NCF Nation: bowl-look-111311

SEC bowl projections: Week 12

November, 13, 2011
No. 1 LSU toyed with Western Kentucky in the first half Saturday and then breezed to a 42-9 victory.

The Tigers are now three wins away from returning to the Bayou and playing for their second national championship in the past five years. Looming large in two weeks is that game against Arkansas in Baton Rouge.

The Hogs could really shake things up by winning and creating a three-way tie in the West.

But for now, we're going to keep LSU and Alabama as the two BCS bowl teams from the SEC -- LSU in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game and Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Of course, with Boise State and Stanford both losing last week, the chances are even greater now that we could see Alabama and LSU squaring off in a rematch in the BCS National Championship Game.

Stay tuned, because it's sure to get crazy these last few weeks.

Here's our updated bowl projections for the SEC teams:

Allstate BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 9: LSU

Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 3: Alabama

Capital One Bowl: Jan. 2: Arkansas

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

Outback Bowl, Jan. 2: Georgia

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

Gator Bowl, Jan. 2: Florida

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Dec. 30: Vanderbilt

AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31: Mississippi State

BBVA Compass Bowl, Jan. 7: Tennessee
With only two weeks left in the regular season, it's time to get down to some serious business. No more excuses about it being too early to start nailing some of our bowl projections.

Week 11 brought us, if not clarity, at least a little better idea of what might happen. Wisconsin and Michigan State look like they have the best paths to the Big Ten title game. Sorry, Spartans fans, but we'd like the Badgers in a rematch on a neutral field after they lost on a Hail Mary on the road.

We also like Nebraska to win out and claim the league's second BCS bid with a 10-2 record. From there, it gets a little trickier.

What to do with Penn State? The Nittany Lions have only one conference loss, but we don't like their chances on the road in Columbus and Madison. So if they lose both of those games, they'd be 8-4 with a three-game losing streak and more importantly, the stain of scandal and a fan base that might not exactly be thrilled to go see them in a distant city. So we're knocking Penn State down in our projections.

The bottom is even more confusing. We like Purdue and Northwestern to reach bowl eligibility now, which would give the Big Ten 10 bowl teams. So there would have to be an at-large opening for the 10th team and some jostling among the bowls for the most attractive picks. The team we think might be the least attractive right now is Illinois, which is in danger of losing a fifth straight game this week against Wisconsin. Illini fans may not be too enthused about traveling to support their team this postseason, especially if they go from 6-0 to 6-6 .

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

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska vs. BCS team

Capital One Bowl: Michigan State vs. SEC team

Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. SEC team

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

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

TicketCity Bowl: Northwestern vs. Big 12 team

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Purdue vs. MAC team

At-large: Illinois vs. TBA

Big East bowl projections: Week 12

November, 13, 2011
I joked with somebody this weekend that all eight Big East schools would become bowl eligible. Believe it or not, that is still possible after this weekend. Will it happen? Anything is possible in this league. For now, just a few adjustments to the projections.

BCS, Discover Orange Bowl: Cincinnati vs. ACC. Yup, I am sticking with the Bearcats for this week even without Zach Collaros. Backup Munchie Legaux nearly led a comeback win Saturday, and now that the Bearcats know he will start for them in the final three games of the season, they can game plan for his strengths. You saw flashes of what he can do running the football. The combo with Isaiah Pead in the backfield can lead this offense. And let's face it, Cincinnati is not facing prolific offenses in the last three games -- Rutgers, UConn and Syracuse. All of those games are winnable, even with a backup running the show.

Champs Sports Bowl: Notre Dame. The Irish are 7-3, and I still think would be the most attractive option for this game in Orlando, Fla. Remember, the Champs Sports Bowl can take Notre Dame once in a four-year cycle provided it is 7-5 or better.

Belk Bowl: West Virginia vs. ACC. Should Cincinnati falter again, I think West Virginia would have the best shot at moving out of its current bowl game and into the BCS.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Big 12. The Scarlet Knights remain the perfect option for the bowl game in New York. But if they can win out and other pieces fall their way, maybe there is an outside shot at the BCS, too.

BBVA Compass Bowl: Louisville vs. SEC. The Cardinals have to win one more game, but their final two are on the road -- at UConn and at USF. I think they win at least one of those.

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: USF vs. Conference USA. The Bulls will win one of their final three against Miami, Louisville and West Virginia to make it into the game close to their campus in Tampa, Fla.

The rest:

Syracuse (5-5) has to beat either Cincinnati or Pitt.

Pitt (5-5) has to beat either West Virginia or Syracuse.

UConn (4-6) has to beat two of these three: Louisville, Rutgers, Cincinnati.

Of these three teams, I now think the Panthers have the best chance at making a bowl game. The regular-season finale between Syracuse and Pitt in Pittsburgh could have a bowl game hanging in the balance.
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  • Big 12 bowl projections: Week 12

    November, 13, 2011
    PM ET
    Here's a glance at the bowl picture in the Big 12 with a few weeks left in the season.

    Will the Big 12 keep two BCS bids? It'll be close. The Sooners would need a close loss. A win would likely send Oklahoma State to the Fiesta Bowl. We'll see how it shakes out. I'll give OU the benefit of the doubt for now. Could get interesting soon.

    Additionally, Texas Tech is hanging by a thread at the bottom of the projection. Baylor and Missouri await the five-win Red Raiders who have taken a beating the past three weeks.

    Allstate BCS National Championship Game: Oklahoma State vs. BCS

    Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. BCS

    AT&T Cotton Bowl: Kansas State vs. SEC

    Valero Alamo Bowl: Baylor vs. Pac-12

    Insight Bowl: Texas vs. Big Ten

    Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Pac-12

    Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Missouri vs. Big Ten

    New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Texas Tech vs. Big East

    Pac-12 bowl projections: Week 12

    November, 13, 2011
    PM ET
    Projecting the bowls based on the 11 weeks of games.

    Rose Bowl Game: Oregon vs. Big Ten
    Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Stanford vs. Big 12
    Valero Alamo: Washington vs. Big 12
    Bridgepoint Education Holiday: Arizona State vs. Big 12
    Hyundai Sun: Utah vs. ACC
    MAACO Las Vegas: California vs. Mountain West
    Kraft Fight Hunger: UCLA vs. ACC or Army
    Gildan New Mexico: No team vs. Mountain West

    ACC bowl projections: Week 12

    November, 13, 2011
    PM ET
    It's official: Duke can no longer become bowl eligible. With its loss to Virginia this past weekend, Duke joined Maryland and Boston College as ACC schools that have been officially eliminated from postseason competition. Miami, NC State and Wake Forest still have time, but it's running out, especially for the Wolfpack, who must win each of their last two games against Clemson and Maryland. As you can see from the projections below, there's not a lot of confidence in that happening. Here's your latest bowl lineup:

    Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson

    Chick-fil-A Bowl: Virginia Tech

    Champs Sports Bowl: Florida State

    Hyundai Sun Bowl: Georgia Tech

    Belk Bowl: Wake Forest

    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Virginia

    Advocare V100 Independence Bowl: Miami

    Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman: North Carolina