It’s that time once again. Or, by most measures, it’s about time it’s that time once again. Anyway, the predictions are here. Let’s get started.
- First, since I waited so long to do this, my prediction that Texas would lose to TAMU has come to pass, meaning that they will not be in a bowl game for the first time since 1997. Which got me to thinking: I’ve been doing this thing since 1999, so what teams have been in every edition of the predictions? Well, the list isn’t very long: Florida State, Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and Oklahoma.
- The BCS is a mess right now. For starters, I think I’m the only person on the Internet who thinks Auburn is going to win, so I have them in the title game. I also still have Boise and TCU in, though I think Boise will pass TCU. I have a pretty good idea what the Rose and Sugar will do (take their obligatory non-AQ hit and take a Big Ten team, respectively) but after that I’m not sure. The Orange, however, surely doesn’t cherish either of it’s options: take a faraway at-large like TCU or Stanford, or take whichever 4-loss team emerges from the Big East. I think they’ll bite the bullet and take Pitt (or UConn, or WVU, or whoever it is) leaving the final potential PR nightmare to the Fiesta. I almost think they have to take TCU at this point. But since I seem to differ from everyone else on the Internet on this I could be wrong.
- At this point in the year, there’s enough solid rumors that I stop guessing as much and try to find as much information for each bowl as I can. This harder than it may seem, because for at least half the bowls no one really cares. (Search for “New Orleans Bowl” in Google news and see what you get. Not much.) Generally, team beat writers and hometown papers for the bowls are the best sources, as they generally talk to bowl commissioners and have at least an idea of what their bowl prospects are. This enabled me to make at least once correction this week, as I moved Alabama from the Cotton to the Capital One Bowl, which triggered a huge shift in the way I was allocating the SEC bids.
- There’s some potential shenanigans with the Liberty Bowl, but for now I’m going with C-USA vs. SEC. I favor the Liberty over the Compass for now since the Liberty has a higher payout.
- No idea where Notre Dame is going to end up. If they upset USC then they could steal a spot from the Big East and into the Champs Sports Bowl, but otherwise they’ll probably be the most attractive prize among the 6-6 at-larges. We’ll know more Sunday.
- The only teams that have been invited so far are marked with double asterisks, and they are Navy, Hawaii, and Army.
- For Georgia Tech, everything hinges on beating UGA. If we (somehow) win, then I could see us in the Music City Bowl, and I’ve even heard the words “Champs Sports” being tossed around though I really doubt they will take us above Miami or NC State. (Especially Miami if they get Notre Dame.) Lose and it’s pretty bleak. The Independence is probably a best-case scenario, as the only other remaining teams at that point are likely us, Maryland, and Boston College. I would think the Military Bowl would take Maryland. I don’t really know why the Independence would take BC over us, but you never know.
- Remember how the Pac-10 only got two teams into the NCAA tournament last March (and only because Cal lost in the Pac-10 title game)? Well, they’re trying that again here. Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona are locks to make bowls, but outside of that really only the winner of the Washington-California game has a chance of making it to 6 wins. USC would be in a game but they are, of course, ineligible. Which is a real bummer, as I’m all for the Pac-10’s round robin conference schedule, but a few more teams would definitely be in if that 9th game were replaced by Portland State.
- There’s probably just enough action next weekend to hold off the vast majority of invites because of conference title games and the uncertainty of who will get into the BCS. So this will one come down to the wire, to say the least.
Enjoy rivalry weekend, folks!