NCF Nation: Bowl-look-112011

Pac-12 bowl projections: Week 13

November, 20, 2011
Things stay the same at the top with the Pac-12 bowl projections, but that's a change, because it seemed reasonable to start to look at Oregon's national title chances on Friday night when Oklahoma State lost.

No longer. The Ducks lost at home to USC, so their best possible destination now is the Rose Bowl.

The big mover is Utah. The Utes would close the season with five consecutive wins if they take care of business at home against Colorado on Saturday. That makes them the hottest and most compelling team after Oregon and Stanford. San Antonio likely will lure plenty of Utes to town, too.

After Utah, the other four bowl-eligible teams mostly arrive with a thud. No bowl wants to deal with a team that might fire its coach.

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

Big East bowl projections: Week 13

November, 20, 2011
Which team from the Big East will make it to a BCS game? Your guess is as good as mine. With five teams tied for first and two weeks to go in the regular season, this race appears as if it is going down to the wire once again.

I will lay out all the scenarios for six teams that still have a shot at going to the BCS on Monday in the usual conference race post. Rutgers' 20-3 win over Cincinnati on Saturday essentially made this a mad scramble to the end. The Bearcats no longer control their own destiny and will need help to be the Big East rep.

Cincinnati, Pitt and West Virginia each have two games remaining; Rutgers and Louisville close out this weekend. Here is a refresher on how the Big East selects its BCS rep should there be a tie for first.

Discover Orange Bowl, Jan. 4: West Virginia

Champs Sports Bowl, Dec. 29: Notre Dame

Belk Bowl, Dec. 27: Cincinnati

New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Dec. 30: Rutgers

BBVA Compass Bowl, Jan. 7: Louisville

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, Dec. 20: USF

At-large: Pitt

ACC bowl projections: Week 13

November, 20, 2011
The bowl picture has changed Sunday, as Miami has decided not to participate in a bowl game this year. The Canes and Wake Forest both became bowl eligible on Saturday, and N.C. State came one step closer with its upset of No. 7-ranked Clemson. The Wolfpack must now win on Saturday against Maryland to make it to the postseason. Their odds today look much better than they did a week ago. Here is your latest bowl lineup for the ACC:

Discover Orange Bowl, Jan. 4: Virginia Tech

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

Champs Sports Bowl, Dec. 29: Florida State

Hyundai Sun Bowl, Dec. 31: Georgia Tech

Belk Bowl, Dec. 27: N.C. State

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

Advocare V100 Independence Bowl, Dec. 26: Wake Forest

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman, Dec. 28: North Carolina

SEC bowl projections: Week 13

November, 20, 2011
The bowl picture is starting to clear up a bit in the SEC, although a lot could still change at the top.

Alabama, Arkansas and LSU are all right in the middle of the Allstate BCS National Championship Game equation, and there's even a scenario out there where three SEC teams could go to BCS bowls if Georgia wins the SEC championship game. In that case, the Bulldogs would go to the Allstate Sugar Bowl, but the SEC could still have Alabama vs. LSU, Arkansas vs. Alabama or Arkansas vs. LSU in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game if two of those teams finished No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS standings.

Right now, we're going with a rematch of Alabama and LSU in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game, but Arkansas might have something to say about that come Friday in Baton Rouge.

Kentucky and Ole Miss are both assured of finishing with losing records and won't qualify for a bowl game this season. Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt all have to win this week to be bowl eligible. The Bulldogs face Ole Miss at home. The Vols travel to Kentucky, and the Commodores travel to Wake Forest.

Here's our updated bowl projections for SEC teams:

Allstate BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 9: Alabama vs. LSU

Capital One Bowl, Jan. 2: Arkansas

Outback Bowl, Jan. 2: Georgia

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

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

Gator Bowl, Jan. 2: Florida

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

AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31: Mississippi State

BBVA Compass Bowl, Jan. 7: Vanderbilt
We don't know who will take the BCS bid or bids out of the Big Ten, but at least the candidate pool has been whittled to a final four.

Michigan State, Wisconsin or Penn State is going to the Rose Bowl. The Spartans already have punched their ticket to the league championship game, and the Badgers and Nittany Lions will fight it out for the other spot this week. The loser of that game will have three losses and would be highly unlikely to gain an at-large BCS bid.

That means Michigan is the other team with a chance at the BCS. The Wolverines' win over Nebraska on Saturday was a virtual at-large elimination game. If they can beat Ohio State in Ann Arbor this week, a 10-2 record would put Brady Hoke's team in position for a berth in one of the big bowls, especially given the rabid following for the Maize and Blue.

What else did we figure out in Week 12? Well, Northwestern clinched bowl eligibility by beating Minnesota, while Purdue gave itself no room for error by losing at home to Iowa. The Boilers have to beat Indiana on the road this week to get to 6-6, and even then they will likely be less attractive to bowls than Iowa or Northwestern. Penn State has some major image issues, but the Nittany Lions have earned a higher bowl slot than the Ohio State team they just beat. We'll see if that happens.

And sorry, Penn State and Michigan State fans, but we're projecting Wisconsin to win this week at home and to get revenge on the Spartans in Indianapolis. The rest falls into place as follows:

Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO, Jan. 2: Wisconsin vs. BCS team

Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 3: Michigan vs. BCS team

Capital One Bowl, Jan. 2: Michigan State vs. SEC team

Outback Bowl, Jan. 2: Nebraska vs. SEC team

Insight Bowl, Dec. 30: Penn State vs. Big 12 team Gator Bowl, Jan. 2: Ohio State vs. SEC team

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Dec. 31: Iowa vs. Big 12 team

TicketCity Bowl, Jan. 2: Northwestern vs. Big 12 team

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec. 27: Purdue vs. MAC team

At-large: Illinois vs. TBA

Big 12 bowl projections: Week 13

November, 20, 2011
Big time shakeup in the bowl projections this week.

For the first time all season, the Big 12 won't be projected for a spot in the national title game. Oklahoma State needs help to reach the title game, and I'm not so sure they'll get it. Alabama and LSU are both double-digit favorites in rivalry games this weekend.

Additionally, Iowa State is a new member of the bowl eligibility club. Welcome, Cyclones. I'm guessing you're enjoying this development. (And the fact that I gave it 12 percent chance of happening.) Hey, I didn't give it zero percent chance of happening!

Navy has an automatic tie-in to this year's Military Bowl, but the 4-7 Midshipmen won't be filling it. Iowa State could land there, but with the Big 12's Texas ties, the Cyclones might prefer to play in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas, rather than in Washington, D.C. The Cyclones would fill a spot vacated by the Conference USA, instead. Plus, the TicketCity Bowl hosted a Big 12 team--Texas Tech--last year. Without a spot in the national title game, there are seven bowl slots for eight Big 12 teams. There won't be a shortage of bowls for bowl eligible teams. A Big 12 team won't be left out.

Here goes this week's bowl projections:

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. BCS

AT&T Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma vs. SEC

Valero Alamo Bowl: Kansas State vs. Pac-12

Insight Bowl: Baylor vs. Big Ten

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

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

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Missouri vs. Big East

TicketCity Bowl: Iowa State vs. Big Ten