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BCS Bowl Games Projection: Ohio State, Arkansas, Should Meet In Sugar Bowl

The Rose Bowl is easy to predict. Everything after the Rose Bowl is the hard part.

For example, while the Sugar Bowl should be Ohio State and Arkansas, it could actually feature Michigan State, or Missouri.

Arkansas was a given, because of Auburn's successes this season. The Razorbacks will take the place usually reserved for the SEC champion in the Sugar Bowl. But they almost certainly will face Ohio State because of money, not tradition.

That's because, of the remaining three unfilled BCS bowl games, the Sugar Bowl has the first pick of the at-large pool. And that means the Sugar Bowl can grab the enormous Ohio State fan base with a selection of the Buckeyes, both setting up a month of the ever-popular "SEC speed vs. Big Ten power or something-or-other" debate and virtually guaranteeing a full Louisiana Superdome, between Arkansas fans traveling for the first BCS bowl game in the program's history and Ohio State fans returning to Bourbon Street hoping for a better outcome than the loss to LSU in the BCS National Championship Game after the 2007 season.

While that's as good as a guaranteed matchup at this point, it's also worth noting that the Sugar Bowl could reach for Michigan State or Missouri, because the BCS at-large selection procedure does not stipulate that bowls select the top-ranked remaining at-large teams, only that at-large teams become BCS bowl eligible with nine wins and a spot in the top 14 of the final BCS rankings.