With all games under our belts, few games making a big stir from last week, and clear tie ins for most teams, this year is one of the most clear pre-BCS selection nights I have ever seen. Here are projections for the BCS bowl games, with comments on how they can go wrong.
BCS National Championship Game: No. 2 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 1 Auburn Tigers
Although the official title includes the word national, it feels wrong to use that word. Although a game may feature the best two teams in the nation, if any allegedly eligible team can go undefeated and not win a title, the title is not a true national championship.
Rose Bowl: No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs vs. No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers
With Oregon gone to the championship game and TCU guaranteed a BCS berth from the MWC, the Rose Bowl is contractually obligated to select them this year. There is a slight chance Ohio State could pass Wisconsin, simply exchanging these two teams in this entire discussion (except this sentence).
Of course, it's similar to the slight chance South Carolina had of winning on Saturday.
Sugar Bowl: No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks
The Sugar Bowl will have first pick of at-large spots to replace Auburn. Then it gets the next pick due to the rotation order this year.
To replace Auburn, it will take either Arkansas or LSU. It will then be able to select among Stanford, Ohio State, Michigan State, Boise State, Missouri, Oklahoma State or Connecticut. My best guess is Ohio State.
The Sugar Bowl could be Missouri vs. LSU. (But it won't.)
Unless Stanford or Connecticut are selected here, the final two at-large selections must be used to place these teams, as they will have a guaranteed spot.
Orange Bowl: Connecticut Huskies vs. No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies
I am running with the Orange Bowl's old Big East tie-in and geographical proximity swaying the Orange Bowl selectors to favor Connecticut over Stanford. I have heard rumors that I could be dead wrong here, like I was about Nebraska beating Oklahoma.
I could also be wrong about the bowl's selections.
Fiesta Bowl: No. 4 Stanford Cardinal vs. No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners
Should Stanford fall to fifth, it would not be guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl. This opens up a window for Boise State, as the only other remaining eligible teams would be from the Big 12 and the Fiesta Bowl would likely avoid an all-Big 12 affair.
To be clear, Boise State's chances at a BCS bowl are about that of South Carolina winning a best two out of three with Auburn. After losing the first game.
It is shameful that Boise State will most likely be on the outside looking in while Virginia Tech — whom the Broncos beat — and unranked Connecticut play in prestigious BCS bowls.
This gap would be tolerable if Boise State was a one hit wonder or if either the Big East or ACC were not in this discussion every year. If the conferences were given revenue distribution proportional to the BCS's own membership criteria, rather than an all or nothing line arbitrarily drawn in the sand, that would go along way to a fairer system.
As it is, the Boise State Broncos find themselves on the wrong end of a glass ceiling.
Again. And again.