Posted: Monday November 19, 2012 2:20PM ; Updated: Monday November 19, 2012 2:20PM
Stewart Mandel

Bowl projections: Upsets, Miami's ban change postseason outlook

Story Highlights

LSU, Stanford cracked my projected BCS lineup following the wild Week 12 results

Miami's self-imposed bowl ban changes things but could benefit Rice, Wake Forest

Notre Dame is in driver's seat for a BCS title berth as only bowl-eligible unbeaten

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Stanford's Stepfan Taylor
Stepfan Taylor and Stanford could be in line for a BCS berth after upsetting Oregon over the weekend.
Brian Murphy/Icon SMI

Apologies to Texas A&M and Clemson fans for providing false hope last week in the form of projected BCS berths. Saturday's upsets changed my BCS lineup considerably.

For one thing, the Pac-12 is all but assured two BCS bids now, which eliminates the ACC's second berth. And with the SEC back in line for a championship game participant, the second choice will go to the Sugar, not the Fiesta Bowl. The Aggies made sense in Glendale, but LSU (or Florida if it beats Florida State this week) gets the nod opposite Oklahoma in New Orleans.

Mind you, Clemson could get back in the BCS mix if Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma State or TCU and the Big 12 fails to qualify a second team. If not, this week's Clemson-South Carolina winner will head to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Meanwhile, A&M fans probably won't mind their projected consolation prize: a Cotton Bowl grudge match with Texas.

Elsewhere, Miami invoked another self-imposed bowl ban on Monday, which throws quite the wrench into things. Right now, I'm projecting just 70 eligible teams for 70 spots. That included 6-5 Georgia Tech, which will now play in the ACC title game against 10-1 Florida State following this week's matchup with 10-1 Georgia. Should the Yellow Jackets finish 6-7, they could still get in (much like UCLA last year) if there aren't eligible teams otherwise.

The biggest winners from Miami's decision might be 5-6 Rice and 5-6 Wake Forest. One of the NCAA's contingencies if there aren't enough six-win teams is to allow a 5-7 team if it has a top-five APR score among available candidates. Rice (986) and Wake Forest (973) fit that bill.

As always, please remember:

• 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 champion from a non-automatic qualifier is guaranteed a BCS berth if it finishes in the top 12 or in the top 16 and ahead of an AQ-conference champion.

• 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." Bowls often pick a team with an inferior record due to geography, anticipated fan travel, the need to avoid a regular-season rematch, or just plain politics.

BCS bowls
Jan. 1 Rose: Nebraska (Big Ten champ) vs. Oregon (Pac-12 champ)
Jan. 1 Orange: Florida State (ACC champ) vs. Louisville (Big East champ)
Jan. 2 Sugar: LSU (BCS at-large) vs. Oklahoma (BCS at-large)
Jan. 3 Fiesta: Kansas State (Big 12 champ) vs. Stanford (BCS at-large)
Jan. 7 BCS championship: Notre Dame (BCS No. 1) vs. Alabama (BCS No. 2)
Other bowls
Dec. 15 New Mexico: Nevada (MWC No. 4) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12 No. 7)
Dec. 15 Idaho Potato: Utah State (WAC) vs. Toledo (MAC No. 3)
Dec. 20 Poinsettia: San Diego State (MWC No. 2) vs. BYU (BYU)
Dec. 21 Beef 'O' Brady's: UCF (C-USA) vs. Ball State (Big East*)
Dec. 22 New Orleans: Arkansas State (Sun Belt No. 1) vs. Rice (C-USA)
Dec. 22 Maaco: Boise State (MWC No. 1) vs. USC (Pac-12 No. 5)
Dec. 24 Hawaii: Fresno State (MWC) vs. Middle Tennessee (C-USA*)
Dec. 26 Little Caesars: Northern Illinois (MAC) vs. San Jose State (Big Ten No. 8*)
Dec. 27 Belk: Cincinnati (Big East No. 3) vs. Duke (ACC No. 5)
Dec. 27 Military: Western Kentucky (ACC No. 8*) vs. Central Michigan (Army*)
Dec. 27 Holiday: Oregon State (Pac-12 No. 3) vs. West Virginia (Big 12 No. 5)
Dec. 28 Independence: Wake Forest (ACC No. 7) vs. Louisiana Tech (SEC No. 10*)
Dec. 28 Meineke Texas: Minnesota (Big Ten No. 6) vs. Baylor (Big 12 No. 6)
Dec. 28 Russell Athletic: Rutgers (Big East No. 2) vs. NC State (ACC No. 3)
Dec. 29 Pinstripe: Syracuse (Big East No. 4) vs. TCU (Big 12 No. 7)
Dec. 29 Buffalo Wild Wings: Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 4) vs. Michigan State (Big Ten No. 5)
Dec. 29 Alamo: UCLA (Pac-12 No. 2) vs. Oklahoma State (Big 12 No. 3)
Dec. 29 Armed Forces: East Carolina (C-USA) vs. Air Force (MWC)
Dec. 29 Kraft Fight Hunger: Arizona (Pac-12 No. 6) vs. Navy (Navy)
Dec. 31 Music City: Virginia Tech (ACC No. 6) vs. Vanderbilt (SEC)
Dec. 31 Sun: Georgia Tech (ACC No. 4) vs. Washington (Pac-12 No. 4)
Dec. 31 Liberty: Tulsa (C-USA No. 1) vs. Ole Miss (SEC No. 8/9)
Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A: Clemson (ACC No. 2) vs. Mississippi State (SEC No. 5)
Jan. 1 Heart of Dallas: Ohio (Big Ten No. 7*) vs. Iowa State (Big 12 No. 8)
Jan. 1 Capital One: Florida (SEC No. 2) vs. Michigan (Big Ten No. 2)
Jan. 1 Outback: Northwestern (Big Ten No. 3) vs. Georgia (SEC)
Jan. 1 Gator: Wisconsin (Big Ten No. 4) vs. South Carolina (SEC No. 6)
Jan. 4 Cotton: Texas (Big 12 No. 2) vs. Texas A&M (SEC)
Jan. 5 BBVA Compass: Bowling Green (Big East*) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (SEC No. 8/9*)
Jan. 6 Kent State (MAC) vs. Louisiana-Monroe (Sun Belt No. 2)

Teams in bold have accepted a bid.
* -- Replacement team for a conference without an eligible team.
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