Projected 2012 BCS Bowls – September 5th
The first week of the college football season rarely reveals much to illuminate the season to come. Blowout victories and third-stringers playing in the fourth quarter is the norm.
In 2011, however, quite a bit was revealed during college football’s first week. Some preseason favorites looked great, (Alabama, Oklahoma, Stanford, Wisconsin) while others (Oregon, Notre Dame) didn’t quite pass muster on their first go ’round.
How will that change the projected BCS bowls? Well not too much in the first week of play, but there is definitely a different feeling in the air after one week of play.
The dominoes seem ready to start falling, the question — as it always is — will be which one goes first?
For reference, the at-large selection order for the 2012 bowl slate (after hosting contracts have been filled and the NCG is filled) is: Fiesta, Sugar, Orange.
BCS National Championship Game: Oklahoma Sooners (BCS No. 1) vs. LSU Tigers (BCS No. 2)
Comment: Oklahoma looked like the preseason favorite it was meant to be against Tulsa, easily dispatching the Golden Hurricane. The Sooners will have a far tougher test come Sept. 17, the next time they hit the field, when they play Florida State. A win there, however, would give the Sooners a firm position very early in the year.
Drama surrounded the final days of LSU’s offseason, but now, could the possibility of a national championship surround the final days of its actual season? LSU showed just the kind of power and effectiveness that could get them all the way to the BCS title game. Of course, standing in their way is a daunting schedule, but the Tigers impressed more than any Saturday.
Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (Pac-12 Champion) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten Champion)
Comment: Two teams looking to return to BCS bowls this season showed the same power and finesse during week one that got the Cardinal and the Badgers to the Orange and Rose bowls respectively. Stanford and Andrew Luck plastered San Jose State, while Wisconsin had no trouble filling up the scoreboard against UNLV. Expect more of the same moving forward from both.
Sugar Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide (At-large selection) vs. Boise State Broncos (At-large selection)
Comment: Alabama likely has higher aspirations than the Sugar Bowl, but if LSU is to win the SEC and take the BCS NCG bid away from the Tide, don’t be surprised to find their explosive offense in New Orleans anyways.
Boise State proved once again that they’re a legitimate contender, no matter the flack they receive in the press. Taking down yet another ranked opponent on national television during the first weekend, the Broncos are once again in the chase for the title. But if they still can’t become the ultimate BCS buster, then a Sugar Bowl could be in the cards.
Orange Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (ACC Champion) vs. South Florida Bulls (Big East Champion)
Comment: Florida State breezed by the competition on its opening weekend, easily topping Louisiana-Monroe. Of course, playing the Sun Belt doesn’t reveal much about the Seminoles potential as ACC champions, but it did show a strength in the team early. Next week should be just as easy a breeze, as FSU takes on Charleston Southern, but after that, the Sooners await.
South Florida showed a surprising amount of fight against Notre Dame and shocked much of the country by posting a victory in South Bend. That’s good enough to see the Bulls as having a real shot at the Big East crown.
Fiesta Bowl: Oregon Ducks (At-large selection) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (At-large selection)
Comment: Two teams whose weekends didn’t go quite as planned, but both have plenty of time to recover and reconstitute a run at a BCS bowl. The matchup here is still too inciting for any bowl to pass up, and the Fiesta Bowl would certainly love to see it.
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