The college football landscape now contains 35 different bowl game destinations. "Bowl Projections" is your weekly rundown of which teams are headed where, from BCS bowls to B.S. bowls.
What We Know For Sure:
With four weeks left in the college football season, 47 teams have reached bowl eligibility, and 18 teams are one win away. Two schools have already accepted bowl bids - Hawai'i will play a C-USA team in the Hawai'i Bowl and Navy will play a MWC team in the Poinsettia Bowl.
BCS Title Game: 1. Oregon v. 2. Auburn
Rose: TCU v. Wisconsin
Sugar: LSU v. Boise State
Orange: Virginia Tech v. Stanford
Poor Boise State. They jumped through every hoop set in front of them, and in the end it still won't be enough to get a shot at the national championship. Oregon should win out and finish the season at #1. At this point I think Auburn will take care of business in the Iron Bowl against Alabama and punch their ticket to Glendale. If they should trip against Alabama (or in the SEC CCG), TCU sneaks into the #2 spot.
Under current BCS rules, the highest-ranked champion of a Non-BCS conference recieves an automatic bid if they are in the top 12 of the final BCS standings. If Oregon is #1 at the end of the season, the Rose Bowl will be forced to take TCU to match up against Big Ten champ Wisconsin. A one-loss LSU is almost a lock for the Sugar Bowl. With Virginia Tech being the favorite to win the ACC and a spot in the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl agrees to take Boise State in order to prevent a Boise/VT rematch. The Orange uses their At-Large pick on a one-loss Stanford team, and the Fiesta gets stuck with Big XII winner Nebraska squaring off against Big East champion Pittsburgh.
Full Predictions, including Iowa State, after the jump.
Big XII Bowl Projections:
Oklahoma State's merciless beatdown of Baylor and Oklahoma's vulnerability against Texas A&M makes the Cowboys the favorite to win the south division right now. Oklahoma State ends the season with a signature win against their maroon-clad rivals, but loses to Nebraska in the championship game. After Auburn and LSU head to BCS games, the Capital One bowl snags Alabama and the Cotton Bowl takes Arkansas.
Missouri and Kansas State will face off next week for 2nd place in the Big XII North. Mizzou can do what Texas can't - stop the KSU running game. I don't see ISU pulling off the upset, and Kansas is absolutely terrible this year, so there's no reason Mizzou shouldn't go 10-2. The Alamo gets the first pick out of the Pac-10 (after BCS teams) and with Oregon and Stanford heading to the BCS, Arizona becomes a lock for this game.
Insight Bowl - Oklahoma Sooners (9-3) v. Penn State Nittany Lions
Oklahoma notches wins against Baylor and Tech before losing a rivalry game (and a trip to the Big XII Championship) to Oklahoma State. Their consolation prize is a trip to the Insight Bowl to take on a Big Ten opponent. With Penn State, Michigan, and Northwestern in a three-way tie at 7-5, the Insight chooses a surging Penn State team due to their outstanding fan base and the opportunity to be Joe-Pa's last game.
Holiday Bowl - Kansas State Wildcats (8-4) v. California Bears
Even if they lose to Mizzou this week, the Wildcats have games against Colorado and North Texas that should bump their total win count to eight, meaning Bill Snyder gets to take a Holiday (Bowl) in sunny San Diego. Of the remaining teams in the PAC-10, California is most likely to become bowl eligible (just needing a win over Washington.)
This weekend the clock struck midnight and Baylor's shot at winning the south turned into a blaze orange pumpkin. Still, they are a good team, and more importantly, bowl eligible. With two ranked teams left in two games, I see Baylor upsetting Texas A&M at home and then losing to Oklahoma. Michigan gets the nod here ahead of Illinois (who isn't bowl eligible yet) and Northwestern, who can't fill up their own stadium at home. Baylor fans make the drive from Waco to Houston and watch the Bears take down yet another traditional football powerhouse.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Texas A&M Aggies (7-5) v. West Virginia
I like Baylor in the upset against the Aggies, and I don't see them beating Nebraska. That said, Texas A&M looked really good in their upset of Oklahoma, and should beat Texas after falling to Nebraska. The win over Oklahoma gets them the nod ahead of 7-5 Texas Tech and a trip to Yankee Stadium to play the 4th pick from the Big East. With the Big East being an absolute fustercluck right now, let's just pencil in the current team in 5th place and know that the opponent here will likely change every week from now until December.
Dallas Football Classic - Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-5) v. Illinois
After playing Oklahoma next week, Texas Tech has 1-AA patsy Weber State and C-USA division leader Houston left on their schedule. At 7-5, they get the nod ahead of a 6-6 Iowa State team for the conference's last affiliated bowl game. Should Illinois fail to get one more win and become bowl eligible, Northwestern ends up in this game instead.
New Mexico Bowl - Iowa State Cyclones (6-6) v. Southern Methodist
Traditionally, this is supposed to be a #4 WAC v. #5 MWC matchup. If TCU and Boise State both end up in BCS games, neither conference will be able to fill their respective spots in this game with a bowl eligible team. C-USA, is looking like it might have a couple more bowl eligible teams than games to place them in, so a 5-4 Southern Methodist team gets the nod for now.
The Rest of the Best:
Capital One: Ohio State v. Alabama
Gator: Iowa v. Florida
Outback: Michigan St. v. South Carolina
Chick Fil-A: Florida St. v. Mississippi St.
Sun: North Carolina St. v. Oregon St.
Champs Sports: Miami (FL) v. Syracuse
Liberty: UCF v. Georgia
Meineke: North Carolina v. South Florida
Independence: Georgia Tech v. Air Force
Music City: Maryland v. Kentucky
Kraft: Ohio v. Nevada
Humanitarian: Temple v. Fresno State
Pizza: Northwestern v. Northern Illinois
Hawai'i: Tulsa v. Hawai'i*
Armed Forces: Army v. BYU
Las Vegas: Utah v. UCLA
Poinsietta: Navy* v. San Diego State
GoDaddy.com: Toledo v. Southern Miss
New Orleans: Houston v. Troy
Birmingham: Louiville v. Miami (OH)
Beef O Brady: East Carolina v. UTEP
Military: Clemson v. Ohio
* - Team has accepted bid to bowl game