Play-Off and Major Bowl Projections

here is my list of projections for the top 6 bowl games as of today and how we will get there.

Rose Bowl — #1 Oregon (12-1) vs #4 Ohio State (12-1).  Both teams win out.  Oregon defeats UCLA in the PAC 12 Championship game and Ohio State defeats Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship.

Sugar Bowl — #2 Alabama (12-1) vs #3 Florida State (13-0).  Both teams win out.  Alabama defeats Missouri in the SEC Championship and Florida State defeats Duke in the ACC championship.

Cotton Bowl — #5 Mississippi State (11-1) vs #8 TCU (10-2).  Mississippi State wins a close one in the Egg Bowl and fails to impress the week prior against Vanderbilt.  Fall to #5 because they have no conference championship. All hell breaks loose.  TCU loses to Texas to throw the Big XII championship to the winner of the Baylor – Kansas State game.  Gets the last slot available for a major bowl, ahead of #11 Baylor (10-2).

Fiesta Bowl — #6 Kansas State (10-2) vs #20 Colorado State (12-1).  TCU falls to Texas.  Kansas State wins out to claim the Big XII.  Marshall (12-1) falls to Louisiana Tech (10-3) in the Conference USA Championship game.  Utah State (9-3) defeats Boise State (9-3) in the regular season finale to give Colorado State (who wins out) a rematch with Nevada (8-5) in the Mountain West Championship.

Peach — #7 Georgia (10-2) vs  #9 UCLA (10-3).  Georgia wins out but fails to get to the SEC championship because Missouri defeats both Tennessee and Arkansas.  UCLA is the #2 pick out of the PAC 12.  They are selected ahead of #10 Arizona State (10-2) because of head-to-head victory.

Orange — #12 Louisville (9-3) vs #8 Michigan State (10-2).  The ACC is contracted here.  #19 Georgia Tech (9-3) will have just lost to Georgia.  #18 Duke (10-3) just lost to Florida State in the ACC Championship.  So the committee will select Louisville who will have closed the season with three straight wins (Boston College, Notre Dame, Kentucky) since losing to Florida State.  A Big Ten or SEC team should fill the other slot.  Candidates will be Michigan St. (10-2), #16 Missouri (10-3), #14 Ole Miss (9-3), #13 Wisconsin (10-3), and #15 Nebraska (10-2).  Michigan State is the easy choice here.

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Nebraska — If the trend continues

Nebraska Head Coach, Bo Pelini, has lost 4 games every season during his tenure as Nebraska’s coach. In six years, he has one three divisional titles but has yet to win a Conference Championship. Many expect Nebraska to have another 4 loss season. If we look at the patterns that have emerged in the first six years and make an assumption that these patterns will continue during the 2014 season — we can make the following predictions.

  1. Nebraska will go 10-4 this season.  They will win the West Division of the B1G and they will loose in the Championship game.  Why?  Nebraska has never had back to back 9-4 seasons.  Every time they win 10 games, they played in a conference championship game.  
  2. Nebraska will beat Miami.  Why?  The pattern suggests Nebraska is due for a win in it’s Marquee Non-conference game.  Nebraska lost to Virginia Tech in 08 & 09, Defeated Washington in 10 & 11, and Lost to UCLA in 12 & 13.  If pattern holds, Nebraska defeats Miami in both 14 & 15.
  3. Nebraska will loose 2 conference games and its bowl game.  Why?  We have already decided that Nebraska is in the B1G Championship.  Every year under Pelini, if Nebraska goes to the Championship game, they loose 2 conference games.
  4. Nebraska will loose at least one of its cross over games (at Michigan State, Rutgers).  Why?  Nebraska has lost at least one divisional cross-over game every year under Bo Pelin.

Personally, I think they break the cycle.  Nebraska cuts down on penalties and turn overs.  They go 11-1 in the regular season and get a rematch against Michigan State in the B1G Championship game.  They win that and head to the Rose Bowl to play an undefeated PAC 12 Champion.  Florida State, Oklahoma, Alabama — two of these three go to the Sugar Bowl.  Michigan State (now at 11-2) just barely squeaks into a top tier bowl along with Ohio State, Georgia, LSU, One from UCLA, Stanford, Oregon.  The top Mid-Major will be Boise State or Wyoming (Craig Bohl rocks the Rockies!).

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B1G / ACC Football Challenge

Over the past two days, 12 teams from the ACC and 12 from the B1G competed to a 6-6 tie in the B1G / ACC Basketball Challenge.  It is very likely that we may see Ohio State vs. Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game, so lets complete the theoretical B1G / ACC Challenge for this year.  My pick in bold.

  1. Ohio State (12-0, 8-0) vs Florida State (12-0, 8-0)  (Championship game favorites)
  2. Michigan State (11-1, 8-0) vs Duke (10-2, 6-2)       (Championship game underdogs)
  3. Wisconsin (9-3, 6-2)) vs Clemson (10-2, 7-1)
  4. Iowa (8-4, 5-3)) vs Virginia Tech (8-4, 5-3)
  5. Nebraska (8-4, 5-3) vs Miami, FL (9-3, 5-3)
  6. Minnesota (8-4, 4-4) vs Georgia Tech (7-5, 5-3)
  7. Penn State (7-5, 4-4) vs Syracuse (6-6, 4-4)
  8. Michigan (7-5, 3-5) vs Boston College (7-5, 4-4)
  9. Indiana (5-7, 3-5) vs North Carolina (6-6, 4-4)
  10. Northwestern (5-7, 1-7) vs Maryland (7-5, 3-5)
  11. Illinois (4-8, 1-7) vs Pittsburgh (6-6, 3-5)
  12. Purdue (1-11, 0-8) vs Wake Forest (2-6, 4-8)

A 6-6 tie.

If played next year.

  1. Ohio State vs Florida State
  2. Michigan State vs Clemson
  3. Wisconsin vs Virginia Tech
  4. Iowa vs Georgia Tech
  5. Nebraska vs Miami, FL
  6. Penn State vs Pittsburgh
  7. Michigan vs Louisville
  8. Minnesota vs Boston College
  9. Northwestern vs Duke
  10. Indiana vs North Carolina
  11. Illinois vs NC State
  12. Purdue vs Wake Forest
  13. Rutgers vs Syracuse
  14. Maryland vs Virginia

but it is a little early to start making picks on next years games.

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Who will get a BCS Bowl

Guaranteed

  1. Florida State(#1).  Win and they get the ACC Automatic bid.  Lose and the Seminoles still get an at Large Bid.
  2. Alabama (#4).  The Tide at 11-1 and #4 in the BCS will get an at large bid.
  3. U.C.F. (#16).  Win or lose, the Knights have already claimed the American crown.
  4. Ohio State (#2).  Win and they get the B1G Automatic bid.  Lose and the Buckeyes still get an at Large Bid.

Almost Guaranteed

  1. Michigan State (#10).  If they win, they get the B1G automatic bid.  If they lose, they will most likely still head to Pasadena as the B1G representative to the Rose Bowl …. Unless an SEC Champion or Alabama squeezes past Ohio State and into the National Championship game.

Control Their Own Fate

  1. Oklahoma State (#6). A win against the Sooners gives the Cowboys earn the Big XII title and automatic bid.
  2. Auburn (#3).  A win in the SEC title game will give Auburn the SEC automatic bid.
  3. Missouri (#5).  A win in the SEC title game will give Missouri the SEC automatic bid.
  4. Stanford (#7).  A win in the PAC title game will give Stanford the PAC automatic bid.
  5. Arizona State (#11).  A win in the PAC title game will give Arizona State the PAC automatic bid.
  6. Duke (#20).  A win in the ACC title game will give Duke the ACC automatic bid.

Almost Control Their Own Fate

  1. Baylor (#9).  If Baylor beats Texas, it is hard to imagine a scenario (other than Duke beating Florida State AND N. Illinois being in the top 14) where a one loss Baylor would be left out. A loss by Oklahoma State and a Baylor win gives them the Big XII crown.
  2. N. Illinois (#14).  If the Huskies beat Bowling Green, it is hard to imagine the series of unfortunate events that could push them out of the BCS top 14.

Need Help But Possible

  1. Texas (#25).  If Texas upsets Baylor AND Oklahoma State falls to Oklahoma, the Longhorns win the Big XII and its automatic bid.

Long Shots

  1. Oregon (#12).  A Northern Illinois loss, Baylor loss and/or Oklahoma State loss,  Florida State win, and Stanford win would all be good for Oregon.
  2. Clemson (#13).  A Northern Illinois loss, Baylor loss and/or Oklahoma State loss, and and Florida State win, would all be good for Clemson.
  3. a 2 loss Oklahoma State (#6).  Would need to be able to stay ahead of Oregon, Clemson and Oklahoma in the BCS.
  4. a 2 loss Baylor (#9).  Would need to stay ahead of Oregon and Clemson in the BCS.
  5. a 2 loss Oklahoma (#17).  This would take a miracle.  The Sooners would need to absolutely dominate the cowboys, in order to move ahead of Oregon and Clemson.

No Way — No How

  1. South Carolina (#8). Alabama gets 2nd SEC slot.
  2. a 2 loss Auburn (#3).  Alabama gets 2nd SEC slot.
  3. a 2 loss Missouri (#5).  Alabama gets 2nd SEC slot.
  4. loser of Stanford (#9) / Arizona State( #11). Oregon would get a 2nd PAC 12 slot if available.
  5. Duke (#20) if they lose. Clemson would get a 2nd ACC spot if available.
  6. LSU (#15).  Alabama gets 2nd SEC slot.
  7. UCLA (#17).  Oregon would get a 2nd PAC 12 slot if available.
  8. Louisville (#19).  Too far down the rankings.
  9. Wisconsin (#21).  Michigan State will get the 2nd B1G slot.
  10. Georgia (#22).  Alabama gets 2nd SEC slot.
  11. Fresno State (#23).  Too far down the rankings, even with a N. Illinois loss.
  12. Texas A&M (#24).  Alabama gets 2nd SEC slot.
  13. And everybody else

Most Likely 10

  1. Florida State
  2. Ohio State
  3. Winner Auburn / Missouri
  4. Alabama
  5. Winner Arizona St. / Stanford
  6. U.C.F.
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Baylor
  9. Michigan State
  10. N. Illinois
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Consolation Games

In many basketball tournaments, they play a consolation game where the teams that just lost in the semi-finals play for 3rd place.  If we extended that idea to the FBS Football season this year and took the #2 finishers in each of the divisions from those conferences that have a championship game, we would have the following match ups.  In a couple instances, we end up with a “re-match” from earlier in the season.  While this is OK for the championship game, we will try to avoid it in the consolation game, so I have added replacement games.

SEC — #3 Alabama (11-1) vs #8 South Carolina (10-2)

ACC — #13 Clemson (10-2) vs Virginia Tech (8-4)

B1G — #21 Wisconsin (9-3) vs Iowa (8-4) (rematch) replace with:

  • #21 Wisconsin (9-3) vs Nebraska (8-4)
  • Iowa (8-4) vs Penn State (7-5)

PAC — #12 Oregon (10-2) vs #18 UCLA (9-3) (rematch) replace with:

  • #12 Oregon (10-2) vs USC (9-4)
  • #18 UCLA (9-3) vs Oregon St. (6-6) (because UCLA has also played Washington already)

MAC — Buffalo (8-4) vs Ball State (10-2)

USA — ECU (9-3) vs N. Texas (8-4)

MWC — Boise State (8-4) vs San Diego State (7-5) rematch replace with:

  • Boise State (8-4) vs San Jose State (6-6)
  • San Diego State (7-5) vs Colorado State (7-6)

One Marquee Match-up and a handful of entertaining football. 

 

 

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Cornhusker Rooting Interest

(40)Iowa – (32)Nebraska.  Nebraska Obviously.  All other picks are on the assumption of a Nebraska win.

(8)Stanford – (25) Notre Dame.  Get ND out of the top 25.

(11) Michigan State – (29) Minnesota.  Michigan State is too far ahead of Nebraska for us to catch up.  Minnesota is just three spots ahead.  So we need a Sparty victory.

(12) Arizona State – (34) Arizona.  An Arizona victory could slingshot the wildcats past Nebraska.  So lets root for Arizona State who would likely stay ahead of Nebraska even with a loss.

(22) UCLA – (23) USC.  UCLA is an opponent of Nebraska.  One of the two will fall behind Nebraska.  A UCLA win will also help Nebraska’s strength of schedule.

(20) Louisville – (28) Cincinnati.  Both sit ahead of the Huskers and a loss by either would likely drop them behind Nebraska, although not guaranteed if Louisville loses.  So we will root for a BearCat loss.

(51) North Carolina – (24) Duke.  A North Carolina win likely throws the ACC Coastal division into a 5 way tie.  Thats just too much fun to pass up.  It also drops Duke behind the Huskers.

(54) Mississippi St. – (26) Ole Miss.  A Bulldog win puts the Rebels behind Nebraska and makes Mississippi St. bowl eligible.

(44) Georgia Tech – (27) Georgia.  A Yellow Jacket win puts the Bulldogs behind the Huskers.  (I’ll still root for the Dawgs!!!)

(47) Texas Tech – (30) Texas.  A Red Raider win puts the Longhorns behind the Huskers.  Plus its Texas.  Need I say more.

(65) Marshall – (31) ECU.  A Herd victory puts them in the C-USA Championship and puts the Pirates behind the Huskers.

(5) Missouri – (21) Texas A&M.  A Tiger win could …. COULD … put the Aggies behind the Huskers.

(38) Michigan – (3) Ohio State.  Catch 22.  A Wolverine win improves the Husker’s strength of schedule but could push them past the Huskers.

Penn State – (15) Wisconsin. A Penn State win improves the Husker’s strength of schedule.

(101) Wyoming – (64) Utah State. strength of schedule.

(122) Southern Miss – (106) UAB. strength of schedule.

(104) Purdue – (64) Indiana. strength of schedule.

(81) Arkansas – (17) LSU.  A Razorback win (would mean Les Miles has passed away) could ….. COULD get Nebraska past LSU.

(105) USF – (19) UCF.  A Bulls win (would mean the Apocalypse is nigh) could …. COULD get Nebraska past UCF.

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GAMES I WANT TO SEE

Each week I will pit the top 80 teams by BCS Ranking against each other based on games I want to see:

WEEK 10

  • 1 AL – 3 FSU
  • 2 OR – 6 BAY
  • 4 OH St. – 5 STN
  • 7 MIA – 9 MO
  • 8 CLM – 10 OK
  • 11 AUB – 18 OK St.
  • 12 TX A&M – 15 TX T
  • 13 LSU – 24 WI
  • 14 SC – 20 UCLA
  • 16 FRESNO – 17 N IL
  • 19 LVL – 25 ND
  • 21 MI – 27 ASU
  • 22 MSU – 28 BYU
  • 23 UCF – 26 VT
  • 29 MS – 39 AZ
  • 30 GA – 33 TX
  • 31 HOU – 36 DUKE
  • 32 OR St. – 37 NE
  • 34 FL – 35 MN
  • 38 BS – 46 TULN
  • 40 WA – 41 IA
  • 42 GT – 45 UT
  • 43 USC – 47 TN
  • 44 TOL – 47 RICE
  • 49 WA St. – 53 MS St.
  • 49 PIT – 51 ECU
  • 52 LA L – 63 UNLV
  • 54 BUF – 58 RUT
  • 55 BOISE – 57 OH
  • 56 VAN – 59 MD
  • 60 N TX – 76 BG
  • 61 NW – 64 KS St.
  • 62 Navy – 65 SYR
  • 65 IN – 67 WF
  • 68 TCU – 70 AR
  • 69 BC – 73 CO
  • 71 LA M – 71 SJSU
  • 73 NC – 76 WV
  • 75 Troy – 79 MTSU
  • 78 UT St. – 80 MARSH
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