As you all know by now, the new BCS standings came out late yesterday afternoon. The computers were not kind if you're a fan of the Buckeyes, as they stood pat at #11, seeing idle LSU and previous #14 Nebraska jump them, after sliding to 16th in the computer poll. The good news for OSU fans is that if the Bucks win out they will be 11-1 with a guaranteed share of the Big Ten title and a possible chance of getting the league's automatic bowl bid.
While the Bucks will need either another Wisconsin loss or a 3-way tie and the lead spot in the BCS standings to get the automatic trip to Pasadena, it will be hard to see the selection committees of the bowls with at-large choices passing up the money and talent level Ohio State brings with them. I don't want to say it will happen for sure, as not to jinx it, but I'm 99.9% positive an 11-1 OSU team is going to a BCS bowl, no matter what Wisconsin or Michigan State try to do to change the minds of America.
While some spots seemed to be a safe choice and some seem to be up for grabs, we have a general idea of what the bowl season would like as of today. You never truly know what the bowl committees is thinking when they make their choices, but here at 11W we're willing to give it a shot. Here are our current BCS bowl choices as the standings look today, so feel free to chime in and let us if you agree, disagree, or what else you think of the outlook as it stands today, as well as what you think will happen the rest of this crazy college football season.
BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: #1 Oregon vs #2 Auburn
Once again, these predictions are as of today and not neccessarily what we think will happen. Auburn is having a magical season and it looks like a home game against Georgia and road trip Alabama are their only two chances to lose before the SEC Championship game. I can't see them dropping the game to UGA and if they can take the Iron Bowl I think they're Glendale-bound, no matter who wins the East. Oregon, on the other hand, I can see dropping at least one game of a slate that includes Washington, Arizona, and Oregon State, but if they can get past those games, they deserver to be here. I think this game is the one most likely to change and it will be interesting to see is a non-automatic qualifier can sneak in.
ROSE BOWL: #9 Wisconsin vs #3 TCU
As of today Wisconsin gets the 3-way tiebreaker over OSU and MSU and would win a head-to-head with the Bucks if it came down to that as well. They get the game's automatic bid as Big Ten Champions, but an at-large spot opens up as Oregon is in the championship game. Due to selection rules, an automatic qualifying team must be selected if the bowl loses a "host team" to the MNC so the Rose Bowl selects #3 TCU, who if they can beat current #5 Utah next week, has a legitimate shot at the national title should Auburn or Oregon lose a game. Bucks fans are rooting for TCU to lose to Utah and then Utah to lose to Notre Dame, San Diego State, or BYU, but chances are the winner of that game is BCS bound.
FIESTA BOWL: #8 Oklahoma vs Pitt
This will be the worst game of the BCS bowl season by far. I put the Nebraska/Oklahoma winner in this game against the Big East winner, who will be either Pitt, Syracuse, or Rutgers as of today. I am going with the Panthers who seem to be back on track now that they've hit conference play. It won't matter who plays the Big 12 winner though, as both Nebraska and OU will demolish their opponent from the weakest BCS conference in a game 4% of the country will watch.
SUGAR BOWL: #6 Alabama vs #11 Ohio State
Many will say this is the "real" national championship game and by season's end you may be able to make an argument for that. Of course, if Alabama beats Auburn and wins the SEC, those two teams may switch places, but the bottom line is that no matter which SEC team plays in this bowl, it is going to be a great game. At 16th in the computer polls, OSU is looking at about a 1% chance at the championship, so a chance to beat a team from the SEC would be a nice consolation prize. Maybe "OH and NINE" chants can become "One and Nine" chants this year? I'd love to see Mark Ingram and Terrelle Pryor on the same field this January.
ORANGE BOWL: #22 Virginia Tech vs #7 Nebraska
VaTech takes a very weak ACC after stumbling in the beginning of the season. Boise State gets snubbed of an at-large bid, even if they end up running the table in their remaining games. The Broncos' last five opponents aren't that easy, including a tough road game at Nevada, and a loss automatically eliminates them from this game. I do think they will win out though, and still have a shot to get in to the BCS as long as Nebraska or Stanford lose one game, but with the committee having selection power, it will be tough. Remember this is about money and Nebraska fans will travel well. While a two-loss Huskers team may not seem like a fair pick, do the business people making this decision really want the VaTech-BSU rematch? No matter who gets in this game, the contest probably sets a great argument for a play-off, as there is no way as of today that VT deserves a BCS spot over Boise State, Nebraska, or even Stanford for that matter.