Hello, college football fans!
This year's final BCS bowl projections unfortunately is like a close presidential race - too close to call. We pretty much have to wait for the final BCS rankings to determine not only who will get into the BCS title game but who will get into BCS bowls period.
The big question is who will be ranked #2 behind LSU. Will it be Alabama and the title game will be a rematch or will it be Oklahoma State who made a big statement beating Oklahoma badly in Bedlam?
But lesser questions deal with BCS selections which are based on the now unknown BCS rankings:
The highest ranked non-AQ league champion is guaranteed a spot if they are in the top 12 of the BCS or top 16 and higher than the lowest ranked AQ-league champion. Since the Big Least champion is almost certainly going to be below 16, use the top 16 as the cutoff.
Houston would have received the spot but they lost, costing them a bid. Boise State is not a conference champion so they do not qualify under this rule. TCU is currently #18. They would have to jump two places to secure an automatic bid. If not, no one gets it.
To be eligible for a BCS bowl, a team must be ranked in the top 14. Right now, Michigan is 16th. They would have to jump two places as well.
My base projections will be based upon:
1. Alabama being ranked #2.
2. TCU gaining an automatic bid (top 16).
2. Michigan becoming BCS eligible (top 14).
National Championship: LSU (#1. SEC) vs. Alabama (#2)
Rose Bowl: Oregon (Pac-12) vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Sugar Bowl: Michigan (At Large Choice 1) vs. West Virginia (Big East)
Orange Bowl: Clemson (ACC) vs. TCU (Non AQ Automatic)
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State (Big 12) vs. Stanford (At Large Choice 2)
I think the Sugar Bowl will choose West Virginia over TCU since their fans seem to travel well and they have more national appeal than TCU although TCU is closer to New Orleans.
If either TCU or Michigan does not qualify, it will be between Kansas State and Boise State for one bid. If neither TCU nor Michigan qualify, both will make it by default. Virginia Tech should be eligible but an unlikely choice after they got pounded. The Orange Bowl would never take them and the Fiesta Bowl is way too far.
Should Oklahoma State jump Alabama...
Alabama goes to the Sugar Bowl instead of Michigan.
The Fiesta gets a pick to replace Oklahoma State and the next choice out of the BCS pool. I see that being Stanford vs. Michigan, assuming they are eligible. Should Michigan not be eligible, it will be interesting if they take Boise State again (they've been there twice since the Statue of Liberty play) or take Kansas State.
Assuming West Virginia goes to the Sugar Bowl, Michigan gets in and TCU does not, the Orange Bowl will have to choose between Boise State or Kansas State. Both are way too far away. Boise State is probably the more nationally known program and it will appease the people who think the BCS is exclusive towards the BCS conferences.
Remember the pick order this year:
Sugar (to replace LSU)
Fiesta (IF they have to replace Oklahoma State)
Assuming my BCS projections are true, here is possibly how some of the other BCS bowls could shake out:
Cotton: Arkansas vs. Kansas State (Oklahoma's big loss probably means Kansas State will be chosen, assuming KSU doesn't make the BCS. I think Arkansas feels more at home with the Cotton than the Capital One)
Capital One: South Carolina vs. Nebraska (Michigan State was in last year's Capital One Bowl. Nebraska may be too far away from Orlando but the other choices would be the scandal filled Penn State and Ohio State (who is 6-6) teams).
Outback: Georgia vs. Michigan State. Possibly Georgia and South Carolina could flip flop.
Chick Fil A: Virginia Tech vs. Auburn (Maybe Florida State instead of Virginia Tech, maybe Florida instead of Auburn, but of course Florida/Florida State won't happen).
Gator: Florida vs. Ohio State (The future Urban Meyer Bowl has been rumored for the past week. The catch is that the Insight Bowl gets to pick the Big Ten ahead of the Gator even though the Gator is a far better bowl.)