——- (team above is still the best team in the country)
——- (teams above are BCS eligible)
——- (teams above should be Bowling on New Year’s Day)
8. South Carolina
——- (teams above shouldn’t have problems finding bowl berths)
9. Mississippi St.
——- (teams above will battle for final bowl bids, teams below will not)
12. Ole Miss
LSU gets Arkansas at home, and I don’t expect they’ll suffer a letdown going into the SEC Championship Game. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Tennessee lose at Kentucky, but it may be for the best wishes of the SEC that Tennessee wins, protecting Georgia as an at-large BCS candidate, and giving LSU an easier path to the National Championship game. However, don’t forget that #2 Tennessee had a chance to lock up a trip to the National Championship game in 2001, but lost the SEC Championship to…….LSU. I’m just offering a reminder. Alabama will lose to Auburn, but even if Vanderbilt beats Wake Forest; they’d be a better option to Bowl Games than a 6-6 Commodores team.
——- (teams above are all BCS eligible, but one will end up at Holiday Bowl)
——- (team above may be locking up bid to Alamo Bowl)
——- (teams above are bowl eligible, but will likely both finish up 6-6)
——- (teams above will fight for bowl eligibility, teams below have no prayer)
The Big 12 moves up to Number 2 in Conference Standings, as we know with certainty that they will have 2 BCS teams. Texas is now rooting for Oklahoma State to pull a shocker, one that might allow the Horns back into the Big 12 Championship picture despite everything that has happened. Missouri and Kansas play the North Championship Game Saturday, or really just the first of two BCS elimination games. Oklahoma State and Texas A&M seem to be safe to the Sun and Insight Bowls; but the Insight Bowl is praying for a Nebraska win at Colorado-which would allow the Huskers to go to Phoenix. There are enough bowl tie-ins for everyone who gets eligible to play, so fans of other conferences (ESPECIALLY THE BIG TEN) should be rooting for Fresno State to knock off K-State and leave a bowl unfilled.
——- (teams above are all still BCS-eligible)
——- (teams above are already bowl eligible)
——- (teams above will fight for bowl eligibility, teams below will not)
Oregon’s loss hurt the Pac-10 in overall standings, as it eliminated the league’s only real national championship hopes. Arizona State COULD get into the picture, but it would take a few dominos falling. I still think USC will beat Arizona State, but that would leave three teams with two losses, and Oregon holding the tie-breaker. That being said, Oregon still has to find ways to win at UCLA and vs. Oregon State WITHOUT Dennis Dixon, which will be tough. UCLA has to beat Oregon or win at USC to get bowl eligible, Arizona has to win at ASU to get bowl eligible. The Pac-10 only has 6 bowl tie-ins, but could finish with just 5 bowl eligible teams, two of which could end up in the BCS.
——- (team above is going to Rose Bowl at worst)
——- (teams above are all hoping for New Year’s Day bowl games)
——- (team above is safely in Orlando)
——- (teams above will take rest of Big Ten Bowl tie-ins)
——- (teams above are hoping for unused tie-ins elsewhere, team below is BAD)
Ohio State now has to sit back and wait. They have reason to have hope, but West Virginia is probably still the key. If they don’t have the chips fall their way, the Rose Bowl could still be a nice consolation prize. There are a lot of ethical issues when it comes to politicking, but maybe Jim Tressel should try to find some ways to pull an Urban Meyer in the media during the next few weeks. Illinois will definitely get the Capital One bid on the momentum of their victory over Michigan. Wisconsin needs to try to convince the Outback Bowl that they belong due to their win over Michigan, but Lloyd Carr’s career will likely end on New Year’s Day in Tampa. All Iowa had to do to get to bowl safety was beat Western Michigan. Now they go into hoping and praying mode. Northwestern would be the 10th of 10 teams selected, so they are practically desperate.
——- (teams above are all still BCS eligible)
——- (teams above are jockeying for Bowl position)
——- (at least one of teams above will be bowl-eligible, teams below are eliminated)
Virginia Tech has to go to Charlottesville to clinch their trip to the ACC Championship Game, and that is certainly not a lock. Florida State and Georgia Tech are unlikely to get another win, so Wake Forest stands to gain the most in bowl jockeying should they beat Vanderbilt. It seems unlikely that Miami will beat Boston College, so their should be a tie-in available for the Maryland-NC State winner, unfortunately its likely in Boise.
——- (teams above are still BCS eligible)
——- (teams above should be bowl eligible)
——- (team above is in SERIOUS bowl limbo, teams below are out)
West Virginia gets both of their final tests at home. UConn goes to Morgantown Saturday, with the winner sealing up a trip to the BCS. There is an interesting scenario here in which should West Virginia beat UConn, the Gator Bowl might well select a Big 12 team instead of taking UConn. I am going to pick WVU to beat UConn, and then inexplicably lose to Pitt, as I believe it would be for the good of college football to have Ohio State play for the title instead of West Virginia. Attention MAC fans: adopting Rutgers as your 2nd favorite team might be a good idea. Should the Knights beat Louisville, the PapaJohns.com Bowl would then go back to you.
BCS National Championship Game (Jan 7, New Orleans)
LSU vs. Ohio State
I’m very aware of the fact that this is a long-shot. LSU will almost certainly be there, but Ohio State not only needs Kansas and Missouri to lose (okay), they also need West Virginia to lose. I have believed the Big 12 teams would take losses for a while, but I believe more and more that West Virginia will still screw things up for themselves down the stretch. Perhaps there has been no better year in history for a team to become “the clubhouse leader” the way the Buckeyes are currently.
FedEx Orange Bowl (Jan 3, Miami)
West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech
The way I see it, the Mountaineers will suffer a loss to Pitt after clinching the Big East title. The Hokies have a tough road, as they’ll need to win at Virginia, and then beat Boston College in Jacksonville. That’s a lot to ask. This may well end up defaulting back to Boston College before all is said and done.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Jan 2, Glendale)
Texas vs. Hawaii
The Fiesta Bowl REALLY doesn’t want Arizona State. If USC wins the Pac-10 as I expect they will, the Fiesta Bowl will have to dodge the Devils. I actually like this match-up, as it is somewhat similar to the Boise State-Oklahoma showdown last year. Hawaii struggled, but got a clutch kick when they needed it Friday night, now they go home to try to finish off a perfect season.
Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan 1, New Orleans)
Arizona State vs. Georgia
The Pac-10 has earned a 2nd BCS bid no matter what might happen the rest of the way. The question will be whether or not Oregon can bounce back to claim a Pac 10 title and a Rose Bowl berth. But all of that is predicated on ASU falling to USC. I am still choosing to believe that Georgia will be left out of the SEC Championship Game; keeping them at 2 losses.
Rose Bowl Presented by Citi (Jan 1, Pasadena)
USC vs. Oklahoma
It wouldn’t be Big Ten/Pac-10, but the Rose Bowl has to prefer a Big 12 team to replace one of their conference teams. Oklahoma (as well as Texas and Nebraska) are the most desirable choices to go to Pasadena if Ohio State goes to New Orleans. USC needs to beat ASU AND have Oregon lose a game to lock this up.
Heisman Top 5:
Colt Brennan, Hawaii
Tim Tebow, Florida
Darren McFadden, Arkansas
Todd Reesing, Kansas
Chase Daniel, Missouri