one of which we perpetrated by Texas at some point. I think it's definetly possible here bu
t I'll defer to Texas getting the win, setting up getting mopped in the bowl game.

Big Ten

Now this is the easy setup that everyon
e assumed the Big East would have. #1 Ohio State, #2 Michigan. Unefeated Ohio State, undefeated Michigan. Can't get any easier than this. The only other team even a consideration at this point is Wisconsin, who has already lost to Michigan and doesn't play Ohio State (damn that 11-team scheduling).

Big Ten Champion: My brain says Ohio State, my guy says Michigan with a shocker in Columbus. I'm going with my gut...Michigan wins and Ohio State gets an At-Large bid.

Pac-10


Everyone has at least two losses except for USC and Cal, so they've made it easy for us. Between now and November 18th in Los Angeles, Cal has two very winnable games against UCLA and Arizona. USC has Oregon State and Stanford to kick around before a dangerous Oregon game at home. Everyone wants to make a big deal about USC's unimpressive wins and I admit I'm on the fence myself. But let's face it, if they win out, they'll have beaten Arkansas (who beat Auburn), Nebraska (who almost beat Texas), Cal and Notre Dame...I don't think they'll be any argument, which is why...

Pac-10 Champion:...that would be too easy. Cal wins, snapping many streaks in the process and letting loose a lot of demons. USC gets serious At-Large consideration.

SEC

East Divsion
Really, only Florida and Tennessee have a shot at this point. Georgia's getting by on reputation and South Carolina's still a year or two away. Florida's got the head-to-head advantage and they have a VERY soft schedule from here on out until Florida State on November 25th. By then, the East will be decided anyway. I can't imagine they lose from here on out. Tennessee meanwhile, still has to deal with a bitter LSU and a frisky Arkansas.
Pick: Florida

West Divsion
Arkansas, Auburn and LSU. LSU is almost out of it with 2 co
nference losses and a head-to-head loss with Auburn. They'll have to stick around and get past Tennessee and Alabama to see if thier November 24th matchup with Arkansas means anything. Assuming it won't, Auburn needs Arkansas to lose twice for any shot...they'll face tough tests from Tennessee and LSU, especially since chances are Auburn will win out with a very soft schedule. Even if Arkansas loses once, they still win the division due to head-to-head, so...
Pick: Arkansas

SEC Champion: I like Arkansas, I really do, but I'm taking Urban Meyer and Florida in any bigtime game setting. Auburn still gets much consideration for At-Large based on record and rank.

BCS Bowls

Snubbed
Notre Dame -I think USC beats them, knocking them in
the 2nd tier
Clemson - They should have another loss by this point, knocking them out

Rose
Cal vs. Ohio State - A Rose Bowl consolation for the Buckeyes but I think they still win this game...they're just a better team.

Fiesta
USC vs. Auburn - At one point, this was the trendy NC pick. Now it'll have to settle for being the most exciting of all the BCS games, Championship included. USC wins.

Orange
Georgia Tech vs. Louisville - The least sexy of the BCS games will probably end up being pretty entertaining. I'll take L'ville in a shootout.

Sugar
Florida vs. West Virginia - Should be a fun one. Can't say that a crowd that will heavily favor the other team will affect the Mountaineers but I think Florida takes this one nonetheless.

BCS Championship
#1 Michigan vs. #2 Texas - Despite being heavily overmatched, Texas is happy to be back. But unhappy afterwards after they get thumped.

Did I just pick Michigan to win the National Title? I'm gonna be sick...