Bowl Predictions 2014: Week 5

Stanford’s loss to Southern Cal really mixed tings up. Let’s examine how. As usual, the full predictions are here.

  • Alabama and Florida State remain in their respective drivers’ seats. I, for one, am really looking forward to Duke losing by 80 to FSU in the ACC Championship Game.
  • With Stanford’s loss, Oregon is back in the driver’s seat for the Pac-12 title. This also really hurts the Pac-12’s chances of getting two teams in the BCS. Essentially, the last at-large spot came down to my 1-loss Baylor or Oregon. The best chance for the Pac-12 to get two teams in the BCS is probably for Baylor to win out and go to the Fiesta Bowl, as I don’t think Oklahoma State would get a BCS at-large bid over Stanford.
  • Non-AQ Watch: UCF is 18th in this week’s poll. If they make it to the top 16, then NIU or Fresno would need to finish 12th or higher to make it in with the big boys. This would also be a viable path for Stanford to get a BCS bid.

The rest

  • Stanford not being in the BCS also shook up things below them. I sent them to the Alamo Bowl, but if USC wins out to get to 10-wins, they could well end up there, or the loser of the Pac-12 title game if Oregon wins.
  • What to do with Duke? I think there’s a good chance they could lose one of their last two games, but the predictions instead reflect them getting demolished by FSU. I just can’t see how the Chick-fil-a Bowl would take them, so I put Miami there. ACC rules dictate the title game loser can’t fall past the Sun Bowl, but I sort of reluctantly put them in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
  • Rivalry revival of the week: Texas versus Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. This has a much better chance of happening if the Big 12 sends two teams to the BCS, otherwise either Oklahoma State or Baylor goes here. That said, if the Cotton Bowl can make this happen, I am pretty certain they will.
  • Georgia Tech watch: I still have GT in the Music City Bowl. Slot-wise, they could go to the Belk Bowl, but that game has a long-standing policy of taking North Carolina teams. I figure a 6-6 UNC gets taken over a 7-5 Georgia Tech. I don’t think we fall past the Music City because I doubt any of the other options are as appealing (Boston College, Maryland, or Pittsburgh).
  • I read the news today, oh boy: I’ve started doing research on what beat writers think about where their teams will go, but there’s not a whole lot out there yet. Though I was right on a couple of things I could find (Colorado State going to New Mexico and UNLV going to Hawaii).