Saban-Smiles

BCS Bowl Projections: Change Has Occured, Just not at the top

The Top 10 sees some rearrangement due to upsets, major injuries pile up and Alabama is still Alabama, meaning that as much as things change in the BCS Bowl Game projections, they stay the same. At least at the top.

Let’s have a look at which teams held onto their BCS dreams and new ones that leaped over others that took a tumble.

Rose Bowl: Nebraska vs. Oregon – The Cornhuskers haven’t been to a BCS bowl since getting pasted by Miami in 2001. Ken Dorsey’s efforts may look merciful if this matchup comes to fruition.

Nebraska controls its own Big Ten destiny and has a manageable schedule to navigate if they’re to show up in the conference title game. The Cornhuskers don’t have to worry about seeing Ohio State or Penn State again, and regardless of which team limps in as the Leaders Division’s representative, Nebraska should take home their first conference title since 1999.

Here’s where the biggest argument of the BCS begins: Kansas State or Oregon? While the Ducks are the better team, the two squads they need to look the best had pedestrian efforts yesterday. USC’s loss to Arizona won’t make Oregon’s annihilation look impressive next week and Oregon State’s loss to Washington simply hurts their resume in comparison to the Wildcats’.

There’s still plenty of time for Kansas State to lose, though. Cornhusker fans better hope they do, because if Oregon rolls into the Rose Bowl, they’re a far better team than UCLA and won’t be as kind as Larry Coker was.

Orange Bowl: Louisville vs. Florida State – With Rutgers’ loss and the Cardinals’ overtime win over Cincinnati, Louisville is firmly in the driver’s seat for the Big East championship. They’re playing inspired ball and should handle those same Scarlet Knights in their regular season finale.

Florida State continues to cruise along and no one from the ACC Coastal division should be any threat to their conference championship aspirations. This game could actually be pretty entertaining as both teams have quality athletes and the ability to get in their own way.

Sugar Bowl: Oregon State vs. Georgia  – The Beavers stubbed their toe against Washington, but aside from a loss to Oregon in the Civil War, there aren’t any other teams with the same scrap as Sarkisian’s squad on the schedule. Look for Oregon State to slide into New Orleans thanks to the BCS snubbing the Ducks and contracts dictating that the SEC can’t bring half of the conference.

Georgia’s win over Florida gives them the perfect opportunity to lose to Alabama in the conference championship game. The Bulldogs’ remaining red carpet schedule features Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.

Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma – Déjà vu all over again. If once wasn’t enough and the BCS gods smile on Kansas State, the Fiesta Bowl will be more than happy to pit the Irish against the Sooners.

Notre Dame’s last major test is a trip to the Coliseum to face USC. The way that the Irish’s defense is feeding off of Manti Te’o is amazing and Marqise Lee could have another fantastic day hauling in passes, but the Trojans won’t come out on top.

With Kansas State in control of their own destiny, Oklahoma’s biggest tests will be in Morgantown and when they rekindle the Bedlam Series. Oklahoma State will likely be limping into that game as they have to run a gauntlet against some of the Big 12’s best teams in Kansas State, West Virginia and Texas Tech before tripping to Norman.

The pollsters may decide the fate of this game. If Notre Dame continues to play the way they have, the Golden Domers could find themselves in South Florida.

BCS Championship Game: Kansas State vs. Alabama – Revisiting the Kansas State/Oregon debate, the Wildcats’ resume is frankly more impressive than the Ducks at this point. Beating then-No. 6 Oklahoma in Norman was huge and they’ve stomped two top 15 teams by a combined score of 110-38 over the past two weeks.

If they continue this carnage, it may be too difficult to keep them out of college football’s biggest spotlight. As of today, Oregon and Nebraska fans have something in common: a severe desire for a Wildcat letdown.

Mississippi State may have believed they had a chance against Alabama and a good chunk of the nation wanted to. Then the harsh reality that Alabama’s a pretty darn good football team set in.

While Kansas State may end up with a better BCS case causing them to edge out Oregon, the current system might do the Tide a favor. No offense to Heisman candidate Collin Klein, but Alabama can and would out-muscle the Wildcats. The nation’s best hope of seeing Crimson Tide fans cry is still the Quack Attack.

News, views and the hilarity of college football can be found by following Brandon on Twitter: @eightlaces
 

About Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres works for Fox Sports, and was previously a best-selling author of the book 'The Unlikeliest Champion.' He currently uses Aaron Torres Sports to occasionally weigh-in on the biggest stories from around sports. He has previously done work for such outlets as Sports Illustrated, SB Nation and Slam Magazine.

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