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Updated bowl projections, Week 9: Still Alabama-Oregon, but Texas A&M to the BCS?

The Aggies can't play defense and are looking sloppy, but who's going to turn down the chance to host Johnny Football one last time? Elsewhere, Florida State or Oregon looks like a total toss-up.

Bob Levey

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.

BCS bowls

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.)

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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?

More from SB Nation college football:

All of Week 9’s scores, with game recaps

BCS projections: Oregon likely jumping FSU for No. 2

SEC thriller in World Series country: Steven Godfrey at South Carolina-Mizzou

Mobile-friendly stories on Saturday’s games, injuries, and more

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