SjT View from - BCS Bowling after NU-UM

From time to time, Stephen J. Truog does a little BCS analysis. After the Michigan loss, NU's chances for a bowl are diminished, but there were bright spots that bode well for the future. As for the rest of the Big 10, read on....

Interesting day as the bowl picture starts to shape up.
I was encouraged by our QB and defensive play ... part of it may have been the weather, but I saw hustle and a team that has most certainly not quit on the coaches or season and that's a nice testament to Coach Fitz after such a tough loss last week. Of course, had we played like this on D and had a healthy CJ all year, I think we have at least 3-4 more wins now.
Around the rest of the league, some real interestinghappenings to see if we will fill out our bowlcommittments.
BCS
Barring a major, major, MAJOR upset, the league will have two BCS teams this year. Michigan and Ohio State should enter their showdown in Columbus at 11-0 and ranked #1 and #2 for what could be the biggest Big Game of 'em all.

Depending on the closeness of the game and other factors, they could meet again in the BCS title game (remember that Oklahoma and Nebraska did not drop out of the 1-2 matchup after late losses in recent years and that the loser will be done on 11/18 while other teams have 2 more weeks to lose). A close OSU loss would especially increase chances of a repeat match. But unless it's a total blowout, the loser still should get a BCS at-large bid, probably from the folks in Pasadena who really want that Rose Bowl tradition back.

OTHER BOWLS

* WISCONSIN could still slip into a BCS bowl if the cards fall right, but after the close escape today, it's likely Florida for the Cheeseheads. They play PSU and Iowa in their final two Big Ten games. Two wins and it's a repeat visit to Orlando ... probably against the SEC Championship loser (Tennessee probably wins out and won't have the title game so they could get a BCS at-large as well).

* PENN STATE is another bowl lock and if they win in Camp Randall, could be thinking Citrus as well. But it's more likely a trip to Tampa for the Outback Bowl, perhaps against an old-school SEC power -- Georgia or Bama? -- to relive those classic Sugar Bowl matchups.

* IOWA still has faint hopes of a Citrus bid if they beat the Badgers at home, but their stock is sliding lately and it may be a drop down to the heart of Texas for the bumblebees for an Alamo Bowl game against Mizzou or Texas A&M.

* PURDUE is on the bowl bubble right now with a dangerous game at MSU next week, a tougher-than-usual Bucket game vs. IU and trips to Illinois and Hawaii. They should have enough to earn an Insight Bowl bid (a shootout against Texas Tech or Okie State perhaps?), but if they get upset along the way, they may need that Island Trap game against Hawaii to be eligible.

* INDIANA appears to be bowl bound right now despite those early losses to Southern Illinois and UConn. It's a nice run and a nice story of a team rallying around the coach ... the Michigan game is a loss, so then they should just need a win against Minny or Purdue (both on the road) to reach six wins. A trip to Detroit against Central Michigan or Kent State could be a nice cap on the season ... or if MSU makes a run, perhaps a trip to Orlando for the Champs Bowl.

* MSU/MINNY still have hope because there'll likely be the Champs Bowl spot open if they get to six wins (or a Motor City trip for MSU) ... but they play each other so that probably eliminates one, and they may both stumble. Minnesota has no room for error, needing to beat Iowa, MSU and Indiana. Sparty can lose the finale at PSU, but must win the next two at home against Purdue and Minnesota.

Should be an interesting November with three main races: the BCS title race between Big Blue and the Bucks, the Citrus race with Wisky/Iowa/PSU and the bowl bubble races in West Lafayette, Bloomington (yes, Bloomington!), East Lansing and Minneapolis.

As for NU and the Illini, we'll have the Sweet Sioux game to play for and both teams really want to build toward next year now that they've found their quarterbacks of the future.
GO CATS!!!
-SjT

* * * * * * * * *
STEPHEN J. TRUOG
sjtruog@yahoo.com
GO CATS!!!
GO CATS!!!
-SjT

Stephen J. Truog, former NU Marching Band member and now educator in Arizona, comments on the Wildcats from both the sidelines and his couch
He has his own NU oriented Web Site - Visit SjTonline

You can send your direct comments or "back door" information
directly to Coach Roy [CoachRoy74 on AIM]
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