Projected 2013 BCS Bowls — November 18th

 
 
 
 

Perhaps we should have seen it coming. For a week, the SEC’s hold on college football was at risk. One crazy Saturday later, and everything we thought we knew changed. The SEC is right back in it.

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Rose Bowl Stanford vs. Nebraska
Sugar Bowl Florida vs. Oklahoma
Orange Bowl Florida State vs. Louisville
Fiesta Bowl Oregon vs. Kansas State
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Yep, Alabama, sitting comfortably at home after ravaging Western Carolina, saw its BCS stock soar as Kansas State and then Oregon fell for the first time this season just a week after the teams ascended into the top two spots in the BCS.

We’ve said these things can shuffle. This week, the BCS bowl picture just resets starts all over again.

BCS National Championship Game: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (BCS No. 1) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 2)

Comment: What happened Saturday night was made all the more important for Notre Dame and Alabama because the two teams easily handled lesser foes earlier in the day. Sitting at No. 3 and No. 4, the Irish and Tide probably didn’t expect to be in this spot when Saturday ended, but here they are. Win out and both teams will be here. But for both, and Alabama especially — with the SEC Championship Game in the way — that’s no easy task.

Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (Pac-12 champion) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Lost in the hoopla over the fact that Oregon and Kansas State lost is this — Stanford beat Oregon, and controls its destiny for a Rose Bowl bid. The math is simple. If Stanford can beat UCLA next weekend, they’d win the Pac-12 North, and then get the Bruins again, six days later, with a trip to Pasadena on the line.

Sitting quietly on the weekend was the Big Ten, just watching the pieces fall around it. Nebraska still looks like the conference champion to be, but could the conference now be in line for two BCS bids despite a mostly underwhelming regular season conference-wide?

Sugar Bowl: Florida Gators (SEC champion) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (At-large selection)

Comment: If Alabama tops Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, the Sugar Bowl could be faced with a dilemma of significant proportions, especially given the bowl’s location in the heart of SEC territory. Given the choice between a Georgia team that would have lost its second game of the year and a once-beaten Florida team, which would the bowl choose? All this could be forgotten, however, as if the Gators beat Florida State and finish as the top-ranked non-AQ conference champion in the top-four, Florida would be guaranteed a BCS bowl bid.

After the Fiesta Bowl gets its chance to take a pick of the at-large selections, the Sugar Bowl will get a shot for the best and brightest remaining at-large BCS eligible participant, and who better than the Sooners of Oklahoma, which have been right at home in the BCS since it began.

Orange Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (ACC champion) vs. Louisville Cardinals (Big East champion)

Comment: Two teams with one loss each could end up here, almost relegated to the Orange Bowl despite the fact that there could be just one, or zero, undefeated FBS schools eligible for BCS bowls at the end of the season. The Cardinals and Seminoles just don’t have the schedule to stack up, and land here as champions of their respective conferences.

Fiesta Bowl: Oregon Ducks (At-large selection) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12 champion)

Comment: Incredibly, if Kansas State is upended for a second straight game against Texas in two weeks, the Wildcats could go from national title game-bound to out of a BCS bowl. But if the Wildcats are able to overcome the hangover that will surely hit them hard, they’ll still be headed to a BCS bowl as the Big 12′s champion.

And who would be there to join them in at the Fiesta Bowl? Well, none other than the Oregon Ducks, knocked from Pasadena after a loss to Stanford, but prime at-large candidates. With the first pick of the remaining teams after the Sugar Bowl replaces Alabama, the Fiesta Bowl welcomes Oregon back into town.


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