Updated 2013 bowl projections, Week 15: FSU-Auburn it is, Sugar spot open
One day away from Selection Sunday, we're still hanging onto the same championship game. But the weekend's already given us some BCS shakeup.
College football's championship weekend is only two games old, and it's already given us a new morsel of drama. Thanks to Bowling Green's upset of Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship, a BCS at-large bid has opened up.
What had looked to be a BCS selection process with only one bowl (the Orange) actually having any choices to make has now become much more interesting.
Now Clemson, Oregon, and the runners-up in the Big 12 and Pac-12 all have a chance at the spot the Huskies have vacated. Well, technically, the spot UCF vacated, since the Knights (who've clinched a spot) will slide down to the Fiesta. Let's walk through the scenarios below, but for now, something like this is your bowl picture:
[Saturday update: Baylor has won the Big 12, Auburn's won the SEC. The Tigers are assured of the Sugar at worst.]
[And now Ohio State's going to lose to Michigan State. It's Florida State vs. Auburn. Stay tuned. We'll have much more to come throughout the rest of the weekend.]
|Bowl||Matchup (Not always tied to conference standings)||Team||Team|
|1/6/2014||BCS National Championship (Pasadena)||BCS 1 vs. BCS 2||Florida State||Auburn|
|1/3/2014||Orange (Miami)||Florida State replacement vs. At-large 1||Ohio State||Clemson|
|1/2/2014||Sugar (New Orleans)||Auburn replacement vs. At-large 2||Alabama||Oklahoma|
|1/1/2014||Rose (Pasadena)||Big Ten 1 vs. Pac-12 1||Michigan State||Stanford|
|1/1/2014||Fiesta (Glendale, AZ)||Big 12 1 vs. At-large 4||Baylor||UCF|
|1/5/2014||GoDaddy (Mobile, AL)||MAC 2 vs. Sun Belt 2||Northern Illinois||Arkansas State|
|1/4/2014||BBVA Compass (B'ham)||SEC 9 vs. AAC 5||Vanderbilt||Houston|
|1/3/2014||Cotton (Arlington)||Big 12 2 vs. SEC 3||Oklahoma State||South Carolina|
|1/1/2014||Capital One (Orlando)||Big Ten 2 vs. SEC 2||Wisconsin||Missouri|
|1/1/2014||Gator (Jacksonville)||Big Ten 5 vs. SEC 6||Minnesota||Georgia|
|1/1/2014||Heart of Dallas||Big Ten 7 vs. C-USA||Pitt*||North Texas|
|1/1/2014||Outback (Tampa)||Big Ten 3 vs. SEC 4||Iowa||Texas A&M|
|12/31/2013||Chick-fil-A (Atlanta)||ACC 2 vs. SEC 5||Miami||LSU|
|12/31/2013||Independence (Shreveport)||SEC 10 vs. ACC 7||Oregon State*||Georgia Tech|
|12/31/2013||Liberty (Memphis)||C-USA 1 vs. SEC 8||Marshall||Mississippi State|
|12/31/2013||Sun (El Paso)||ACC 4 vs. Pac-12 4||Virginia Tech||UCLA|
|12/30/2013||Alamo (San Antonio)||Big 12 3 vs. Pac-12 2||Texas||Oregon|
|12/30/2013||Armed Forces (Ft. Worth)||MWC 3 vs. C-USA/Navy||Boise State||Navy|
|12/30/2013||Holiday (San Diego)||Pac-12 3 vs. Big 12 5||Arizona State||Texas Tech|
|12/30/2013||Music City (Nashville)||ACC 6 vs. SEC 7||Boston College||Ole Miss|
|12/28/2013||Belk (Charlotte)||AAC 3 vs. ACC 5||Cincinnati||North Carolina|
|12/28/2013||Buffalo Wild Wings (PHX)||Big 12 4 vs. Big Ten 4||Kansas State||Michigan|
|12/28/2013||Pinstripe (New York)||Big 12 7 vs. AAC 4||Notre Dame*||Rutgers|
|12/28/2013||Russell Athletic (Orlando)||AAC 2 vs. ACC 3||Louisville||Duke|
|12/27/2013||Fight Hunger (San Francisco)||Pac-12 6 vs. BYU/ACC 9||Arizona||BYU|
|12/27/2013||Military (Annapolis)||ACC 8 vs. C-USA||Maryland||Rice|
|12/27/2013||Texas (Houston)||Big 12 6 vs. Big Ten 6||Washington State*||Nebraska|
|12/26/2013||Little Caesars (Detroit)||MAC 1 vs. Big Ten 8||Bowling Green||Syracuse*|
|12/26/2013||Poinsettia (San Diego)||MWC 2 vs. Army||Utah State||Buffalo*|
|12/24/2013||Hawaii||MWC 5 vs. C-USA||San Diego State||Middle Tennessee|
|12/23/2013||Beef O'Brady's (St. Pete.)||AAC 6 vs. C-USA||Toledo*||East Carolina|
|12/21/2013||Idaho Potato (Boise)||MAC 3 vs. MWC 6||Ball State||Colorado State|
|12/21/2013||Las Vegas||MWC 1 vs. Pac-12 5||Fresno State||USC|
|12/21/2013||New Mexico (Albuquerque)||MWC 4 vs. Pac-12 7||San Jose State||Washington|
|12/21/2013||New Orleans||Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA||UL Lafayette||Tulane|
* Taking another conference's unfilled spot.
Bold: Already set.
If Florida State and Ohio State win their conferences on Saturday, they'll advance to the BCS National Championship, whether SEC fans like it or not. There will be yelling.
If they go, the Orange will have the first pick, since it will get to replace No. 1 FSU. Since Bama will likely rank in the top four, thereby giving it an automatic bid, it's the obvious choice. The Rose would get to go second, to replace No. 2 Ohio State, and since Michigan State's unlikely to fall out of the top 14, you can pretty much write in the Spartans no matter what.
The Orange goes next, by virtue of having the first pick in the non-replacement rotation. This is where it gets tricky, since one of about four teams will be picked here. We're still assuming the Orange's traditional (and ever-increasing) ties to the ACC mean Clemson's the pick, giving us Dabo Swinney against his alma mater.
The Sugar gets to pick the SEC champion's opponent next -- I'm picking Mizzou to beat Auburn, by the way. If the choices boil down to Baylor and Oregon, assuming Oklahoma State wins the Big 12 and takes the Fiesta Bowl's spot, I think the Bears are the more attractive choice. They have only one loss, they have an exciting offense, and the bulk of their fans are just a few hours away in East Texas. And the Sugar becomes a SEC vs. Big 12 bowl for good next year, so getting a Big 12 team into the BCS this year would just be smart business, all things being relatively equal.
That leaves the Fiesta with Oklahoma State vs. UCF and no choice in the matter at all. A good game. Not a great BCS bowl. But a good game.
About eight teams will be left out
There are 78 bowl-eligible teams right now. That number should hold through Saturday night, but there are still only 70 spots to go around. There will be many justifiably disappointed fan bases around the country, and quite a few of them will likely be in the Sun Belt, sorry to say.
What's horrifically wrong here? What are you angry about? Any of these games look extra appealing?
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