SjT: Bowl Projections - Nov 6

The BCS was really shaken up Saturday -- not at the top of course, but with VaTech and UCLA going down, a lot of scenarios need reworking. And in the end, this may help the Big Ten.

First a look at the BCS contenders by conference ...

* Big Least: Winner gets in (undeservedly). No one else.

* ACC: Right now, looks like the winner of Miami-FSU #2 in the title game gets in and no one else has enough to get in as an at-large bid with FSU's loss today hurting.

* Big XII: Unless there's a monumental upset in the title game, Texas is in and no one else is close.

* Pac 10: UCLA's loss hurt the case for a second bid. Oregon may go 10-1, but won't get the extra BCS bid. The league's only hope now is for UCLA to beat USC for the automatic berth and SC to get in secondary.

* SEC: Georgia's loss last week hurt and with the SEC east taking a hit this year, unless the Dawgs pull a title game upset, it's the winner of the LSU/Bama game getting the bid and the loser is in the running but hurt by a late season loss.

* Big Ten: Penn State and Ohio State are coming alive as strong candidates with fan support and finishing the year strong. If PSU wins at MSU after the bye week, they're in ... and if OSU beats NU and Michigan, they're 9-2 and only lost to two top-5 teams in Texas and PSU. Tough to ignore.

* Notre Dame: They're in now, though aside from Michigan they haven't beaten anyone near the top 25. The thinking was they could be headed to Tempe to face PSU ... but if Miami were to win the ACC, it'll be tough to resist matching these two.
Hence some new projections ...
* ROSE BOWL: USC vs. Texas - No question about it now. Though if Bama beats LSU, Auburn and Georgia to end the season, they'll have a strong argument (but so did Auburn last year).

* FIESTA BOWL: Ohio State vs. West Virginia - The Fiesta gets stuck with the Big Least again, but they get their home-away-from-home Buckeyes back in town with lots of scarlet and grey.

* SUGAR BOWL: Alabama vs. Penn State - A classic rivalry renewed and what TV network could resist the story of these two storied programs bouncing back. If LSU wins the SEC (or Auburn), the pull isn't as strong.

* ORANGE BOWL: Notre Dame vs. Miami - Another rivalry renewed with lots of emotion on both sides.
And the Big Ten picture ...
* CITRUS: Wisconsin vs. Georgia - A rematch of last year's Outback but with a bigger stage in Orlando.

* OUTBACK: Michigan vs. Florida - Should be a big draw and a solid start to bowl day.

* ALAMO: Iowa vs. Texas A&M - I still like my "Texas Tech vs. Northwestern - first one to 100 wins" idea (NU vs. Colorado would be a hoot as well - for obvious reasons), but Tech probably heads to the Cotton now and NU still doesn't have the name and fans to get the bowl they deserve.

* SUN: Minnesota vs. Oregon - UCLA's loss knocks the Pac 10 down a notch and sends the Quacks here. I think it's good we're ditching this and picking up Phoenix.

* MUSIC CITY: Northwestern vs. South Carolina - Cats slip here (and Vandy came sooooo close vs. Florida to winning and having a chance to make it NU-Vandy in the Brains Bowl!) but it's probably better than facing the Pac 10's #3 in the Sun Bowl or a Texas team in the Alamo Bowl in terms of chances for a win. Spurrier vs. Walker should at least produce some offensive sparks.

Purdue's upset of MSU really killed Sparty's bowl hopes -- they need to win out at Minnesota and vs. a rested PSU to hope for the Motor City (who would jump for joy to get Sparty). And Indiana's loss to Minny at home all but killed IU's bowl hopes. They can still beat Purdoo at home to get to 5 wins, but a win at Michigan is a loooong shot.

But the good news is that WE [Northwestern]are bowl eligible and with the league's 7 bowl ties, all but certain of heading to the postseason for just the sixth time in school history. Hopefully this time we can WIN!!!

GO CATS!!! BEAT THE BUCKEYES!!!
-SjT


Stephen J. Truog has his own NU oriented Web Site
Visit SjTonline


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