NCF Nation: Bowl-look-101611

We have a new front-runner in the Legends Division. Does that also mean we have a new favorite to claim the Big Ten's second BCS spot?

Michigan State asserted itself as the team to beat in the Legends with a 28-14 victory over previously unbeaten Michigan on Saturday. That win lifted the Spartans up in our latest Big Ten bowl projections, as we now have them ticketed for a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl appearance. However, Michigan State has to play Wisconsin this week, and if it were to lose to the Badgers now and in the Big Ten title game but win out, that would mean a 10-3 final record. That might not be good enough for a BCS at-large bid, and it might crack the door open for another team -- like Nebraska, Penn State or even Michigan -- to grab the bid. If there is a second bid. Remember, teams that lose league title games are often shut out of BCS at-large berths.

But for now we'll give the nod to the Spartans and their unrelenting defense.

Michigan and Penn State are both 6-1, but we like the Wolverines' remaining schedule more than what the Nittany Lions must deal with in November. Ohio State moves up after a key win over Illinois, at the expense of those same Illini.

Northwestern clings to our last bowl spot for now, but the 2-4 Wildcats have a lot of work to do to gain postseason eligibility. Purdue missed a big chance to get closer to bowl status with its five-point loss to Penn State.

Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO: Wisconsin vs. BCS team

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Michigan State vs. BCS team

Capital One Bowl: Nebraska vs. SEC team

Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. SEC team

Insight Bowl: Penn State vs. Big 12 team Gator Bowl: Ohio State vs. SEC team

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Illinois vs. Big 12 team

TicketCity Bowl: Iowa vs. Big 12 team

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Northwestern vs. MAC team

Big 12 bowl projections: Week 7

October, 16, 2011
The first BCS standings of the season have been released, and we'll have more on that later tonight. For now, here's how I see the bowl picture shaking out at season's end through seven weeks of football:

Allstate BCS National Championship Game: Oklahoma vs. BCS

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. BCS

AT&T Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M vs. SEC

Valero Alamo Bowl: Kansas State vs. Pac-12

Insight Bowl: Baylor vs. Big Ten

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: Missouri vs. Pac-12

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Texas Tech vs. Big East

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Texas vs. Big East

Big East bowl projections: Week 7

October, 16, 2011
Not much reshuffling this week. Just one switch.

Also remember that the Big East does not necessarily go in order of finish when slotting its teams into bowls. Other factors are at play, including geography and where a team has made recent bowl appearances.

BCS, Discover Orange Bowl: West Virginia vs. ACC. I'm still holding firm on the Mountaineers.

Champs Sports Bowl: Notre Dame. Still going with the Irish. Remember, the Champs Sports Bowl can take Notre Dame once in a four-year cycle provided it is 7-5 or better.

Belk Bowl: Cincinnati vs. ACC. The Bearcats need one more win to become bowl eligible.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Big 12. The Scarlet Knights also are one win away from becoming bowl eligible, and are the only team at 2-0 in league play.

BBVA Compass Bowl: USF vs. SEC. The Bulls dropped to 0-2 in league play after a disappointing loss at UConn.

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: Syracuse vs. Conference USA. This one is a toss-up right now between the Orange and the Panthers.

At-large: Pitt. I still think the Panthers can become bowl eligible, but it’s hard to imagine them going 3-2 to close the season after their performances the past two weeks. Their home season finale against Syracuse could determine who goes bowling and who stays home.
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  • Pac-12 bowl projections: Week 7

    October, 16, 2011
    PM ET
    Projecting the bowls based on the seven weeks of games.

    Rose Bowl Game: Stanford vs. Big Ten
    Valero Alamo: Oregon vs. Big 12
    Bridgepoint Education Holiday: Arizona State vs. Big 12
    Hyundai Sun: Washington vs. ACC
    MAACO Las Vegas: California vs. Mountain West
    Kraft Fight Hunger: UCLA vs. ACC or Army
    Gildan New Mexico: Utah vs. Big 12

    SEC bowl projections: Week 7

    October, 16, 2011
    PM ET
    Not much has changed for us in the SEC bowl projections.

    Alabama and LSU are still top dogs, but things will be much clearer here in the next couple of weeks when those two meet in Tuscaloosa, Ala. We're still holding out hope that if both teams run the table after their epic bout that there can somehow be a rematch in the national championship.

    Yes, it is highly unlikely that will happen, but if we're trying to get the two best teams in the country to play each other at season's end, these two are clearly those teams right now.

    At least make an exception this year and have them play each other in the SEC championship game.

    But there are other teams in the SEC and one team making noise again is Auburn. With the Tigers getting yet another close win this weekend, they are becoming more and more attractive to bowl reps. Also, considering Arkansas' second-half slate, the Razorbacks should be extremely attractive come bowl picking time as well.

    As for the East, Georgia might be considered the favorite now with the devastating knee injury South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore suffered and the with the offensive woes ravaging Florida. A strong finish for the Bulldogs will have them sitting pretty come selection time.

    Here are our projections for this week:

    Allstate BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 9: Alabama

    Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 3: LSU

    Capital One Bowl: Jan. 2: Arkansas

    AT&T Cotton Bowl, Jan. 6: South Carolina

    Outback Bowl, Jan. 2: Georgia

    Gator Bowl, Jan. 2: Florida

    Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31: Auburn

    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Dec. 30:

    AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31:
    Mississippi State

    BBVA Compass Bowl, Jan. 7: Vanderbilt

    ACC bowl projections: Week 8

    October, 16, 2011
    PM ET
    The ACC race was thrown out of sorts once again this past weekend with Virginia's upset of Georgia Tech, and because of it, there have been some changes in this week's bowl lineup. The Terps, which have dropped to 2-4 overall and have lost back-to-back games heading into Saturday's road trip to Florida State, are out. Virginia is in. Georgia Tech has dropped, and the Hokies have been promoted. Here's a look at your latest lineup:

    Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson

    Chick-fil-A Bowl: Virginia Tech

    Champs Sports Bowl: Florida State

    Hyundai Sun Bowl: Georgia Tech

    Belk Bowl: North Carolina

    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Miami

    Advocare V100 Independence Bowl: Wake Forest

    Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman: Virginia