Projecting all 35 bowl matchups
In this week's projections, BCS jumps ahead of TCU for a trip to the Rose Bowl
If the Broncos miss the Rose Bowl, they'll likely miss the BCS bowls completely
With a win, Notre Dame would be bowl bound and possibly headed for Las Vegas
This week I'm projecting Boise State to finish ahead of TCU in the BCS standings and earn an automatic invite to the Rose Bowl. The Broncos will need it, because I'm told there's almost no chance the Sugar Bowl, with the first at-large choice, would select Boise over a highly ranked Big Ten team, and the Orange Bowl, with second pick, won't want to stage a Boise-Virginia Tech rematch. It can, however, take TCU.
A few other notes:
With a win over Army this week, Notre Dame will become bowl eligible and available to any game with an at-large spot to fill. I placed the Irish in Las Vegas. Note, there is no longer a rule preventing 6-6 at-large teams from being picked above candidates with better records.
An unusual new agreement allows the SEC to order the Liberty Bowl to replace the Conference USA champion (currently projected to be UCF) with the No. 5 Big East team (in this case USF) if there aren't enough SEC teams to fill its ninth slot in Birmingham. (In other words, it gets an SEC-Big East matchup in Memphis instead.) The C-USA champ would be placed in one of seven ESPN-owned bowls. I moved UCF to the Armed Forces Bowl to face Army, but this is purely an arbitrary guess.
Last week, I had the Pac-10 selection order wrong -- the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (No. 5) picks ahead of the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl (No. 6). It might not matter, because right now I don't project enough teams to fill either.
The Dallas Football Classic is now the TicketCity Bowl. Just so you know.
As always, it's important to remember that most bowls are not obligated to choose their teams in exact order of conference standings. For instance, "ACC No. 3" means "third choice of ACC teams" -- not "the ACC's third-place team."
As of now, I'm projecting exactly 70 eligible teams for 70 spots.
|Jan. 1||Rose: Wisconsin (Big Ten champ) vs. Boise State (at-large)|
|Jan. 1||Fiesta: Nebraska (Big 12 champ) vs. Pittsburgh (Big East champ)|
|Jan. 3||Orange: Virginia Tech (ACC champ) vs. TCU (at-large)|
|Jan. 4||Sugar: LSU (at-large) vs. Ohio State (at-large)|
|Jan. 10||BCS Championship: Oregon (BCS No. 1) vs. Auburn (BCS No. 2)|
|Dec. 18||New Mexico: BYU (MWC) vs. Toledo (WAC*)|
|Dec. 18||Humanitarian: Fresno State (WAC) vs. Ohio (MAC No. 3)|
|Dec. 18||New Orleans: Florida International (Sun Belt No. 1) vs. UTEP (C-USA)|
|Dec. 21||Beef 'O'Brady's: Tulsa (C-USA) vs. Rutgers (Big East)|
|Dec. 22||Maaco: San Diego State (MWC No. 1) vs. Notre Dame (Pac-10 No. 6*)|
|Dec. 23||Poinsettia: Utah (MWC No. 2) vs. Navy (Navy)|
|Dec. 24||Hawaii: Hawaii (WAC) vs. Southern Miss (C-USA)|
|Dec. 26||Little Caesars: Northern Illinois (MAC No. 1) vs. Louisiana-Monroe (Big Ten No. 8*)|
|Dec. 27||Independence: Air Force (MWC No. 3) vs. Georgia Tech (ACC No. 7)|
|Dec. 28||Champs Sports: Syracuse (Big East No. 2) vs. NC State (ACC No. 3)|
|Dec. 28||Insight: Missouri (Big 12 No. 4) vs. Michigan (Big Ten No. 5)|
|Dec. 29||Military: East Carolina (C-USA) vs. Maryland (ACC No. 8)|
|Dec. 29||Texas: Northwestern (Big Ten No. 6) vs. Baylor (Big 12 No. 6)|
|Dec. 29||Alamo: Stanford (Pac-10 No. 2) vs. Texas A&M (Big 12 No. 3)|
|Dec. 30||Armed Forces: UCF (C-USA No. 1) vs. Army (MWC*)|
|Dec. 30||Pinstripe: Connecticut (Big East No. 4) vs. Kansas State (Big 12 No. 7)|
|Dec. 30||Music City: North Carolina (ACC No. 6) vs. Kentucky (SEC No. 7)|
|Dec. 30||Holiday: Arizona (Pac-10 No. 3) vs. Oklahoma (Big 12 No. 5)|
|Dec. 31||Meineke Car Care: West Virginia (Big East No. 3) vs. Clemson (ACC No. 5)|
|Dec. 31||Sun: Miami (ACC No. 4) vs. Cal (Pac-10 No. 4)|
|Dec. 31||Liberty: Georgia (SEC No. 8) vs. USF (Big East)|
|Dec. 31||Chick-fil-A: Florida State (ACC No. 2) vs. South Carolina (SEC No. 5)|
|Jan. 1||TicketCity: Illinois (Big Ten No. 7) vs. Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 8)|
|Jan. 1||Capital One: Alabama (SEC No. 2) vs. Michigan State (Big Ten No. 2)|
|Jan. 1||Outback: Iowa (Big Ten No. 3) vs. Florida (SEC)|
|Jan. 1||Gator: Penn State (Big Ten No. 4) vs. Mississippi St. (SEC No. 6)|
|Jan. 6||GoDaddy.com: Temple (MAC No. 2) vs. Troy (Sun Belt No. 2)|
|Jan. 7||Cotton: Oklahoma State (Big 12 No. 2) vs. Arkansas (SEC)|
|Jan. 8||BBVA Compass: SMU (C-USA) vs. Miami of Ohio (SEC No. 9*)|
|Jan. 9||Kraft Fight Hunger: Boston College (Pac-10 No. 6*) vs. Nevada (WAC)|
Teams in bold have accepted bowl invitation.
* -- replacement team for a conference without enough eligible teams.
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