FaIconfansince80 Posted November 4, 2008 Share Posted November 4, 2008 Posted by Doug Lesmerises November 02, 2008 21:59PMNone of the top four teams in the latest BCS standings were ranked in the top 10 in the preseason -- Alabama (No. 24 AP preseason), Texas Tech (No. 12), Penn State (No. 22) and Texas (No. 11).So as we forecast the five BCS bowls, let's start with a national championship game that doesn't include any of the BCS top four.BCS National ChampionshipFlorida vs. OklahomaThe Gators' path is simple -- beat Vanderbilt, South Carolina, The Citadel, Florida State and then undefeated No. 1 Alabama in the SEC championship game in Atlanta on Dec. 6. Probably playing the best football in the country, with a 30-point win over LSU and 39-point win over Georgia in the past two weeks, the Gators would be a unanimous No. 1 if that 1-point loss to Ole Miss was a 1-point win.The Sooners' path is vastly more complicated and controversial. The assumption here is that new BCS No. 2 Texas Tech beats Oklahoma State on Saturday then loses at Oklahoma two weeks later. That sets up a three-way tie in the Big 12 South at 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference between Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas, with each team going 1-1 in their little round-robin. The tiebreaker then moves to the highest BCS ranking to determine which team gets to play in the Big 12 title game, against either Missouri or Kansas.Texas has already played its big games, and has beaten Oklahoma, but the Sooners finish with Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, and the guess is two wins over ranked teams would vault the Sooners up the BCS standings. Currently, Texas Tech is No. 2, Texas No. 4 and Oklahoma No. 6. But the Sooners are already feeling the love from the nincompoops in the coaches and Harris polls. Despite Texas beating Oklahoma, and each team having one loss, Oklahoma is ranked ahead of the Longhorns in both polls, No. 4 to No. 7 in the coaches poll and No. 5 to No. 6 in the Harris Poll. Inside track to the Sooners.Rose BowlUSC vs. Penn StateThe Trojans will win out to finish 11-1, but with Cal the only ranked team left on the schedule, USC can't impress anyone enough to leap one-loss teams from the SEC or Big 12. Oregon State, with a win over USC and just one conference loss, does control its own destiny for a Rose Bowl bid, but figure the Beavers for a loss to Cal or Oregon.As for Penn State -- I'm thinking the Nittany Lions suffer an upset somewhere, either at Iowa this week or Michigan State to end the season.If Michigan State beats Penn State in the last game of the regular season, then the Spartans could be in this spot. How? If Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State all finish 7-1 in the conference, each 1-1 in their little round-robin, then the Spartans go to the Rose Bowl because they did not play an FCS school this season. Ohio State beat Youngstown State and Penn State beat Coastal Carolina, and that bit of scheduling magic is what gives Michigan State the edge.If his Broncos can finish off another undefeated season, Boise State's Ian Johnson may find himself in another Fiesta Bowl showdown against a Big 12 power --- perhaps Texas.Fiesta BowlTexas vs. Boise StateReplacing Big 12 champ Oklahoma, which jumped to the national title game, the bowl stays in conference with 11-1 Texas, and does so gladly. Picking first in the yearly rotation, the bowl is then faced with the option of the Big East champ; the highest-qualifying non-BCS school, Boise State, which has guaranteed its spot by finishing in the top 12 of the BCS standings; or other at-large teams in the top 14 of the BCS, a small pool that may include only Ohio State and the TCU-Utah regular-season winner.Sugar BowlAlabama vs. Ohio StatePicking first to replace Florida, the Sugar stays in conference and takes Alabama, the team that held the No. 1 spot for the last month of the season. The Crimson Tide's first Sugar Bowl appearance since beating Miami for the national title 16 year ago will sell some tickets.So will the Buckeyes, who played in the Superdome for the national title game last year, but haven't played in the Sugar Bowl since beating Texas A&M 10 years ago.The Sugar has the second selection, behind the Fiesta Bowl, in the rotation, and with the choice of an at-large or the Big East champ, there is no choice.This shows how, if Ohio State wins out, the Buckeyes are almost a lock for a BCS game. The exception would be if Michigan State goes to the Rose Bowl and Penn State becomes an at-large team. Then the Fiesta Bowl would probably take Penn State, Boise State would go here, and Ohio State would head to the Capital One Bowl.Orange BowlGeorgia Tech vs. PittThe ACC champ goes here. With the last pick, the Big East champ will be stuck here. So whether it's this, or North Carolina-West Virginia, or Maryland-Cincinnati, does it matter? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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