NCF Nation: bowl look 111812

SEC bowl projections: Week 13

November, 18, 2012
The SEC is right back in the middle of the national championship equation again, which means the bowl picture is as muddled as ever.

Baylor and Stanford both did big-time solids for the SEC over the weekend with their upset wins over Kansas State and Oregon, meaning the SEC championship game on Dec. 1 will now be a play-in game for a berth in the Discover BCS National Championship Game as long as Alabama takes care of Auburn this weekend and Georgia does the same with Georgia Tech.

What we know for sure at this point is that Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee won't be playing in bowl games this season. The Hogs and Vols were eliminated from the postseason picture this past weekend with losses. Missouri and Ole Miss need to win this coming weekend to qualify for a bowl game. Missouri travels to Texas A&M, while Ole Miss faces Mississippi State at home.

If Missouri and Ole Miss both lose this Saturday, that means the SEC won't be able to fill three of its 10 bowl slots.

Nonetheless, it looks as if the SEC will at least get a chance to extend its national championship streak to seven in a row. Here's how we see the bowl picture shaping up heading into the final weekend of the regular season:
  • Discover BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 7: Alabama
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2: LSU
  • Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: Georgia
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl, Jan. 4: Texas A&M
  • 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

Pac-12 bowl projections: Week 13

November, 18, 2012
The only good thing about the bowl projections this week is that we know for a fact that there are eight Pac-12 teams that will be bowl eligible. Other than that -- to quote Veronica Sawyer from "Heathers" -- "Chaos, [expletive] chaos."

The Rose Bowl still remains the big unknown. UCLA, Stanford and Oregon all have a shot at the Rose Bowl still -- though Stanford and UCLA are in the strongest positions because they control their respective destinies heading into their season finale against each other on Saturday in Pasadena, Calif. In simplest terms: If Stanford wins out, it goes to the Rose Bowl. If UCLA wins out, it goes to the Rose Bowl. Just like last week, we give Stanford the nod because of their record against UCLA's common opponents (UCLA's losses were to Cal and Oregon State, and Stanford beat both teams). But based on the way both teams played Saturday, you'd be better off flipping a coin.

At question is who UCLA plays in the conference title game, since the Bruins have already locked up the South. Stanford wins the North with a win at UCLA or an Oregon loss in the Civil War. If Stanford and Oregon both lose, the Cardinal have tiebreakers over both Oregon schools. And if both win, Stanford has the tiebreaker over the Ducks. Oregon wins the North with a win in the Civil War and a Stanford loss. Oregon's national title hopes aren't dead -- but they are on life support. We're projecting a BCS at-large bid for now. Some have Texas A&M to the Fiesta Bowl, which is where we're projecting Oregon. Would be mighty fun to see the Johnny Manziel-Marcus Mariota debate play out.

Arizona State joined the postseason party and broke a four-game skid with its win over Washington State -- setting up a fun matchup this week against Arizona that could determine which tier bowl game either goes to. Despite a late-season push, the Utes saw their bowl chances dashed with a home loss to Arizona, joining Cal, Colorado and Washington State in the see-ya-next-year crowd.

Rose Bowl Game, Jan. 1: Stanford vs. Big Ten
Tostitos Fiesta, Jan. 3: Oregon vs. BCS
Valero Alamo, Dec. 29: UCLA vs. Big 12
Bridgepoint Education Holiday, Dec. 27: Oregon State vs. Big 12
Hyundai Sun, Dec. 31: Washington vs. ACC
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, Dec. 22: Arizona vs. MWC
Kraft Fight Hunger, Dec. 29: USC vs. Navy
Gildan New Mexico, Dec. 15: Arizona State vs. MWC

ACC bowl projections: Week 13

November, 18, 2012
This week's results didn't change the lineup, but rather took another step in confirming it:
  • 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. 27: N/A

Big 12 bowl projections: Week 13

November, 18, 2012
Welcome back to the bowl picture, Baylor. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt heading down the stretch for now.

A predictable shuffle at the top, too.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. BCS at-large

Allstate Sugar 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

Heart of Dallas Bowl: Baylor vs. Big Ten No. 7

Big East bowl projections: Week 13

November, 18, 2012
Getting down to the nitty gritty, folks. You see I have made a change at the top. Given the way Rutgers played defensively against Cincinnati, I now give the Scarlet Knights the edge over Louisville in the regular-season finale in two weeks.

I am still predicting only four Big East teams becoming bowl eligible. That would be the lowest total since 2005.

BCS, Orange, Jan. 1 -- Rutgers versus ACC. They say defense wins championships. Rutgers' D had a statement game versus Cincinnati.

Russell Athletic, Dec. 28 -- Louisville versus ACC. The Cardinals were off this week, but will have their shot to go to the BCS.

Belk, Dec. 27 -- Cincinnati versus ACC. Tough loss for the Bearcats, scoring only three points against Rutgers.

New Era Pinstripe, Dec. 29 -- Syracuse versus Big 12. Orange goes back to the Pinstripe. Big 12 candidate … West Virginia? The Mountaineers need one more win to become bowl eligible and set up a rematch against one of its former Big East rivals.

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

Beef 'O' Brady's, Dec. 21 -- No team eligible.
We're two weeks from officially knowing the Big Ten's bowl lineup, but there's still a lot to be decided.

Indiana's postseason hopes are dashed after the Hoosiers suffered their seventh loss Saturday at Penn State. Iowa also won't be going bowling for the first time since 2007 after getting pummeled at Michigan to ensure its first losing regular season since 2000.

Purdue and Michigan State are still alive for bowls, but both teams must win this week to reach the six-victory plateau. The Boilers host Indiana in the Bucket game, while Michigan State visits Minnesota. We're projecting both teams to win their games and squeak into the postseason -- hardly the outcome either the Boilers or the Spartans thought would happen when a promising season kicked off 12 weeks ago.

The Big Ten still has an outside shot at getting a BCS at-large berth, although the Pac-12 strengthened its chances for two BCS teams Saturday and the ACC still has both Florida State and Clemson in line to reach BCS games. But if Michigan wins this week against Ohio State and gets into the top 14, it would be a very appealing team with losses only to Notre Dame, Alabama and Nebraska. Could Nebraska reach the Big Ten title game, lose to Wisconsin in Indy and still remain eligible for at-large selection by staying in the top 14 of the final BCS standings? We don't think the Huskers can, but it's not impossible.

One big change this week: We're elevating Northwestern ahead of Wisconsin. Why? The Outback Bowl can't select a team with two fewer losses than another available Big Ten club. If the Wildcats beat Illinois on Saturday and Wisconsin loses at Penn State -- both reasonable assumptions -- then Northwestern would finish 9-3 and Wisconsin would take a 7-5 record to the Big Ten title game, where it would be an underdog. The Badgers would also potentially end the year with three straight losses and be far less attractive as a bowl team.

If you're curious about the Big Ten's bowl selection procedures, here's a refresher from last year. As you're reading, just remember to flip the Insight Bowl (now Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl) for the Gator Bowl, as the two trade spots this year.

But for now, here's how we see things shaking out.

Rose Bowl, Jan. 1: Nebraska
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: Michigan
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1: Northwestern
Gator Bowl, Jan. 1: Wisconsin
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)