NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 10: Members of the University of Houston Cougars gather at midfield prior to a game against the Tulane Green Wave being held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 10, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Projecting bowl matchups following Boise State's defeat to TCU. Houston now reaches a BCS bowl, and LSU and Oklahoma State fight it out for the national title.
Three Saturdays remain in college football's regular season, but while we were anticipating chaos and BCS Armageddon a month ago, we are now resigned to a simple fact: if LSU and Oklahoma State win out, they are playing in the national title game.
Sure, there are some roadblocks along the way -- LSU still has to face a top 10 (if slightly overrated) Arkansas team and, potentially, a smoking hot Georgia team in the SEC title game. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, will have two weeks to prepare for (and overthink) the Bedlam battle to end all Bedlam battles on December 3. Plus, they must overcome some potential Tessitore magic this Friday night when they face Iowa State in Ames; seemingly every Friday night ESPN game Joe Tessitore does, ends up exciting and close.
Indeed, tests remain for both schools, but if they win, they're in.
@Year2 The only ones who can save us from chaos are Les Miles and Mike Gundy. Pause a minute and think about that.
Last week's momentum-based projections had Oregon beating Stanford, Oklahoma beating Oklahoma State, and an epic logjam emerging in regard to who would meet LSU in the national title game. This week's momentum rankings, however, make things slightly easier. Oklahoma State's 66-6 massacre of Texas Tech gave them just enough juice to overcome Oklahoma; they are now projected to beat the Sooners by 0.2 points. So instead of trying to figure out who would make the title game among 11-1 Oregon, Alabama and Oklahoma teams, it's easy. Les Miles' team will face Les Miles' former team for the '11 title. The mind reels reading that sentence.
Other interesting tidbits stemming from this week's projections:
- Cincinnati is still projected to win out, beating Rutgers by one points, Syracuse by three and UConn by nine. That will obviously be a bit more difficult with Munchie Legaux at quarterback instead of Zach Collaros.
- Houston benefits enormously from Boise State's loss. They are 11th in the BCS standings, and selection procedures say you have to be 12th or better to receive an automatic BCS bid. They're in, as are ACC champion Virginia Tech, Big East champion Cincinnati, Big Ten champion Wisconsin and Pac-12 champion Oregon. That leaves three at-large spots. An 11-1 Alabama squad gets one, as does 10-2 Oklahoma. The final spot, then, would likely to go either 11-1 Stanford, 11-1 Boise State or 10-2 Michigan. I went with Stanford below, though none would really surprise me.
- With the Sugar Bowl presumably selecting 11-1 Alabama as its replacement for LSU and the Fiesta Bowl likely going with 10-2 Oklahoma, that leaves Stanford to the Fiesta and Houston/Cincy for Sugar and Orange.
- Poor Boise State falls from the BCS to a potential Nevada rematch thanks to the fact that they still cannot find a kicker.
Exciting Matchups: All BCS games (sans Orange), BYU-SMU, Toledo-Louisiana Tech (Toledo-Anybody would make this list), Kansas State-Arkansas, Baylor-Arizona State, San Diego State-Miami, Florida State-Notre Dame.
- My God, I Don't Want To Watch This One: Virginia-Mississippi State, Pitt-Marshall, Nebraska-Auburn.
|17-Dec||Gildan New Mexico||Wyoming (8-4)||Northwestern (6-6)|
|17-Dec||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Toledo (8-4)||Louisiana Tech (7-5)|
|17-Dec||R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl||Air Force (7-5)||Arkansas State (10-2)|
|20-Dec||Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl||Pittsburgh (6-6)||Marshall (6-6)|
|21-Dec||SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl||Boise State (11-1)||Nevada (8-4)|
|22-Dec||Maaco Bowl Las Vegas||TCU (10-2)||California (6-6)|
|24-Dec||Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl||Hawaii (7-6)||Central Florida (6-6)|
|26-Dec||Advocare Independence Bowl||San Diego State (8-4)||Miami (6-6)|
|27-Dec||Little Caesars Pizza Bowl||Purdue (7-5)||Ohio (9-4)|
|27-Dec||Belk Bowl||North Carolina (7-5)||West Virginia (8-4)|
|28-Dec||Military Bowl||Wake Forest (7-5)||Navy (6-6)|
|28-Dec||Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl||Texas A&M (7-5)||Washington (8-4)|
|29-Dec||Champs Sports Bowl||Florida State (9-3)||Notre Dame (8-4)|
|29-Dec||Valero Alamo Bowl||Baylor (8-4)||Arizona State (8-5)|
|30-Dec||Bell Helicopters Armed Forces Bowl||BYU (9-3)||SMU (7-5)|
|30-Dec||New Era Pinstripe Bowl||Iowa (6-6)||Rutgers (8-4)|
|30-Dec||Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl||Virginia (7-5)||Mississippi State (6-6)|
|30-Dec||Insight Bowl||Texas (7-5)||Penn State (9-3)|
|31-Dec||Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas||Missouri (7-5)||Illinois (7-5)|
|31-Dec||Hyundai Sun Bowl||Georgia Tech (8-4)||Utah (8-4)|
|31-Dec||AutoZone Liberty Bowl||Southern Miss (11-2)||Louisville (6-6)|
|31-Dec||Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl||N.C. State (6-6)||UCLA (6-6)|
|31-Dec||Chick-fil-A Bowl||Florida (6-6)||Clemson (10-3)|
|2-Jan||TicketCity Bowl||Ohio State (6-6)||Tulsa (8-4)|
|2-Jan||Outback Bowl||Michigan State (10-3)||South Carolina (10-2)|
|2-Jan||Capital One Bowl||Michigan (10-2)||Georgia (10-3)|
|2-Jan||Progressive Gator Bowl||Nebraska (9-3)||Auburn (7-5)|
|6-Jan||AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic||Kansas State (9-3)||Arkansas (10-2)|
|7-Jan||BBVA Compass Bowl||South Florida (8-4)||Vanderbilt (6-6)|
|8-Jan||GoDaddy.com Bowl||Northern Illinois (10-3)||UL-Lafayette (8-4)|
|2-Jan||Rose Bowl||Wisconsin (11-2)||Oregon (12-1)|
|2-Jan||Tostitos Fiesta Bowl||Oklahoma (10-2)||Stanford (11-1)|
|3-Jan||Allstate Sugar Bowl||Alabama (11-1)||Houston (13-0)|
|4-Jan||Discover Orange Bowl||Virginia Tech (12-1)||Cincinnati (10-2)|
|9-Jan||Allstate BCS National Championship Game||LSU (13-0)||Oklahoma State (12-0)|