Well nothing like some top ten matchups to shake things up! My whole projection was shattered by Oregon Thursday, so time to rethink how this season is going and what’s likely to happen.
First off, there aren’t many games left and we know more or less what’s going to happen with each conference. With the SEC, it’s looking like the winner of Alabama-Auburn will go to the conference championship. Missouri will probably be their opponent, but if they drop another it will probably be South Carolina should Georgia also win out. They would win the three way tie breaker.
PREDICTION: Alabama beats Missouri for the SEC championship, an undefeated season and a berth in the final BCS championship game.
Stanford has the inside track for the Pac-12 North but Oregon could still get in there if the Cardinal drop another. It would look like the winner of UCLA-Arizona State would represent the South. In either case, USC is looking to spoil some seasons, either Stanford’s or UCLA’s.
PREDICTION: Stanford beats UCLA in the Pac-12 championship and goes to the Rose Bowl. Oregon picks up an at large BCS berth.
The ACC is halfway shored up. Florida State has clinched a spot in the ACC Championship game. Their opponent could be just about anyone at this point. Virginia Tech has the best chance. But Miami, Georgia Tech or Duke could also get in there depending on how things play out.
PREDICTION: Florida State beats Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game, completes an undefeated season and plays Alabama for the BCS championship. Clemson picks up an at large BCS berth.
The Big Ten is all but decided in one division. Ohio State is definitely going to the Big Ten championship. Who they play will probably be the winner of the Michigan State/Nebraska game. Either way, there won’t be any rematch. Minnesota could still get in with an outside chance, but it’s a long shot.
PREDICTION: Michigan State upsets Ohio State in the Big Ten championship and plays Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State gets an at large BCS berth.
UCF basically just won the American conference. Houston and Louisville each have one conference loss and both got them from UCF who would own that tie breaker. Plus Houston and Louisville still play each other. UCF needs to drop two games to not make the BCS.
PREDICTION: UCF gets the BCS berth and finishes ranked ahead of Fresno State and Northern Illinois to prevent the automatic at large berth going to one of them.
The Big 12 is still a big mystery. It may come down to the winner of the Baylor-Texas game at the end of the season. But don’t forget, neither of them has played Oklahoma State yet, who could still come in and win the conference.
PREDICTION: It doesn’t look like anyone is beating Baylor at this point.
So how does that shake out?
Championship: Alabama vs Florida State
Rose Bowl: Stanford vs Michigan State
Sugar Bowl: South Carolina vs Ohio State
Orange Bowl: UCF vs Clemson
Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs Oregon
Those are actually some pretty fantastic matchups. The Fiesta Bowl would score more points than the others combined. Ohio State gets a crack at an SEC team. Stanford and Michigan State bring two top defenses to the table. And Alabama and Florida State bring the most talented rosters to the championship. UCF vs Clemson would be a sleeper, but not to folks back east. With the Orange Bowl being in Florida, that may be an advantage to UCF. We’ll see how it all plays out. The only wrench I could see would be Ohio State beating Michigan State and going to the Rose Bowl. Then the at large berth for the Sugar Bowl would potentially go to Michigan State or possible a Big 12 team.
If I were an AP voter, this would be my ballot this week:
2. Florida State
3. Ohio State
10. Oklahoma State
11. Michigan State
12. South Carolina
15. Texas A&M
17. Fresno State
18. Northern Illinois
20. Arizona State