Monday, October 26, 2009

Bowl Predictions 2009: Week 2

Once again, you'll find the full set right over here.

Let's hit the talking points.

  • The title game remains unchanged. Provided they win out, I see Alabama and Texas. If Texas beats Oklahoma State this weekend, then they are pretty much set barring a huge upset.
  • It's extremely likely that Florida losing to Alabama would not drop them out of the top 14, which means the Sugar will snap them up. The Fiesta, however, has a lot more choices to replace Texas. Right now, I like the loser of USC/Oregon game to wind up here, but Oklahoma State could work themselves into this position as well. The Fiesta may also want Penn State, but I think they'll take a western team.
  • With TCU's resounding win over BYU Saturday, they have passed Boise in the BCS and considering each team's remaining schedules this is unlikely to change unless TCU loses. Either way, I see the mid-major team going to the Fiesta, though Boise would have a higher chance than TCU at it. Either way, it is likely either the Fiesta or the Sugar, or at least I think so.
  • With Miami's overtime loss to Clemson, GT now controls its own destiny in the ACC. In case you haven't noticed from my weekly picks, I hate predicting GT to do anything. But since most mainstream projections now also have GT in the Orange I feel a little better. (I'm still nervous about it, though.)
  • The Orange has the first at-large selection this year, and if Penn State is available I think they'll take them. With a decent season (provided they beat Ohio State) and a large fanbase, the temptation for the Orange (near the back of the at-large pack for the past 2 years) to take the best available at-large teams and sticking the Sugar and Fiesta with the remaining two auto-qualifiers (TCU and Cincinnati) would be too great.
  • Cincinnati would be stuck in the Sugar if the Fiesta takes TCU. I don't really have much reason to think that the Fiesta would like Cincy more than TCU.
  • Finally, I currently have Iowa in the Rose, provided they win out. I think if Iowa loses any of its remaining games it is unlikely the Big Ten will get two auto-qualifiers, which opens the rest of the BCS up significantly (for teams like, say, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech).
  • Each of the ACC division leaders (GT and Clemson) controls their own destiny at this point.
  • After those two, Virginia Tech, and Miami the ACC picture is extremely muddy. Right now I have BC, followed by 3 7-5 teams (Clemson, Wake, and UNC) and that's it. However, the middle of the pack could break several ways and the ACC could wind up with a few more 6-6 teams, but for now the conference will fall well-short of its 8 non-BCS bowl obligations.
Big 12
  • Texas is, of course, the runaway favorite in the conference.
  • There were two shocking upsets this weekend in the Big 12: Iowa State's 9-7 win over Nebraska and Texas A&M's surprising and thorough demolition of Texas Tech. I still don't think either of those teams will make bowls, though, while TTU and Nebraska will probably continue as usual.
  • It's still tough to predict Colorado to win any of its remaining games.
  • I still see Nebraska winning the Big 12 North, not that it matters.
  • Mizzou has gotten off to a terrible conference start, but with all the terrible teams it still has to play I don't have a hard time getting them 8-4.
Big East
  • Pittsburgh its trying as hard as it can to be relevant, but I think Cincinnati is the better team and has better coaching. I see Pitt losing to West Virginia as well.
  • Thanks to Notre Dame likely taking their Gator Bowl spot, the Big East can generate an extra at-large team. With the other conference coming up short this year (looking at you, ACC) this is pretty important.
  • The extra team out will probably be a 6-6 Connecticut.
Big Ten
  • For now, I see Iowa continuing its string of 1-3 point victories no matter the opponent, if for no other reason than it simplifies things.
  • Penn State will likely earn a BCS at-large bid provided it wins out. I don't think any other Big Ten team will be able to do so.
  • I actually think Michigan can get up to 9-3, along with Wisconsin.
  • I think Northwestern will just barely squeak in at 6-6.
  • This week's Oregon-USC battle is for the conference, pretty much. Right now I have USC winning and Oregon getting an at-large berth. I'm not sure a 2-loss USC could do the same.
  • I think Cal is on the road to recovery, and I like Arizona and Oregon State to achieve winning records as well. Arizona State and Washington may just sneak in.
  • Without an upset or two the rest of the way, though, I see Stanford falling just short.
  • As is well-documented at this point, Florida and Alabama are on a collision course to the title game. It'd be nice if either actually could score some points, though. Florida has the easier schedule, having already cleared the LSU hurdle Alabama faces this weekend.
  • After those three, the SEC picture is extremely muddled. In the end, I have an excess of 6-6 and 7-5 teams, with only Vanderbilt and Miss State failing to reach the mark.
Non-Obvious Matchup of the Week: Pretty slim pickings this week. I'd say Miami-Notre Dame in the Gator, but that's pretty obvious, along with Nebraska-Michigan. But hey, while any weekend of college football is exciting, this weekend has the potential for some that could really shake up the bowl landscape. So we'll see what goes here next week.

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