Monday, November 10, 2008

If the season ended today...

This is another item that's going to be a regular feature on my blog during football season (I'm not going to try and do a bracketology every week in basketball season), but every week after the BCS ratings come out, I'm going to give my best guess of how the BCS bowls would play out if the season ended today, and the top-ranked team in each conference won their conference. Unlike the previous post, I make no attempt to forecast the outcome of future games (or even to look at down-the-line conference matchups). If a team is certain to appear in a given bowl, based on those assumptions, they're in bold. If they're guaranteed a BCS bowl bid, but not a specific bowl, they're in italics. So here goes...

BCS Title: #1 Alabama vs. #2 Texas Tech

No analysis needed here; that's just who #1 and #2 are in the current polls.

Rose Bowl: #6 USC vs. #8 Penn State

And with Penn State falling out of the BCS title game picture, this one matches automatic bid winners.

Fiesta Bowl: #3 Texas vs. #7 Utah

The Fiesta's choice of Texas is no choice at all; they can keep any other BCS bowl from taking a Big 12 team, and Texas is guaranteed a bid by finishing #3. While they don't have to take Utah, the last few years have shown that non-BCS fans will travel to major bowls in numbers, and Utah fans to Phoenix even more so.

Sugar Bowl: #4 Florida vs. #11 Ohio State

Because of the way things fall out if the Fiesta selects Utah, the Sugar pretty much has two free slots. But conference loyalty and common sense pretty much demands selecting Florida, and Ohio State is a much better draw of fans and TV viewers than Boise State, Ball State, or Pitt.

Orange Bowl: #16 North Carolina vs. #21 Pitt

The Big East champ probably falls to the final spot unless it's West Virginia (whose fans have a reputation for travelling well, unlike the other Big East contenders), and the Fiesta Bowl decides to take Ohio State.

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