I don't know whether Florida State or Oregon is better. I don't even know whether Alabama's better than either of them. All three teams are really good, and chances are all three won't go undefeated, based on last week's numbers. But if they do, the Ducks will play in the BCS National Championship, due to having a tougher schedule down the stretch. That's all there is to it.
And since neither Alabama, Florida State, or Oregon has a projected loss left on the schedule (most of the amalgamated possible roadblocks -- Missouri, Miami, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, and Virginia Tech -- looked flawed Saturday), let's ride with what we've got. Alabama-Oregon finally happens, and an angry Florida State stews all offseason, then unleashes ever-loving hell on the world in the first year of the Playoff.
Let's ride with what we've got for now, until one of these teams loses a shocker in the next few weeks, because this is college football.
Remember, matchups aren't always tied to conference standings.
|1/6/2014||BCS National Championship (Pasadena)||BCS 1 vs. BCS 2||Alabama||Oregon|
|1/3/2014||Orange (Miami)||ACC 1 vs. At-large 1||Florida State||Wisconsin|
|1/2/2014||Sugar (New Orleans)||SEC 1 vs. At-large 2||Texas A&M||UCF|
|1/1/2014||Rose (Pasadena)||Pac-12 1 vs. Big Ten 1 (At-large 3)||Ohio State||Stanford|
|1/1/2014||Fiesta (Glendale, AZ)||Big 12 1 vs. At-large 4||Baylor||Fresno State|
|1/5/2014||GoDaddy (Mobile, AL)||MAC 2 vs. Sun Belt 2||Ball State||Western Kentucky|
|1/4/2014||BBVA Compass (B'ham)||SEC 9 vs. AAC 5||Florida||Rutgers|
|1/3/2014||Cotton (Arlington)||Big 12 2 vs. SEC 3||Oklahoma||LSU|
|1/1/2014||Capital One (Orlando)||Big Ten 2 vs. SEC 2||Michigan State||South Carolina|
|1/1/2014||Gator (Jacksonville)||Big Ten 4 vs. SEC 6||Iowa||Ole Miss|
|1/1/2014||Heart of Dallas||Big Ten 7 vs. Big 12 8||Texas State*||Ohio*|
|1/1/2014||Outback (Tampa)||Big Ten 3 vs. SEC 4||Michigan||Missouri|
|12/31/2013||Chick-fil-A (Atlanta)||ACC 2 vs. SEC 5||Clemson||Auburn|
|12/31/2013||Independence (Shreveport)||SEC 10 vs. ACC 7||Vanderbilt||Duke|
|12/31/2013||Liberty (Memphis)||C-USA 1 vs. SEC 8||East Carolina||Tennessee|
|12/31/2013||Sun (El Paso)||ACC 4 vs. Pac-12 4||Virginia Tech||Oregon State|
|12/30/2013||Alamo (San Antonio)||Big 12 3 vs. Pac-12 2||Texas Tech||Arizona State|
|12/30/2013||Armed Forces (Ft. Worth)||MWC 3 vs. C-USA 3/Navy||Utah State||Navy|
|12/30/2013||Holiday (San Diego)||Pac-12 3 vs. Big 12 5||UCLA||Texas|
|12/30/2013||Music City (Nashville)||ACC 6 vs. SEC 7||Pitt||Georgia|
|12/28/2013||Belk (Charlotte)||AAC 3 vs. ACC 5||Houston||Georgia Tech|
|12/28/2013||Buffalo Wild Wings (PHX)||Big 12 4 vs. Big Ten 5||Oklahoma State||Minnesota|
|12/28/2013||Pinstripe (New York)||Big 12 7 vs. AAC 4||Notre Dame*||Cincinnati|
|12/28/2013||Russell Athletic (Orlando)||AAC 2 vs. ACC 3||Louisville||Miami|
|12/27/2013||Fight Hunger (San Francisco)||Pac-12 6 vs. BYU/ACC 9||Arizona||BYU|
|12/27/2013||Military (Annapolis)||ACC 8 vs. C-USA 5||Maryland||Marshall|
|12/27/2013||Texas (Houston)||Big 12 6 vs. Big Ten 6||Kansas State||Nebraska|
|12/26/2013||Little Caesars (Detroit)||MAC 1 vs. Big Ten 8||Northern Illinois||Middle Tennessee*|
|12/26/2013||Poinsettia (San Diego)||MWC 2 vs. Army||San Diego State||Toledo*|
|12/24/2013||Hawaii||MWC 5 vs. C-USA 2||Troy*||North Texas|
|12/23/2013||Beef O'Brady's (St. Pete.)||AAC 6 vs. C-USA 4||Bowling Green*||Rice|
|12/21/2013||Idaho Potato (Boise)||MAC 3 vs. MWC 6||Buffalo||??|
|12/21/2013||Las Vegas||MWC 1 vs. Pac-12 5||Boise State||Washington|
|12/21/2013||New Mexico (Albuquerque)||MWC 4 vs. Pac-12 7||UNLV||USC|
|12/21/2013||New Orleans||Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA 6||UL Lafayette||Tulane|
* - Filling in for a conference that couldn't use all its spots.
? - I don't know who else is getting bowl-eligible. You tell me.
The only change from last week's breakdown: Missouri obviously looks less like a Sugar Bowl team. The Tigers would likely still make it in with two losses, but now that they have one loss already, the rest of that schedule looks much stickier: Tennessee, at Kentucky, at Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and potentially vs. Alabama.
Which could set up a nice battle for the SEC's second BCS spot, between Auburn, Missouri, LSU, South Carolina, and Texas A&M. And if they all finish with two or three losses, I think the answer's simple: nobody's passing up Johnny Manziel's last college game. If the Aggies knock off LSU in Baton Rouge and otherwise remain clean, the Sugar seems like a sure bet, but I think even a 9-3 A&M will be the pick, so long as Missouri loses again.
The Rose would get the second at-large pick, to replace Oregon, and a Stanford team with only two losses (one of them to the Ducks) should still be the choice. We shouldn't overlook a potential three-loss, Pac-12 South champion Arizona State or UCLA, however. Teams like Notre Dame and Oklahoma are also potential choices, but the Rose will likely stick to traditional ties in its anniversary year and the final season before the Playoff.
The Orange gets the only actual choice of the remaining bowls, and I'm sticking with Wisconsin, which could be 10-2 against a pretty tough schedule, with both losses very close. Plus, the Badgers provide more offensive excitement than other potential picks like Michigan State, Notre Dame, or Oklahoma -- although I'd love to see the Spartans' elite defense try to stop Jameis Winston.
(Also, as crazy as this might sound, I don't think we should completely rule out Louisville for the Orange yet. Teddy Bridgewater is still a star, the Cardinals could be 11-1 and back in the top 10, and the bowl is soon to essentially be owned by the ACC. Louisville joins the ACC next year, meaning the ACC's bowl could pair two 2014 ACC teams. Just saying, keep your eyes peeled.)
No matter what the Orange picks, the Sugar's likely stuck with UCF. That's because Fresno State's inching toward the spot it'll need to assure itself of a BCS bid, meaning those two teams would have to be taken. There's still a whole lot of BCS business to go, but at the moment ... the BCS bowls don't look great.
If Fresno State didn't make it in, we'd see a SEC team against, say, Clemson, Miami, Notre Dame, or Oklahoma in the Sugar. Oklahoma seems like the best bet, based on geography, fanbase size, national brand, and the Sugar's future ties to the SEC and Big 12.
What do you think?
What looks way off here? Do you like what you see? How do we feel about Fresno State?
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