NCF Nation: bowl look 111112

ACC bowl projections: Week 12

November, 11, 2012
The ACC got some help this weekend when Alabama lost. That changes things ...
  • Discover Orange Bowl, Jan. 1: Florida State
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2: Clemson
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31: Miami
  • Russell Athletic Bowl, Dec. 28: Georgia Tech
  • Hyundai Sun Bowl, Dec. 31: Virginia Tech
  • Belk Bowl, Dec. 27: Duke
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Dec. 31: NC State
  • Advocare V100 Independence Bowl, Dec. 28: N/A
  • Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman, Dec. 28: N/A

Big 12 bowl projections: Week 12

November, 11, 2012
K-State won't have to worry much about getting any help. The odds are heavily, heavily in its favor to be where it wants to be if it goes 12-0. Let's get to the bowl projections:

BCS National Championship Game: Kansas State vs. BCS at-large

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. BCS at-large

AT&T Cotton Bowl: Texas vs. SEC No. 3/4

Valero Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Pac-12 No. 2

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Texas Tech vs. Big Ten No. 4/5

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: TCU vs. Pac-12 No. 3

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Iowa State vs. Big Ten No. 6

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: West Virginia vs. Big East No. 4

Pac-12 bowl projections: Week 12

November, 11, 2012
The following is a reenactment of a Saturday conversation that recently took place between the Pac-12 bloggers.

Fade in, interior, a rental car on a Bay Area freeway around sunset. One blogger has his cell phone on speaker while darting in and out of traffic, scrambling to get from Palo Alto to Berkeley. The other is sitting under an oversized umbrella at a posh Phoenix resort, sipping on a martini while resort employees fan him with palm fronds.

And ... ACTION!

Blogger #1: "What the frack am I supposed to do with the bowl projections this week?," he screams, his venti coffee sloshing about from the start-and-stop traffic.

Blogger #2: "Dunno. (Pauses for long, dramatic sip of martini). Glad I don't have to do them. Have a nice drive. By the way, nice call on Oregon State." Click.

And CUT!

Fade out.

There may have been a little creative license, but you get the picture. The bowl projections are still up in the air as we head into Week 12. The biggest question mark is the Rose Bowl. Where does Oregon end up in the BCS standings? If they are No. 1, the Rose Bowl would get the first replacement pick. And if an undefeated Notre Dame is available, it would be tough to overlook the Irish in lieu of a three-loss Pac-12 team.

We're keeping Oregon in the title game -- which means Oregon runs the table and Stanford and UCLA has at least three losses. So the season finale of Stanford at UCLA could very well determine if a Pac-12 team even plays in the Grand Daddy. We're optimists, so we are going to assume that USC beats Notre Dame -- keeping the Rose Bowl a traditional Pac-B1G affair.

Whether it's Stanford or UCLA remains a coin flip at this point. If the Bruins win out (but lose to Oregon in the conference championship game), they'll be 10-3. If Stanford beats the Bruins, they'll have signature wins over the Beavers (a team that UCLA lost to) and USC and finish at 9-3. It is a painfully even scenario at this point. For now, we'll give the slightest of edges to Stanford in the common-opponents category since they have wins over both of the teams UCLA lost to.

As for the rest of the conference, Arizona and Washington punched their tickets with wins. Arizona State is still sitting on five wins and has lost four in a row. Logic would dictate they'll pick up the sixth win against Washington State this week -- a team that's winless in the conference -- but the Cougars showed some second-half explosiveness against the Bruins.

Utah isn't out of it yet, but they have to win their remaining two games -- home this week to Arizona and then at Colorado.

BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 7: Oregon vs. BCS 1 or 2
Rose Bowl Game, Jan. 1: Stanford vs. Big Ten
Valero Alamo, Dec. 29: UCLA vs. Big 12
Bridgepoint Education Holiday, Dec. 27: Oregon State vs. Big 12
Hyundai Sun, Dec. 31: USC vs. ACC
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, Dec. 22: Arizona vs. MWC
Kraft Fight Hunger, Dec. 29: Washington vs. Navy
Gildan New Mexico, Dec. 15: Arizona State vs. MWC

The Big Ten bowl picture is beginning to take shape.

We know Wisconsin will be headed back to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game, and Nebraska took a big step toward Naptown after another second-half rally Saturday against Penn State. All along, we've been projecting the Legends Division champion to the Rose Bowl, so nothing changes after Week 11.

There's still a slight chance Michigan could earn a BCS at-large berth, but a lot would have to go right in other conferences, and Michigan would need a significant boost in the rankings from a win against Ohio State. Right now, we still have the Wolverines heading to the Capital One Bowl for the first time since the 2008 game.

There are no changes with the next four bowl projections -- Outback, Gator, Buffalo Wild Wings and Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. The only change in this week's projections is Purdue's return following a road win against Iowa. Although the Boilers are just 1-5 in Big Ten play, they must only beat 2-8 Illinois on the road and rival Indiana at home to become bowl eligible at 6-6. Right now, we think Danny Hope's crew can get it done.

Indiana's and Iowa's bowl hopes both took major hits Saturday following home losses. The Hoosiers must win at both Penn State and at Purdue to go bowling, while Iowa must beat Michigan (road) and Nebraska (home). We don't see either squad reaching six wins.

Let's get to the latest projections:

Rose Bowl, Jan. 1: Nebraska
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: Michigan
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1: Wisconsin
Gator Bowl, Jan. 1: Northwestern
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 29: Michigan State
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Dec. 28: Minnesota
Heart of Dallas Bowl, Jan. 1: Purdue
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec. 26: At-large (not filled by Big Ten)

Big East bowl projections: Week 12

November, 11, 2012
I am making one change to my bowl projections from the past several weeks. Welcome back, Syracuse!

With its win over Louisville, I believe this team will win at least one of its final two games (at Missouri, at Temple). I am not feeling as confident in Pitt. I had the Panthers in the bowl projections based on a win over UConn. That did not happen. Now they have to beat Rutgers and USF. So, they come out this week.

As for the BCS rep, I still think Louisville has the edge over Rutgers in the finale, despite the big loss Saturday.

BCS, Orange, Jan. 1 -- Louisville vs. ACC. The Cardinals have a bye week to help them refocus before their final two games.

Russell Athletic, Dec. 28 -- Rutgers vs. ACC. The Scarlet Knights' offense is still a huge cause for concern.

Belk, Dec. 27 -- Cincinnati vs. ACC. Do not count Cincinnati out as the potential BCS rep from the Big East.

New Era Pinstripe, Dec. 29 -- Syracuse vs. Big 12. Win over Mizzou or Temple gets the Orange back into the Pinstripe.

BBVA Compass, Jan. 5, 2013 -- No team eligible.

Beef 'O' Brady's, Dec. 21 -- No team eligible.

SEC bowl projections: Week 12

November, 11, 2012
Thanks to the new kids on the SEC block, the Discover BCS National Championship Game will likely be the first BCS title game to feature two non-SEC teams since 2005. Alabama's 29-24 loss to Texas A&M did more than just show that the Aggies are for real in this league. It also showed that the rest of the country might not have to hear from the big, bad SEC at season's end.

SEC enthusiasts had to have a bittersweet feeling inside when they saw Texas A&M possibly ruin things for the conference. The league was so nice to bring the Aggies in, and this is how they repay it? Still, what a game and what a team Kevin Sumlin has over in College Station. This team should be good for quit some time.

But the SEC won't get shut out of the BCS. It'll likely still send two teams to BCS bowls, which would be two pretty big wins for the conference.

Also, the SEC might not fill its 10 bowl spots this year. While the SEC should get two in the BCS to give the conference 10 bowl teams, it might not get 11 eligible teams, which means there wouldn't be an SEC representative in the Autocare Independence Bowl.

Ole Miss still has to win one more, meaning the Rebels will have to beat either LSU or Mississippi State. This team has come too far not to get one last win, right? And Tennessee has to win out. That means beating Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Vandy is on the road, while Kentucky is at home. Right now, it just doesn't look like the Vols can get two more wins this year.

Making projections on the bowls now is even more of a careless shot in the dark after Saturday, but we're willing to give it our best shot:
  • Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 3: Texas A&M
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2: Alabama
  • Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: Georgia
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl, Jan. 4: LSU
  • Outback Bowl, Jan. 1: Florida
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31: South Carolina
  • Gator Bowl, Jan. 1: Mississippi State
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Dec. 31: Vanderbilt
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31: Ole Miss
  • BBVA Compass Bowl, Jan. 5: Missouri