SEC Picture Largely Unchanged
There were some threats to the SEC teams in the bowl picture, notably Kentucky (42-40 against La. Monroe?) but nothing really changed as far as the conference and its bowl opportunities are concerned. The key to everything from the SEC perspective remains the second BCS bid and the key to that appears to be Nevada knocking off Boise State as well as the Gators and Razorbacks needing to win this week. Obviously this weekend is a big one for Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and LSU to improve their respective post-season résumé's.
Alabama at 6-and-6 might have played its way into Shreveport, but otherwise I see Auburn in Orlando, LSU in Dallas (or vice versa). Tennessee gets to go to Tampa, Georgia with a win over Tech is staying close to home in Atlanta with Kentucky playing in Nashville. South Carolina can avoid a return to Shreveport with a win over Clemson…. Otherwise the Memphis folks would grab ‘Bama, leaving the Gamecocks facing a return to Northern Louisiana.
The SEC office is (very) quietly rooting for Arkansas to win the SEC Championship Game because the Gators are more likely to gain a BCS bid after a loss in Atlanta than Arkansas would be. Michigan is guaranteed one of the four invitations while Boise with a win gets a second. More and more people believe Notre Dame will be going as long as the Irish are not destroyed by Southern Cal, which leaves SEC # 2 and Big East # 2 fighting for the last invite.
Here's an intriguing possibility; the Florida Gators might be headed for the Rose Bowl. If Southern Cal and Ohio State play for the National Title, the Rose Bowl gets to pick the next two teams for its game. Pick one is an absolute no-brainer with Michigan heading to Pasadena, but what team would be chosen for an opponent? Scratch Notre Dame because the Irish were clobbered by the Wolverines back in September. Boise State? Please. It's possible they could go for West Virginia or Louisville, but is that a better game than Florida? I sure don't think so. Of course it's bizarre to think of the Rose Bowl as a consolation prize, but many long time Florida fans would consider it a dream come true to see the Gators in Pasadena.
One Man's BCS Predictions
These picks are subject to change in next week's scenarios column.
- BCS Title Game: Ohio State versus Southern California
- Rose Bowl: Michigan versus Florida
- Sugar Bowl: Arkansas versus Notre Dame
- Orange Bowl: West Virginia versus Georgia Tech
- Fiesta Bowl: Texas versus Boise State*
* If Boise State loses, Louisville is chosen to play in Tempe.