Posted: Sunday November 6, 2011 11:56PM ; Updated: Monday November 7, 2011 10:43AM
Stewart Mandel

LSU-Oklahoma St. BCS title game headlines bowl projections

Story Highlights

If current conditions hold, Oklahoma State will meet LSU for the BCS title

Alabama's loss to LSU likely dropped the Crimson Tide into the Sugar Bowl

This projections has 74 bowl-eligible teams, four more than available slots

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Oklahoma State
If current records hold, BCS No. 2 Oklahoma State could find itself in the national title game against LSU.

Ladies and gentlemen -- they're back. I present to you this season's first edition the Internet's most accurate bowl projections 10 years running.

Why so accurate? Well for one, because I get to keep changing them every Monday and then again the morning of the actual bowl pairings (Dec. 4). But also, I pay extra attention to the many off-field factors -- geography, ticket sales, fan travel, conference politics, et. al. -- that often play a bigger role than actual wins and losses in bowls' selections. Case in point: Don't expect the Big 12's bowl partners to do Texas A&M or Missouri any favors. Last year, 10-3 Nebraska slipped to the Holiday Bowl for much that reason.

And now, a quick primer and refresher you've almost certainly skipped right past already, thus causing a flood of angry e-mails that could have been avoided had you simply read the following items:

• After the No. 1 and 2 teams are slotted and replaced, the BCS at-large selection order this year is 1) Fiesta, 2) Sugar and 3) Orange. The highest-ranked non-automatic qualifier (in this projection Boise State) is guaranteed a BCS berth if it finishes in the Top 12, but not a second (in this case Houston).

• Most bowls are not obligated -- I repeat, NOT OBLIGATED -- to choose in exact order of conference standings. For instance, "Big 12 No. 3" means "third selection of Big 12 teams," not "the Big 12's third-place team."

• The bowl formerly known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., is now the Belk Bowl. The bowl formerly known as the Texas Bowl is now the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. This is not a joke.

• Much to my surprise, this initial projection included 74 eligible teams, or four more than there are available slots, thanks in part to surprise wins last weekend by UCLA, Northwestern and others.

• Ok, now read the chart.

BCS Bowls
Date Predicted matchup
Jan. 2 Rose: Wisconsin (Big Ten champ) vs. Stanford (Pac-12 champ)
Jan. 2 Fiesta: Oklahoma (BCS at-large) vs. Boise State (BCS at-large)
Jan. 3 Sugar: Alabama (BCS at-large) vs. Virginia Tech (BCS at-large)
Jan. 4 Orange: Clemson (ACC champ) vs. Cincinnati (Big East champ)
Jan. 9 BCS Championship: LSU (BCS No. 1) vs. Oklahoma State(BCS No. 2)
Other Bowls
Date Predicted matchup
Dec. 17 New Mexico: San Diego St. (MWC No. 4) vs. Cal (Pac-12 No. 7)
Dec. 17 Idaho Potato: Louisiana Tech (WAC) vs. Toledo (MAC No. 3)
Dec. 18 New Orleans: Arkansas St. (Sun Belt No. 1) vs. Temple (C-USA*)
Dec. 20 Beef 'O'Brady's: Southern Miss (C-USA) vs. Syracuse (Big East)
Dec. 21 Poinsettia: Air Force (MWC No. 2) vs. Nevada (WAC)
Dec. 22 Maaco: TCU (MWC No. 1) vs. UCLA (Pac-12 No. 5)
Dec. 24 Hawaii: Hawaii (WAC) vs. Marshall (C-USA)
Dec. 26 Independence: Wyoming (MWC No. 3) vs. North Carolina (ACC No. 7)
Dec. 27 Little Caesars: Ohio (MAC No. 2) vs. Iowa (Big Ten No. 8)
Dec. 27 Belk: Louisville (Big East No. 3) vs. N.C. State (ACC No. 5)
Dec. 28 Military: Wake Forest (ACC No. 8) vs. Purdue (Navy*)
Dec. 28 Holiday: Arizona State (Pac-12 No. 3) vs. Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 5)
Dec. 29 Champs Sports: Notre Dame (Big East No. 2**) vs. Georgia Tech (ACC No. 3)
Dec. 29 Alamo: Oregon (Pac-12 No. 2) vs. Texas (Big 12 No. 3)
Dec. 30 Armed Forces: SMU (C-USA) vs. BYU (BYU)
Dec. 30 Pinstripe: Rutgers (Big East No. 4) vs. Missouri (Big 12 No. 7)
Dec. 30 Music City: Miami (ACC No. 6) vs. Vanderbilt (SEC No. 7)
Dec. 30 Insight: Baylor (Big 12 No. 4) vs. Ohio State (Big Ten No. 4)
Dec. 31 Meineke Texas: Michigan State (Big Ten No. 6) vs. Texas A&M (Big 12 No. 6)
Dec. 31 Kraft Fight Hunger: Utah (Pac-12 No. 6) vs. Northwestern (Army*)
Dec. 31 Sun: Virginia (ACC No. 4) vs. Washington (Pac-12 No. 4)
Dec. 31 Liberty: Houston (C-USA No. 1) vs. Mississippi State (SEC No. 8)
Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A: Florida State (ACC No. 2) vs. Auburn (SEC No. 5)
Jan. 2 TicketCity: Illinois (Big Ten No. 7) vs. Tulsa (C-USA)
Jan. 2 Capital One: Georgia (SEC No. 2) vs. Penn State (Big Ten No. 2)
Jan. 2 Outback: Michigan (Big Ten No. 3) vs. South Carolina (SEC)
Jan. 2 Gator: Nebraska (Big Ten No. 5) vs. Florida (SEC No. 6)
Jan. 6 Cotton: Arkansas (SEC) vs. Kansas State (Big 12 No. 2)
Jan. 7 BBVA Compass: West Virginia (Big East) vs. FIU (SEC No. 9*)
Jan. 8 Northern Illinois (MAC No. 1) vs. La.-Lafayette (Sun Belt No. 2)

* Replacement team for a conference without an eligible team.

** The Champs Sports Bowl can pick Notre Dame instead of a Big East team once in the current four-year period (2010-13).
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