It’s Championship Week in college football and that means the BCS will be revealing their final numbers soon. For fun, we’ve made projections about the five BCS bowl games this year.
Although oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have yet to release the odds for any of the bowl games, let’s take a stab at making some college football bowl projections anyway.
Rose Bowl: January 1, 2011
The Rose Bowl features the No.1 team in the Big Ten against the No. 1 team from the Pac-10, unless one of those teams is playing for a national title. Seeing as how Oregon will be playing for a national title in 2011, they’re out. And it would be shocking if Wisconsin didn’t win the Big Ten. The Badgers destroyed the Wildcats 70-23 in Week 13 and appear to be destined for Pasadena after laying a beatdown to several opponents the past couple of weeks. But who will they play? Well, BCS rules state that for games of January 2011 through 2014, the first year the Rose Bowl loses a team to the National Championship Game, that non-AQ team will play in Pasadena. And with Oregon slated for the title game, that leaves TCU as “that non-AQ” team.
Fiesta Bowl: January 1, 2011
This is a hard projection. We know that the winner from the Big 12 will be one of these teams, but which Big 12 team will it be? Oklahoma pulled off the upset over Oklahoma State in Week 12, but Nebraska isn’t a pushover. The Huskers were defeated by Texas A&M two weeks ago, but quarterback Taylor Martinez was hurt early in the game and ineffective in the second half due to an ankle injury. If he’s healthy enough to play in the Big 12 title game, then Oklahoma will have its hands full on both sides of the ball. That said, we like the Sooners to beat the Huskers in the end and face Stanford, which won’t play in the Rose Bowl because of BCS rules (see the Rose Bowl writeup above). If Stanford is ranked in the top 4, it gets an automatic bid to a BCS Bowl and with LSU losing to Arkansas last Saturday, we like the Cardinal’s chances of being ranked that high.
Orange Bowl: January 3, 2011
The ACC Champion will take on a BCS at-large team in this game and we favor Virginia Tech over Florida State (the two teams that will play in the ACC title game next week). The Hokies are the only team in the ACC with zero conference losses and should dispose of a pesky but inconsistent Seminoles team. The Orange Bowl also gets the next selection after the Sugar Bowl, although they won’t be left with many choices. Stanford will be an option, but Connecticut makes more sense geographically with the Orange Bowl being played in Miami, Florida. If you don’t like the matchup, you can thank the Big East for its lousy season.
Sugar Bowl: January 4, 2011
The SEC Champion gets the nod for the Sugar Bowl but since Auburn (assuming Cam Newton and Co. can take care of South Carolina next week) will be playing in the title game, the Tigers aren’t headed for New Orleans. Assuming the Sugar Bowl wants another SEC team, Arkansas (which beat LSU last Saturday) is the most likely choice. The Razorbacks are 10-2 and will finish ranked in the top-10, so they make more sense than the Gamecocks, who we believe will be beat by Auburn in the SEC title game. The most likely at-large choice is Ohio State, which won a share of the Big Ten but won’t be ranked higher than Wisconsin in the BCS top-25 and therefore won’t play in the Rose Bowl.
BCS National Championship Game: January, 10
This is arguably the easiest game to project. After they thrashed Arizona last week, Oregon is projected to make the title game as the No. 1 team in the country. And thanks to a shocking comeback in Tuscaloosa last week against Alabama, Auburn should get past South Carolina in the SEC title game and face the Ducks. If somehow the Gamecocks shock the Tigers, then the BCS will be turned on its head. You can bet that TCU wants that exact scenario to go down.