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Archive for November, 2006

Breaking Down the Title Games

Today we take a look at the title games and how they might break down.

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP:  WAKE FOREST (10-2)   V.   GEORGIA TECH (9-3)

First of all, what can you say about the Demon Decons this year? And you thought all they knew there was roundball. Wake Forest has not only played above expectations, but garnered support through the year. They had two bad let downs against Clemson and Virginia Tech, the former more serious than the latter, as VT is maybe the hottest team east of the Mississppi right now.  They have a very balanced attack, averaging 158 running and 144 passing per game. Offensively they dont score alot (23 pts/game) but then they dont give up much either (15 ppg). The ball gets moved around the offense very well, with a couple of running backs over 300+ yards and receivers the same way.  In a nutshell, this is a very good TEAM.  They play well together, put together and good ball control style approach and typically execute well.

On the other side of the ball is Georgia Tech, who has been anything BUT consistent.  At times they have been brilliant, both offensively and defensively.  The defense especially has  played reasonably consistent all year long holding opponents to only 17 points per game. But its the offensive side of the ball that has proved to be very schizophrenix.  Reggie Ball at times seems to be All-American, and then turns around to be All-Questionable.  GT scores only slightly more than WF, 26 points/game, but they can explode with All-Universe WR Calvin Johnson. The Jackets also tend to have a balanced offense too averaging 160 and 164 yds/game running/passing respectively.

So what will be the key here? Reggie Ball. If Reggie plays well, the Jacket defense can dig in and do its job.  However, WF loves to grind the ball and work at that defensive front. I look for this to be a very defensive game, which suits Wake Forest more than GT.  Reggie Ball isnt patient enough to take what is given to him.  Calvin Johnson was almost non-existent last week against Georgia, which spelled defeat for the Wreck.  I suspect that WF will find a way to do the same.

Wake Forest 24  Georgia Tech 14.

BIG-12 CHAMPIONSHIP:  OKLAHOMA (10-2)   V.  NEBRASKA (9-3)

Im Star Wars visionry, do I see the faces of Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer, Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne in the clouds?  This seems a throwback game doesnt it?  But it probably will bear no resemblance to the 70’s matchups we all remember fondly.  I am tempted to say that Oklahoma backed into the championship with the help of Texas A&M, but if it hadn’t been for multiple blown calls in the OU-Oregon earlier in the year, Oklahoma might be here on its own merit. With Adrian Peterson going down, new starting QB and 3rd string RB, Bob Stoopes should be getting coach of the year in my book. They have managed to average over 30 points per game while only allowing 16, with a tremendously balanced offense (188/182 rush./pass). They have lost, legitimately, to only Texas, which certainly is one heck of an accomplishment.

But Nebraska hasnt been just lying around. Bill Calahan’s crew has played a very tough schedule, and lost only  to USC, Texas and Oklahoma State (go figure that one).  They can score quickly or grind the ball out, in any case to the tune of over 33 points per game, and their defense only allows around 18. While the Huskers seem to rush the ball well, they are more prone to pass.  Which is where I think Nebraska prevails here.  They have played very tough competition, have proven they can score, even against the toughest defenses. So I think OU will succomb to the passing game, and Nebraska will take their trip to Tempe by way of the Big-12 Championship.

Nebraska 34  Oklahoma 27

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP:   ARKANSAS (10-2)   v.  FLORIDA (11-1)

Now see everyone seems to be waiting for this one, but I dont think it’s going to live up to the hype. Arkansas has a tremendously talented team, and they are playing up to its level.  LSU’s defense was about the only thing I saw that slowed down Arkansas enough. The new Wildcat formation used by the Razorbacks wreaks havoc on defenses scoring an average of over 30 points per game and their defense is tough allowing only around 17pts /game.

Florida, on the other hand, has lost only to Auburn, but in all honestly hasnt played the toughest schedule either. They average 28 points per game and give up a measley 12.  The Gators only eeked by Tennessee, but DID defeat LSU soundly. Florida can put up some impressive numbers but Chris Leak is their key.  If he isnt hot, its an uphill struggle.

I look for a defensive start to this game, and then it opens up. Arkansas’ running game will be the big difference in punching their ticket to the Sugar Bowl.

Arkansas 31  Florida 21

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Bowl Game Reprise – Take 2

Like the College Footbal fanatic that I am, I have been uncomfortable with making guesses as to the bowl games coming up. Its true that I have posted a couple of things, but not wanting to make hasty decisions, I decided I would dig down into some of the various bowl game rules and regulations so that I could get a better idea on the nuances of what to expect. Boy am I glad that I did, because, it seems the order in which things happen seem to make a world of difference!

Believe it or not, after following things backwards, you have to start with the Toyota Gator Bowl. Typically this bowl pits the ACC #3 versus a Big 12 or Big East #2 as an opponent. Now, with Georgia Tech losing last week, and headed to the ACC champioship against Wake Forest, this means that all ACC teams move up one (something I just forgot to take in mind):

1. Ga Tech
2. Wake Forest
3. Virginia Tech
4. Boston College
5. Clemson
6. Maryland
7. Florida State

But, because either Ga Tech or WF must go to a BCS (probably the Orange), everythng slides. Because of a new rule put into effect this year, a bowl can not pass on an available team that finished more than one game ahead of the others. Georgia Tech went 7-1 in the ACC this year, Clemson 5-3. If GT fails to win the ACC title next week and the Chick-fil-A, as expected, takes 10-2 Virginia Tech (cuz they are going to take the #2), the Gator Bowl has to take 9-4 Georgia Tech.

Now who would they play? The Big-12 is a mess, really. Texas A&M saw to that last weekend by beating Texas. Oklahoma and Nebraska play in the title game. Texas might have been a great choice for the Gator. After all the winner goes to a BCS (probably the Fiesta) and the loser goes to the Cotton. This queues up A&M and Texas for consideration. The Holiday Bowl would want the #3, which would be Texas, and this would put the Aggies in the Alamo Bowl. The Gator might want the Longhorns also, but you have to take into effect who would go to Jacksonville. Would Longhorn fans go here?? Probably not, so everything drops a notch. Texas to the Alamo, A&M to the Holiday, and then the others (Missouri, Texas Tech, Kansas State and Oklhoma State) drop down also. So now the Gator needs to look to the Big East for a challenger to GT.

With West Virginia dropping out of BCS and Big East consideration, they would seem most likely to go to the Gator. They must play Rutgers, however, which has Big East implications. If Rutgers wins, they win an automatic BCS bid (probably to the Orange against the ACC Winner). Next in line would be Louisville, which is likely to get an at-large BCS bid. So the Gator passes to the next, which would be, lo and behold, West Virginia!

Also, one thing I failed to notice carefully this weekend, was that Troy beat Middle Tennesee State for the Sun Belt Championship (well if they beat 0-11 FIU this weekend). This might not sound like anything, but in doing that, it affected almost every 6-6 team in America, including Kansas, Washington State, Arizona, Pittsburgh, SMU or other team hoping to receive an at-large berth. NCAA rules state that a bowl can only offer an at-large berth to a 6-6 team if there are no other teams with winning records available. There are only going to be two at-large spots available, the Poinsettia and the Motor City, and one of those is now going to have to go to Middle Tennessee. The other will go to an extra team from the MAC, either Northern Illinois or Western Michigan, both of whom have winning records as well.

Title-wise, think it happens as follows:

Big East: W. Virginia will beat Rutgers, handing the championship to Louisville.
ACC: Wake Forest will defeat Georgia Tech.
Big-12: Nebraska to defeat Oklahoma.
SEC: Arkansas over Florida.

Finally, a last predictive look at the Bowls:

BCS Championship: Ohio State v. USC

Sugar Bowl: Arkansas v. Notre Dame

Orange Bowl: Wake Forest v. Louisville

Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska v. Boise State

Rose Bowl: Michigan v. LSU

GMAC Bowl: Southern Miss v. Ohio U.

International Bowl: Cincinatti v. Western Michigan

Capital One Bowl: Florida v. Wisconsin

Toyota Gator Bowl: Georgia Tech v. West Virginia

Outback Bowl: Penn State v. Tennessee

AT&T Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma v. Auburn

MPC Computers Bowl: San Jose State v. Miami

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl: Virginia Tech v. Georgia

Alamo Bowl: Texas v. Iowa

Meineke Car Care Bowl: Navy v. Clemson

Champs Sports Bowl: Boston College v. Oregon

Insight Bowl: Kansas State v. Minnesota

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Houston v. South Carolina

Brut Sun Bowl: Oregon State v. Missouri

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl: Boston College v. Kentucky

Texas Bowl: Texas Tech v. Rutgers

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl: California v. Texas A&M

PetroSun Independence Bowl: Alabama v. Oklahoma State

Emerald Bowl: Oregon v. Florida State

Motor City Bowl: Middle Tennessee State v. Central Michigan

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii v. UCLA

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Utah v. Rice

New Mexico Bowl: Nevada v. New Mexico

PapaJohns.com Bowl: Southern Florida v. Tulsa

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Troy v. Eastern Carolina

Pioneer Pure Vision Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State v. Brigham Young

San Diego Cty Poinsettia Bowl: TCU v. Northern Illinois
By the way, thanks for the comments! I would really like to see Rutgers beat WV this weekend, by the way, and really turn all this upside down, but After getting embarassed last week, WV will be out for revenge. But Rutgers needs to stay focused because if they win, they go to a BCS bowl against Wake Forest. Wow… what a great game that the Orange Bowl will be, but afraid no one will watch – unfortunate.

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Ok, well I only updated the BCS Bowls before, here are all of them:

BCS Championship:  Ohio State  v.  USC

Sugar Bowl: Arkansas  v.  Notre Dame

Orange Bowl: Wake Forest  v.  Louisville

Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska  v.  Boise State

Rose Bowl:  Michigan  v.  LSU

GMAC Bowl:  Southern Miss  v. Ohio U.

International Bowl:  Central Michigan  v. Southern Florida

Capital One Bowl:  Florida  v. Wisconsin

Toyota Gator Bowl:  Virginia Tech  v.  Rutgers

Outback Bowl:  Penn State  v.  Tennessee

AT&T Cotton Bowl:  Texas  v.  Auburn

MPC Computers Bowl:  San Jose State  v.  Miami

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl: Georgia Tech  v. Kentucky

Alamo Bowl:  Iowa  v.  Texas A&M

Meineke Car Care Bowl:   Navy  v.  Clemson

Champs Sports Bowl:  Boston College  v. Oregon

Insight Bowl:  Texas Tech  v.  Iowa

AutoZone Liberty Bowl:  Houston  v.  Georgia

Brut Sun Bowl:  Oregon State  v.  West Virginia

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl:  Maryland  v.  South Carolina

Texas Bowl:  Cincinatti  v. Oklahoma State

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl:  California  v.  Oklahoma

PetroSun Independence Bowl:  Alabama  v.  Kansas State

Emerald Bowl:  Arizona  v.  Florida State

Motor City Bowl:  Washington State  v.  Western Michigan

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl:  Hawaii  v.  UCLA

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl:  TCU  v. Rice

New Mexico Bowl: Nevada  v.  New Mexico

PapaJohns.com Bowl: SMU  v.  Pittsburgh

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl:  Middle Tennessee  v.  Tulsa

Pioneer  Pure Vision Las Vegas Bowl:  Arizona State  v.  Brigham Young

San Diego Cty Poinsettia Bowl:  Wyoming  v.  Purdue

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BCS Bowl Predictions Update

Quick post here, based on the results of the Thanksgiving weekend.

With losses by Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Arkansas, and subsequent wins by USC and LSU, the BCS Bowl games might change.  The biggest development was USC’s crushing of Notre Dame.  The computers are unlikely to give any “style points” to the Irish at all. They were previously ranked  #5, and it isn’t out of the question that the pollsters will drop them out of the top 10.  If this happens, the BCS rankings could drop ND below the magic #8 spot which automatically gives them an at-large BCS bid. It should be noted, that just because Notre Dame falls below the #8 spot, DOESN’T necessarily mean that they DONT get a BCS at-large bid either.  The Irish have a massive following and guarantees a big audience, so there might not be any impact at all, other than psychological. 

Here’s an educated guess on what might happen.

BCS Championship: Unless USC just plain falls on its backside and loses to UCLA, Ohio State and the Trojans will be playing in Glendale for the Div 1A title.  This is almost a lock.

Sugar Bowl: More than likely this will remain the SEC Champion versus an at large. Arkansas and Florida will play for the SEC Title next week. Even after losing to LSU, I like Arkansas’ wildcat formation to give Florida fits.  Now an interesting match-up here would be Arkansas and Notre Dame. These two teams provide potential for a very intriguing game. But the real question is how far Notre Dame will fall.  Another possibility for Arkansas’ foe would be the Big-East Champ (either Rutgers or Louisville).  I’m thinking that if I’m choosing bowl games, and I DO NOT want the Michigan-Notre Dame matchup in the Rose Bowl, then I play it safe and invite Notre Dame here. However, if Rutgers loses to West Virginia next week, Louisville is the Big East Champ, and might get the nod here. If Rutgers win’s the Big East by defeating WV, then they are probably certain to go here.  My guess is that WV will beat Rutgers, and this will end up Arkansas-Notre Dame.

Fiesta Bowl: One thing is almost certain:  Boise State will get the nod here for one side. The other will be the Winner of the Big12 Championship between Nebraska and Oklahoma. I cant’ tell you why, but I like Nebraska here, so it should be interesting to watch a Boise State-Nebraska matchup.

Orange Bowl:  This is likely to be the ACC champ and one of the at-large bids. Georgia Tech just scares me in their inconsistency, so as odd as it sounds, I think Wake Forest will win the ACC and get the bid to the Orange.  That would leave either Louisville or LSU as the opponent.  See my discussion above with regard to the Sugar Bowl.  If Louisville wins the Big East (i.e. Rutgers loses to West Virginia), then I like a Wake Forest-Louisville matchup.  This would basically pit the ACC Champ v. Big East Champ.  Nice.

Rose Bowl:  Barring a USC meltdown, Michigan will be here for sure.  Will the BCS committee be enamoured with a rematch with Notre Dame?  The Irish got their clock cleaned  by the Wolverines, and havent fared well with top teams this year. So, I dont like the idea of rematching the two here at all.  I still like sending Notre Dame to the Sugar. So, this means the Rose gets an at-large, and most likely, LSU.  This would be an outstanding matchup – two great defenses with unpredictable offenses. Should be much more entertaining.

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College Football Week 13 Rankings

Oh my goodness what happened?

It’s called rivarly week, and it seems that weird things always happen at that time of year, but nothing like this week. Many teams that were just plain locks, found themselves on the short end of the score, and with some very dire consequences.

The whole thing started Thanksgiving evening with an ACC matchup between Boston College and Miami in the Orange Bowl. Miami, having one of the worst seasons in recent history, managed to shock the Golden Eagles 17-14 (after which coach Larry Coker was fired).  BC had a chance to go to the ACC title game, if they had won, and Maryland had defeated Wake Forest, but now the best BC can hope for is a 4th place finish in the ACC which should still get them a berth in the Champs Sports Bowl. Benefitting, was Virginia Tech (who beat Virginia), who now finishes 3rd in the ACC and a potential bid to the Gator Bowl.

Then Friday came, and something was definitely in the water.  Arkansas, who stood to make a statement for a very slim shot at the BCS title game, blew up and lost to an inspired LSU team at home! LSU has to be the absolute best 2-loss team in America. No one could have played their home schedule and survived as well. The Tigers should have made a strong statement for an at large bid to a BCS bowl, but we’ll see. 

Later that day, the Texas Longhorns, taking home field, looked to lock up the Big-12 South and a trip to the Big-12 Championship against Nebraska.  The only problem with that, was that Texas A&M ran for over 200 yards against the vaunted Longhorn defense and won 12-7 forcing Texas fans to have to cheer for Oklahoma State to beat OU.  The Sooners, however, did their job on Saturday and beat their in-state rival Oklahoma State and as such, will play Nebraska for the Big-12 Championship and a BCS bid to the Fiesta Bowl probably against Boise State.

Finally we got to Saturday and watched Georgia take down Georgia Tech (who, despite losing will play Wake Forest for the ACC Title). We also saw Southern Florida grab 3 interceptions and defeat an ill-prepared West Virginia team. WV is now out of any Big East title consideration, and probably will drop out of an BCS bowl consideration. Florida, barely eeked out a victory over Florida State, which really amounts to not much of anything. Florida and Arkansas will play for the SEC Title next week, and an auto-bid to a BCS game.

Finally, USC took care of business by beating Notre Dame 44-24 to put themselves in control to meet Ohio State in the BCS Championship. All they have to do is beat UCLA next week, and they will get that title opportunity.

As a neat side note here, Dwane Jarrett, the outstanding WR for USC, had a stellar night, catching 7 passes for 132 yards, and 3 TDs.  Interestingly enough, Jarrett was recruited by both USC and Notre Dame, but the Irish renegged on a scholarship offer to him, saying that he wasn’t good enough.  Well, I guess we know who had the last laugh on that one.

So with all this, my new rankings are the following, with pertinent notes:

1. Ohio State (12-0)  – Next stop, BCS Championship, prolly against USC.
2. USC (10-1) – Needs to beat UCLA next week, and its on to Glendale for another title shot.
3. Michigan (11-1) – Season’s done. Will probably get a Rose Bowl bid if USC beats UCLA.
4. Florida (11-1) – Beat Fla State 21-14.  Next week:  SEC Championship v. Arkansas.
5. Louisville (10-1) – Beat Pitt 48-24. Next Week: UConn at home.
6. LSU (10-2) – Beat Arkansas 31-26. Next stop, maybe a BCS Bowl game?
7. Notre Dame (10-2) – Lost to USC 44-24. Next stop is probably a Rose Bowl berth v Mich.
8. Arkansas (10-2) Lost to LSU 31-26. Next Week: SEC Championship v. Florida.
9. W. Virginia (9-2) – Lost to So. Florida 24-19.  Next week: Big East title v Rutgers at home.
10. Auburn (10-2) – Season over. May be going to the Cotton Bowl against Texas.
11. Boise State (12-0) – Beat Nevada 38-7. Probably going to the Fiesta Bowl.
12. Wisconsin (11-1) – Season Over, probably headed for the Capital One Bowl.
13. Texas (9-3) – Lost to Texas A&M. Next stop, probably a Cotton Bowl bid.
14. Oklahoma (9-3) – Beat Okla State 27-21.  Next: Big 12 Championship v. Nebraska
15. Virginia Tech (10-2) – Beat Virginia 17-0. Next: Probably a Gator Bowl bid.
16. California (8-3) – Idle.  Next week: Stanford.
17. Tennessee (9-3) – Beat Kentucky 17-12. Next: Probably Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl bid.
18. Rutgers (9-1) – Beat Syracuse 38-7. Next Week: At West Virginia.
19. Georgia Tech (8-3) – Lost to Georgia 15-12. Next Week: ACC Title v. Wake Forest.
20. Wake Forest (10-2) – Beat Maryland 38-24. Next Week: ACC Title v. Georgia Tech.
21. Brigham Young (10-2) – Beat Utah 33-31.  Next: Playing in the Pioneer Pure Vision Bowl.
22. Nebraska (9-3) – Beat Colorado 37-14. Next Week: Big 12 Championship v. Oklahoma.
23. Boston College (9-3) – Lost to Miami 17-14. Next: Probably a Champs Sports Bowl bid.
24. Hawaii  (10-2) – Beat Purdue  42-35.  Next: Playing in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
25. Texas A&M (9-3) – Beat Texas 12-7. Next: A probable Alamo Bowl bid.

Most Impressive team(s): USC, Louisville
Least impressive team(s): Arkansas, West Virginia, Texas

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Scenarios for the National Title

Some very interesting games over the next few weeks can play into a myriad of chances for the National Title Game to be played in Glendale. Ohio State is is all of the scenarios, as there’s no scenario whatsoever that eliminates them. However their opponent could be vary. Let’s look at those that have the best shot to wrestle the Buckeyes for the top trophy.

Michigan: Currently they sit at #2, despite a loss to OSU last week, but only by a slim margin (0.053 to be exact). With no more games on tap for Michigan, they will need some help from the lower teams to be the odds-on favorite for the rematch. The USC-Notre Dame game certainly holds no love for Michigan, no matter how it goes.  If USC wins and follows with a victory over UCLA, then the BCS will reward them for beating a top 5 team, and would most certainly be enough to push them ahead of the Wolverines. If Notre Dame wins, unless it wins big, there probably wont be enough impetus to push them past Michigan, unless the pollsters get on board (Notre Dame is hurt badly for their weak schedule).  Florida would need to lose either their game against Florida State this weekend, and/or the SEC Championship also to not be a factor. So, Michigan needs to hope that Notre Dame wins by a little, and that Florida loses the SEC Championship. It could happen.

USC: The Trojans have already locked up the Rose Bowl no matter what. However they are the ONLY team in the standings that is in complete control of their National Title destiny. If they win out, they go to the title game, plain and simple. If they dont, its Rose Bowl all the way (by virtue of the fact they win the Pac-10).  Its that simple…but not that easy.

Florida: Florida has a huge road ahead of them.  First they must win out, including the SEC Championship over Arkansas to even hope they get a consideration. In addition they must hope for a USC loss in the last two games. This would put the pollsters in a bind. Would they want the rematch with Michigan, or not?  The BCS will not likely reward them enough for beating a lower ranked opponent to push them ahead of Michigan unless they totally dominate Arkansas. Even then, they’ll need help from the pollsters.

Notre Dame: The Irish, for some reason, always seem to garner the sympathetic vote. A good solid win over USC on Saturday, might be enough to create the groundswell among the pollsters to put them 2nd over Michigan. But, alot has to happen.  First, they MUST beat USC decisively, and maybe even big to be considered. Second, Florida must lose at least the SEC Championship. A loss to Florida State, however, might drop them enough that an SEC title win couldnt save them. Even with all this, it would be a pollster gambit… put ND at #2 or vote a rematch between Michigan and Ohio State… hard to figure, but either way, its a gamble.

Arkansas:  Nope – sorry.  There isnt a way in the world that Arkansas gets there. The only thing they could possibly do is beat the hell out of LSU (and we’re talking 52-0), and then beat the hell out of Florida in the SEC Championship (again, like 35-0). Two back to back decisive wins, with losses by USC and Florida would then force a Michigan-Arkansas consideration. LSU is a lower rank, but Florida isnt. So, its feasible that if the pollsters actually placed Arkansas ahead of Notre Dame (highly unlikely), the BCS MIGHT reward them. Hard to fathom tho.]

Nobody else has a shot. So, for my money, the real game to key on is the USC-Notre Dame game. If USC wins, the die is basically cast.

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Let’s Go Bowling – Part 2

With my previous post in place, we can begin to get at least a blurry picture of what the post season bowl games might look like. As we begin this prognosticatory expedition, we need to have a really good handle on the rules for bowl games, so we’ll review those here.

There are 32 bowl games at present, five of which will match BCS versus BCS.  I won’t get into details on how BCS rankings are calculated, but suffice it to say that it is a combination of humans (pollsters) and computer rankings.  The BCS five are: 

Sugar Bowl (New Orleans)
Orange Bowl (Miami)
Fiesta Bowl (Tempe, AZ)
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)
National Championship (Glendale, AZ)

These five follow a very specific set of rules, so to get a berth in one of these games is many times not only unfair, but can leave very good teams out. By rule, the National Championship must pit the BCS #1 and the BCS #2 teams.  The remaining four, must choose BCS teams under the following guidelines:

1. Winners of the ACC, Big-10, Big East, Pac-10 and SEC must be given a slot in a BCS game. These are automatic bids.
 
2. In addition, ONE conference champion from the C-USA, MAC, MWAC, Sun Belt, and WAC will be added if   a) it is ranked in the BCS top 14,  or  b) if it is ranked in the top 16 AND ranked ABOVE one of the autobids mentioned above.

3. Notre Dame, because they are an independent (and frankly cuz they have a tremendous following and thus bring in tons of revenue), must get an automatic bid if they are BCS ranked 8 or above.

4. No more than two teams from the same conference can play in the BCS bowls in any one season. This applies across ALL BCS games including the national championship (for instance IF Ohio State and Michigan rematch for the title, no other Big 10 team could play in any other bowl game).

Outside the BCS, each bowl usually has some affiliation with one or more of the conferences. As we explore the possibilities, we’ll see how this plays in. 

Now, based on the previous Blog, and winners/losers of the championship games predicted there, here’s what might be the projected BCS top 20 at season end:

1. Ohio State
2. USC
3. Michigan
4. Arkansas
5. West Virginia
6. Notre Dame
7. Florida
8. Wisconsin
9. Louisville
10. LSU
11. Boise State
12. Auburn
13. Texas
14. Oklahoma
15. Georgia Tech
16.Virginia Tech
17. Boston College
18. California
19. Tennessee
20. Rutgers

With this speculation, and without further ado, lets go bowling!

BCS Championship (BCS#1 v. BCS#2): If we follow my previous blog, then this should be Ohio State and USC.  The Trojans would be playing in their 4th consecutive national title game.

Allstate Sugar Bowl (BCS v. BCS): This is likely to be the SEC Champion., Arkansas versus the Big East Champion Louisville.

FedEX Orange Bowl (BCS v. BCS): Probably will take the ACC Champion Georgia Tech and match with a BCS at large West Virginia.  They are the best choice here.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (BCS v. BCS): Barring something very crazy, this should Texas  and probably Boise State, who gets the autobid being ranked above the conference champion (see rule 2 above).

Rose Bowl (BCS v. BCS):  Back to basics here, probably a rematch of Michigan and Notre Dame. The Wolverines (#3) probably get an at large here. ND must get a bid based on rule 3, so this makes it a no brainer.

I’ll inteject here, that it is possible that West Virginia or Louisville gets shut out here. If Rutgers loses to West Virginia, remember that Louisville wins the Big East because they would tie with West Virginia for the title and Louisville won the earlier head-to-head, so they would get the autobid. However, if Rutgers were to WIN against West Virginia, this gets a little nuts.  Referring back to the previous blog, this would drop West Virginia to 2 losses (and likely out of the BCS top 10) and then Louisville and Rutgers would share the Big East title. However, since Rutgers beat Louisville in their only head-to head, Rutgers would get the autobid instead. Louisville would probably still get a bid, since they have rallied to be in the top 10.  Wisconsin could NOT go to a BCS, by virtue of rule 4 above, so Louisville would be the likely at large bid. This would mean that there might be some jockeying around for positions in the BCS games. Quite likely Rutgers would just take the Sugar Bowl spot against Arkansas, but there might be a swap around with Notre Dame also, we’ll see.

GMAC Bowl (C-USA #2 v. MAC):  Southern Miss v. Ohio.  We now get the alliances beginning to play here. Referring back to our previous blog, the C-USA #2 will be Southern Miss. A good choice for the MAC here would be its winner, Ohio. The game is played in Mobile, Alabama on January 7, 2007. Its interesting to note that on occasion, the WAC is asked to participate here.

International Bowl (MAC vs Big East 4/5): Central Michigan v. Cincinatti.  Check my previous blog and you’ll see these are the appropriate choices here if the predicitions happen as stated.

Capital One Bowl (Big Ten #2 vs SEC #2): Wisconsin v. Florida.  With both Ohio State and Michigan already taken in BCS Bowls, the #3 becomes the #2 for the Big 10.  Florida gets the #2 since we picked Arkansas to win the SEC. Played in Orlando, FL, Jan 1, 2007.

Toyota Gator Bowl (ACC #3 vs Big12 or Big East): Boston College  v.  Oklahoma.  Ok this one is a bit loosy goosey.  BC will in all probability end up #3 in the ACC.  If crazy things happen, as discussed above, and Rutgers gets by W. Virginia, then probably this spot goes to the Mountaineers. However, I dont see that happening, so the next logical team would be to grab Rutgers (the projected #20) or Oklahoma, who would be the higher ranked team. The Gator Bowl is played in Jacksonville, FL on Jan 1, 2007.

Outback Bowl (Big 10 #3 vs SEC): Penn State  v.  LSU.  Might also be Auburn. Which ever SEC team doesnt go here goes to the Cotton Bowl. The Outback Bowl is played Jan 1, 2007 in Tampa, FL.

AT&T Cotton Bowl (Big-12 #2 vs SEC):  Nebraska v. Auburn.  The Cotton Bowl is played January 1, 2007 in Dallas.

MPC Computers Bowl (WAC vs. ACC):  San Jose State v.  Kent State.  Problem with this one, is that Nevada would be in line, but will probably opt for the New Mexico Bowl. Clemson, the #6 ACC team would be in line here, but will probably opt to go to the Car Care Bowl.  So, we’re out of ACC teams. WAC will send San Jose State (their only other bowl eligible team) and the at large might go east to Kent State from the MAC. The MPC Computers Bowl is played in Boise, Idaho on December 31, 2006.

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl (ACC #2  vs  SEC): Wake Forest v. Tennessee. This is a pretty clear choice since WF is the ACC#2 and Tennessee would be a great regional choice, since the game is played in Atlanta on Dec 30.

Alamo Bowl (Big 10 #4/5  vs Big 12 #4): Purdue  v.  Missouri.  Purdue is the #4 in the Big 12 as we worked the projections, while Missouri falls in the #4 spot for the Big 12.  The Alamo Bowl is played in San Antonio on Dec 30.

Meineke Car Care Bowl (Navy/Big East vs ACC): Navy  vs.  Clemson.  Navy gets this bid since its automatic if they are bowl eligible and not in a BCS Bowl. Clemson is the logical regional favorite since the game is played in Charlotte, NC on Dec 30.

Champs Sports Bowl (ACC #4 vs Big 10 4/5): Virginia Tech  v.  Minnesota.  Pretty much locked in based on their finishing order as projected. The Champs Sports Bowl, formerly the Florida Citrus Bowl (and Tangerine Bowl), will be played Dec 29, 2006 in Orlando.

Insight Bowl (Big 12 #6  vs  Big 10 #6):  Texas A&M  v.  Iowa.  Based on predicted order of finish, makes these the likely choices.  The Insight Bowl will be played in Tempe, AZ on Dec 29.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl (C-USA #1 vs. SEC #6): Houston  v.  Kentucky. Based on predicted order of finish these are the likely candidates.  The Liberty Bowl will be played in Memphis on Dec 29.

Brut Sun Bowl (Pac 10 #3  vs Big 12/Big East):  Oregon State  v.  Rutgers.  Poor Rutgers, after having the season of their life pays for its lapse against Cincinatti and ends up here.  Good showcase tho.  The Sun Bowl will be played on December 29th in El Paso, TX.

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl (ACC#5 vs SEC):  Maryland  v.  Georgia.  The Music City Bowl is played in Nashville, TN on December 29th.

Texas Bowl (Big East vs. Big 12): Southern Florida  v.  Texas Tech.  The Texas Bowl is the newest bowl game to be established, and as such this will be its inaugural game. The game will be played in Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX on December 28th.

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl (Pac 10 #2  vs  Big 12 #3):  California  v.  Oklahoma.  Texas goes BCS’ing and Nebraska goes to the Cotton.  Here’s where OU ends up.  The Holiday Bowl is played in San Diego on December 28th.

PetroSun Independence Bowl (SEC #8 vs Big 12 #7):  South Carolina  v.  Kansas State. The Independence Bowl will be played December 28th in Shreveport, LA.

Emerald Bowl (Pac 10 #5  vs  ACC#7): Oregon  v.  Florida State.  The Emerald Bowl is played in San Franciso on December 27.

Motor City Bowl (Big 10 #7  v  MAC):  Alabama or Washington State   v.  Western Michigan.  At this level we run out of Big 10 teams so an at large is needed. SEC Alabama seems to be a good choice as well as the non-committed WSU, both teams being at 6-6.  Utah or Oklahoma State might also get considered against W. Michigan (who would be a regional favorite).  The Motor City Bowl is played December 26th in Detroit.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (WAC  vs  PAC-10):  Hawaii  v.  UCLA.  Hawaii always takes the home spot here, and UCLA is the next in line from the Pac-10.  This might be WSU if someone else takes the Motor City bowl.. but where would you want to be in late December… Detroit or Hawaii?  The Hawaii Bowl is played in Honolulu on December 24th.

Bell Hellicopter Armed Forces Bowl (MWAC vs C-USA): TCU  v.  SMU.  Ahh what a great old matchup. Bound to generate alot of interest. This is the former Fort Worth Bowl, and should be packed with this matchup.  It is played in Fort Worth on the campus of TCU on December 23rd.

New Mexico Bowl (WAC vs MWAC): Nevada  v.  New Mexico.  The game is played in Albuquerque, NM on December 23rd.

PapaJohns.com Bowl (C-USA  vs Big East): Rice  v.  Pittsburgh.  Note here that Rice and SMU might switch places in the Armed Forces Bowl, but not likely.  This game is played in Birmingham, AL on Dec 23rd.

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (Sun Belt #1 vs. C-USA): Middle Tennessee State  v.  Tulsa.  The game is played in the SuperDome on Dec 22.

Pioneer Pure-Vision Las Vegas Bowl (Pac 10 #4  v. MWAC): Arizona  v. BYU.  This bowl game is played at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Dec 22nd.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (MWAC vs  At Large): Wyoming  v.  Arizona State.  This is a roll the dice kind of thing on this one…hard to say who they will really choose. Its played in San Diego on December 19th.

Well, there you have it.  The predictions of all predictions.  I dare say that that not many would be making these this far in advance, but hey, I am a daredevil.

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