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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Not the BCS - Nov 28

Good morning football fans, college and pro alike. The Bears record is good, but are they really that good? Today is a big test against the new "Human Hilight Film", Mike Vick.

Meanwhile, there were a few almost upsets over the weekend in college football, but most of the teams who were favored in the polls found a way to win.

Since it's getting down to crunch time and I've been inconsistent (as usual) on keeping you all updated, I will lay out my ESPN-style projections for this week's BCS moves.

1. Oregon - They were down at the half against Arizona, but then their lethal offense woke up and dominated the 'Cats 34-10 in the 2nd half. No change here, and only the Civil War can stop them from a National Title shot now.

2. Auburn - I think most people were on board with the Alabama upset, especially after jumping out to a 24-0 lead in the first half. However, Cam Newton settled in and continued his Heisman campaign to bring the Tigers back to a 28-27 lead over the Tide. It wasn't over until Bama's QB McElroy was concussed on a 4th quarter drive that looked promising at the time. Can the Tigers re-beat South Carolina? It's always harder to get the 2nd win.

3. TCU - This game wasn't supposed to be close, and it wasn't. The only real drama came when TCU's starting QB went down in the 2nd quarter with an elbow injury. His backup passed for 54 yds and 1 TD, and ran for another 30 yds and a TD. The Frogs cruised from there, and locked up the #3 spot in the BCS because the old #4 Boise State Broncos lost to Nevada due to some terrible place kicking. If either #1 or 2 falls next week, TCU could live a dream come true.

4. Stanford - This could be a coin flip for spots 4 & 5 in the BCS. Stanford has had the edge for a few weeks, and there's no reason to drop them, so I think they stay ahead of the Badgers for #4. The Cardinal rolled Oregon State to a 38-0 shutout which isn't promising for the Beavers hopes next week against #1 Oregon. In all likelihood, the Cardinal goes on to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl.

5. Wisconsin - This team looked a bit rough at times during the start of the 2010 season. The loss to Mich State early in conference play might have been a blessing in disguise as the Badgers went on to win 7 straight and saw all the Big Ten teams ahead of them lose later in the season (including the #1 Buckeyes at their own hands). This means the 3-way tie in the Big Ten will likely end with Wisconsin going to face Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

6. Ohio State - Beat Michigan for the 7th straight time. Beat them easily. Denard "Shoelaces" Robinson had under 200 yards of total offense and didn't score. The polls worked themselves out correctly here as Ohio State has a good football team, but the one team that bested them (Wisconsin) remains 1 spot ahead in the polls. The Buckeyes are almost assured an at-large BCS game due to their ranking and the teams ahead.

7. Michigan State - 3 Big Ten teams in a row validates the parity in the Conference this year. Its gonna be pretty frustrating for the Spartans to play in the Capital One Bowl while sitting in the Top 10...and possibly even the Top 5 with a few games remaining. They'll still draw a solid Alabama or LSU, but they were so close to BCS glory this year.

8. Arkansas - Ryan Mallet was impressive again as the Razorbacks won the Battle for the Golden Boot over LSU. The Tigers had found a way to eke out victory after victory this year, and they even had a shot to sneak into the BCS Title game without even winning their conference. Alas, just when I thought they might be legit, the Hogs ran and passed their way over Les Miles and the Bayou Bengals. Can anyone tell me how he got the nickname "Mad Hatter"?

9. Oklahoma - Sooners won the Battle of Bedlam shootout to basically cement themselves in the Big XII Championship game next week against my 'Skers. The South half of the conference ended in a 3-way tie, much like the Big Ten. In face, the Big XII South has ended tied once before with Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech about 2 or 3 years ago. Like most other conferences, the "winner" is the team ranked highest in BCS. Since the Sooners just knocked off the Cowboys, they'll obviously jump them. And since A&M was so far behind and didn't look outstanding in their victory over rival Texas, they won't challenge for this spot. It seems fitting that as Nebraska leaves the Big XII (formerly Big 8), it should end versus the biggest rival the school has ever faced in the Oklahoma Sooners. Certainly the Sooners also have the Red River Shootout with Texas, but for the Cornhuskers, there is no bigger test.

10. LSU - Maybe the Tigers deserve this spot, and maybe they don't. Based on last week's polls, it's either put LSU or Boise here for their loss, or jump Missouri 4 spots to #10, and I do not believe Missouri is a #10. In fact, Missouri shouldn't be ahead of Nebraska in the current poll since the Huskers beat them, and our less-than-stellar backup QBs played more than half the game. In any case, the SEC is always strong, so might as well give them one more team in the Top 10.

11. Missouri
12. Nebraska
13. Boise State
14. Virginia Tech
15. Texas A&M
16. Oklahoma State
17. Nevada
18. South Carolina
19. Alabama
20. Florida State

BCS Bowl Projections
National Championship - Glendale, AZ - Jan. 10
Oregon vs. Auburn
(no more upsets)

Rose Bowl - Pasadena, CA - Jan. 1
Stanford vs. Wisconsin
(both are done and this is obvious)

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Glendale, AZ - Jan. 1
Nebraska (please?) vs. West Virginia (assuming S. Florida beats Conn.)

Discover Orange Bowl - Miami, FL - Jan. 3
Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas

Allstate Sugar Bowl - New Orleans, LA - Jan. 4
TCU vs. Ohio State

The rules for selecting the at-large teams are not so easy to understand, but I know that the Rose Bowl gets 1st pick since they lose Oregon to the National Championship. Due to tradition, they will gladly take Stanford to keep it Pac-10 v. Big Ten. The Sugar Bowl gets the 2nd pick since they lose Auburn. I am guessing they'll take TCU. This leaves Fiesta, Orange, and Sugar with open slots. For 2011, Sugar gets the first pick of remaining at-larges and automatics. I don't think they want West Virginia (or Connecticut), so they'll probably take Ohio State or Arkansas. Orange gets the next pick and will again likely take the remaining team from Ohio State and Arkansas. That leaves the final open slot to go to the automatic qualifier from the Big East. Make sense? Hope so, cuz I'm not even sure.

Good luck, and go Skers!
-ODB
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