Bowl Predictions 2012: Final

Okay folks, here’s the final edition of my bowl predictions. They come in three flavors, in order of most to least likely:

  1. Oklahoma in the BCS
  2. Northern Illinois in the BCS
  3. Boise State in the BCS

Note that as bids are announced, the final table will take its form in the usual place.

Basically, the factor right now is where Northern Illinois and Boise end up in the final polls. Currently, most experts are predicting NIU will fall just short, but it really depends on how high the Huskies climb. No one is really giving Boise much of a shot, but I’ve thrown them in there anyway. For the purposes of tracking my predictions, if one of the alternate scenarios does happen, I will use those.

Other than that, there’s a few potential pitfalls out there. I adjusted these rankings for the news as of about 2 AM Pacific time, as actual bids will probably start to leak out later this afternoon. Other than the BCS picture, some things to watch are:

  • How will the Big Ten bowls handle Nebraska? After getting embarrassed by Wisconsin, many are sending Nebraska to the Outback Bowl instead of the Capital One.
  • Georgia Tech. GT would be content with not going to the Sun Bowl again, but I haven’t heard or seen anything about the situation other than that.
  • The bottom of the Big 12. The Big 12 will have an extra team even if Oklahoma gets into the BCS. I have Iowa State on the outside looking in, and I did not see a lot of news about them. It is no longer a rule that 6-6 teams must be chosen behind everyone else in the at-large pool, but there aren’t that many at-large slots available that do not already have contractually obligated backups. One possibility for them is the Heart of Dallas Bowl, where I currently have Ball State.
  • Georgia. I saw multiple articles that had UGA going to the Cotton Bowl, which would send LSU down to the Chick-fil-a. The Capital One will probably take Texas A&M, which sets up LSU, Georgia, and South Carolina all fighting for the Cotton and Outback slots. Note that the Cotton generally is supposed to prefer SEC West teams, but it is not required to take them.

That’s about it. As the bids roll in tomorrow, I will be updating the main page.