Sunday, December 7, 2008

12/7/2008 BCS Bowl Projections

Well, these are a lot less like projections than nearly-set-in-stone at this point. No games left, and while I think logic would dictate different matchups, we pretty much know what we're getting at this point.

BCS Title: Oklahoma vs. Florida

Oklahoma destroyed Missouri, and Florida beat Alabama convincingly, though in less of a blowout than I expected (though that was mitigated by some injuries). There's a remote chance that we get an Oklahoma-Texas rematch instead (if Florida is #2 in the polls, and Texas is a close #3, then computer rankings would move Texas ahead of Florida).

Rose Bowl: USC vs. Penn State

Penn State has won a share of the Big Ten title and the Big Ten's automatic BCS bid by beating Michigan State to finish 11-1. USC has won the Pac 10 title outright by beating UCLA to finish 11-1. If the national perceptions of conference strength were different, this could be for all the marbles instead of a secondary bowl; I'm pretty convinced this game actually features better teams than the BCS title game.

Fiesta Bowl: Texas vs. Ohio State

Technically it's possible that Texas will not get an automatic BCS bid as BCS #3 or BCS #4 (possibly as a side effect of pollsters moving teams ahead of Texas to ensure a Florida-Oklahoma game), but it seems a pretty safe bet they'd end up here even if they didn't. It seems like the Fiesta is taking the Buckeyes instead of Utah, which again proves the BCS bowls don't care much about the other bowls. Utah wouldn't be as good for the Fiesta as Ohio State, but Utah would bring fans in droves to the Fiesta (which is in neighboring Arizona), and may not to the Sugar.

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Utah

This will be the first appearance of an SEC title game loser in a BCS bowl, at least in a while. But the SEC teams after 'Bama and Florida just aren't actually BCS eligible (barring major gains by Georgia or Mississippi this week despite not playing). And with the choices of Utah or Cinci for the other spot, it seems likely the Sugar will go with the Utes, who locked up an autobid as the top-ranked non-BCS conference champ.

Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati

Cinci won the Big East title outright, and improved to 11-2 with a win at Hawaii. Virginia Tech defeated BC in an empty stadium in Tampa to claim the ACC title to secure an Orange Bowl bid. The Bearcats go here because they have to go somewhere, and this is the only spot left.

Just for fun, here's my guess at the crazy drama that happens if Texas and Florida are too close in the polls...

BCS Title: Oklahoma vs. Texas

Haven't we seen this before?

Rose: no change

Fiesta: Alabama vs. Ohio State

The Fiesta can't take a Big 12 team because there are none available, and has clearly decided they don't want Utah for some reason, so they set up a game the SEC fans think will be one-sided. So do I, but not the way they do...

Sugar: Florida vs. Utah

The winner of this game probably goes home AP champions, as Urban Meyer's old team plays his new team.

Orange: no change

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