Sunday, December 04, 2005Breaking Down the Bowls (Vol. 2)
So let's break it down by conference...
Atlantic Coast: FSU is the big winner as they get into the Orange Bowl with a 8-4 record and Virginia Tech really loses as they probably won't get the Gator Bowl bid over Miami. Overall it was a successful year for the new ACC with 8 bowl eligible teams and I expect all eight to find a slot somewhere.
Big East: West Virginia earns the Sugar Bowl bid with a solid 10-1 record and they emerge as the big winners this season. Louisville is going to be happy with a Gator Bowl, its best bowl since a Fiesta Bowl bid in the early 90s (pre Bowl Coalition and BCS) but an early loss to USF stopped what could have been a special season. Rutgers returns to the postseason after a long drought and USF will enjoy going bowling in Charlotte.
Big Ten: Penn State earns the Orange Bowl matchup against FSU while Ohio State is the big winner thanks in part to that early season megamatch against Texas. Every now and then a loss sets up a winning situation. It looks like Wisconsin could sneak into the Capital One Bowl but don't be surprised if Michigan does instead and Iowa ends up in the Outback. There's a big group in that 3rd Big Ten spot so the team that spends the most will win.
Big XII: Texas breezed through this conference in a down year and it's hard to say who the second best team is, probably Texas Tech and they should have a good matchup against that tough Alabama defense. After that the conference surprisingly will fill all eight of its bowl slots as well.
Pac-10: USC will battle Texas in what should be the most hyped championship game ever. After that Oregon will continue to lobby for a BCS bid until 4 p.m. EST tomorrow but will settle for the Holiday Bowl. UCLA will get to spend a few days in El Paso for yet another Sun Bowl appearance. The conference aonly fulfilled five of its six bowl slots and will lose one to the ACC, which is three teams over.
SEC: This is going to be interesting...Georgia wins the conference and the BCS bid and LSU could go anywhere from Capital One to Peach. I would guess Outback Bowl though and a rematch against Iowa from last year's thrilling Capital One Bowl or a match against Michigan. Auburn has earn a top bowl slot in either Orlando, Tampa or Dallas. The big loser could be South Carolina, who were pegged for a Peach Bowl matchup against FSU and then an Outback Bowl spot but may settle for Shreveport. Florida's status is also in the air but a game against Virginia Tech might be appealing...SEC fails to fill all eight of its slots.
So here's my final guess on some of the bowls.
Rose: USC vs. Texas
Fiesta: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
Sugar: West Virginia vs. Georgia
Orange: FSU vs. Penn State
Capital One: Auburn vs. Michigan
Outback: LSU vs. Iowa
Cotton: Texas Tech vs. Alabama
Gator: Louisville vs. Miami
Peach: Virginia Tech vs. Florida
Independence: South Carolina vs. Missouri
Holiday: Oregon vs. Oklahoma