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Final BCS Projections

Going into the BCS Selection show (5 p.m. EST), the bowl pairings have become rather predictable. I'll give them first, then explain why.

Rose Bowl: Southern Cal (12-0) vs. Texas (12-0)
Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame (9-2) vs. Ohio State (9-2)
Orange Bowl: Florida State (8-4) vs. Penn State (10-1)
Sugar Bowl: Georgia (10-2) vs. West Virginia (10-1)

These eight teams will be the ones chosen. I can guarantee that. With LSU and Virginia Tech losing their conference championship games, Ohio State leaps from sixth in the BCS to fourth, while Notre Dame moves from eighth to sixth. Under the BCS rules, any school that does not win its conference and places third or fourth in the BCS rankings shall be awarded an automatic bid. So that takes care of the Buckeyes. A second rule states that if any non-BCS conference school or Notre Dame finishes fifth or sixth in the BCS standings shall be awarded an automatic bid. Therefore, there are no at-large openings for Oregon or Auburn.

Let's consider the pairings now. The Rose Bowl pairings should be obvious. With Texas going to the national championship game, the Fiesta Bowl is compensated by receiving the first pick, and they will choose Notre Dame. The Orange Bowl chooses second, and certainly will pick Penn State, pairing the two winningest coaches in history (Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno) against one another. (I had originally thought that the Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl might swap the two Big Ten schools to avoid Ohio State making its third trip to Tempe in four years, but a reliable source who communicates with someone on the Orange Bowl selection committee has said that the Orange Bowl refuses to make such a trade.) The Fiesta Bowl then picks again, choosing Ohio State. This leaves the Sugar Bowl with West Virginia.

For better or for worse, the BCS this year will generate some interesting storylines, if not games themselves. The system worked this year, pairing the two undefeateds in the Rose Bowl. Penn State vs. Florida State is a great human interest story, considering the Nittany Lions meteoric rise and the matchup of two college football coaching dinosaurs. Notre Dame vs. Ohio State will be a ratings bonanza. The Fiesta Bowl hit a homerun this time around. Unfortunately, the Sugar Bowl did not. In addition to being relocated from its natural site in New Orleans, this game will be over before halftime. Georgia will crush West Virginia.

Comments

Drop the "C" from the BCS, there is no "championship" component to it--it is total BS. Congress does need to investigate the "selection" process. It is a sham, without any justice--how Oregon can be left out of the BCS while it pairs two "two loss" teams--especially one like Notre Dame that has LOST to a team with a losing record--is ridiculous.

It is time for the Pac-10 to pull out of this fallacy.

I'll be sure to turn my TV off in January.

Reasons why Oregon is undeserving of a BCS Bowl bid:

1. They did not defeat a single team that ended the season in the top 25. Therefore, they have not proven that they can "hang with the big dogs," like Ohio State and Notre Dame.
2. Although they have beaten teams with winning records, it is because of the Pac-10's lackluster non-conference scheduling. If anyone is going to take them seriously, they need to play serious opponents, and their conference mates must do so as well. Everyone jokes about the lack of competition in the Big East, but the Pac-10 is right on its heels.
3. Any team that schedules a I-AA opponent should be seen as a paper champion. Montana? There are some high school teams that are better. If you have confidence in your program, schedule Michigan, Georgia, or Virginia Tech.
4. 30+ point loss to USC. Compared with Notre Dame's 3-point loss to them or Ohio State's loss with Texas, Oregon's loss is unreal. I place Oregon on the same level as Tyrone Willingham Notre Dame team - .500 under real competition.
5. One loss vs. two losses - both Notre Dame and Ohio State's second loss came in very close circumstances in their opponent's best game of the year.

Disagree with me, Oregon? I don't care, because the BCS and the polls obviously see things from my perspective and not yours. Good luck against Oklahoma ... you are actually going to need it.

BOOMER SOONER, BOOMER SOONER.

You're both a little off on this one. Oregon deserved a BCS bid, but it wasn't Ohio State and/or Notre Dame that screwed them. It was the silly conference automatic qualification system. If there's a villain in all of this, it's Florida State (8-4). If you need a second villain, look to Morgantown.

C'mon, this ain't your daddy's Mountaineers. Georgia will not crush the EERS. They will make the game interesting though, but the Mounties will prevail.

Notre Dame is undeserving. But everybody wants to hump their bone because they "almost" beat USC. So what. They still lost. That's 2 losses. Everybody is too wrapped up the mystique of Football Jesus, than look at the hard cold facts: they lost to 5-6 Michigan St.

Once they were up in the top 10, there was no way any voter would drop them even if they won every game. But voters should have taken into account the slide of Mich. St into Notre Dame's fate.

Oregon really got the shaft if anybody.

Who cares anyway? We'll never really know until we have a playoff system.

Fight for your right! Let's get a playoff system!

Let's GOOO Mountaineers!

There sure is a big difference between the top few and the bottom few.

there is a great post from one of the writers at my site. http://sports.crimsonlight.com

Tell me what you think if you have a chance to go there.

Parry,

You're right that Ohio State and Notre Dame have two losses. However, the reason college football uses polls instead of standings is that not all schedules are created equal. West Virginia would likely have 3+ losses if they played in the Big Ten.

Furthermore, Florida State has four losses. Why aren't you outraged about that? Does this misguided anger have anything to do with the 1989 Fiesta Bowl?

Top 5 reasons Oregon deserves to be in a BCS bowl game more then ND;
1) Average defensive ranking of opponents faced by ND is 65. This is a huge factor in why ND has such high numbers.
2) ND has one of the worst passing defenses in the country.
3) Every ND fan will compare the USC game to gage who is better. What they don’t mention is that ND and Oregon had 2 other common opponents being Washington and Stanford. While ND was facing Washington they managed to give up 408 total yards compared to Oregon only giving up 238. ND won by 19 points compared to Oregon who won by 24. While playing Stanford ND gave up 347 yards while Oregon only gave up 220 yards. ND only won by 7 while Oregon won by 14. You cant brag about being better in one out of three games.
4) The BCS polls rank Oregon ahead of ND.
5) We are tired of seeing ND get over ranked and lose bowl game after bowl game. ND has only made 7 bowl games in 12 years and lost all 7.
By bragging about getting into a bowl game that you do not deserve you are comparable to a spoiled rich kid talking down to a poor kid about driving a nicer car because daddy bought it for you while the poor kid worked and earned his. Its just plain tacky. ND will be blown out by OSU.

I completely disagree with you, but you took the time to research your arguments, so I'll afford you the same courtesy.

1) SC's average opponent defense ranks in the 60's as well. Should we also claim their statistics are invalid?

2) Statistics can lie to you, if you interpret them however you want. ND led many games by sizeable margins at halftime, necessitating its opponents to go consistently to the pass in the second half. Do you really think Purdue's 300 or so second half passing yards are an indication of anything to the contrary? ND's pass defense isn't superb, but it's not as bad as you're making it out to be based strictly on misguided statistical analysis.

3) This argument is just silly. You're pulling at hairs here.

4) Check how the Pac-10 coaches voted in the final coaches' poll compared to the week before. Despite Oregon and ND both being idle during that span, Oregon somehow became "better." Not that it's Oregon's fault, but the apparent concerted effort by Pac-10 coaches to get a second Pac-10 team into the BCS exemplifies what's wrong with the BCS.

While we're on the topic of the BCS, did Oregon have a chance at an automatic BCS berth? Under the current format, winning a BCS conference gets you an automatic berth. As long as Oregon and the rest of college football buys into this system, they're at its mercy. No complaints. Conversely, as a member of Division I-A football not in a BCS conference, ND is bound by the same rules as a school like Utah. Nine wins, top 12 for BCS consideration, and top six for automatic qualification. The reasoning for this is somewhat sound. If a school is ranked in the top six, it must be ranked ahead of at least one BCS conference champion. Which brings me back to the argument that Oregon fans should be mad at Florida State and West Virginia, not Notre Dame and Ohio State. The fact that you guys aren't shows you inherently accept the conference system that has screwed you.

5) This point makes you look bitter and childish, and it detracts from an otherwise well-constructed argument. You know it's untrue. If the country were tired of seeing Notre Dame, then they wouldn't be getting so much coverage. Your reasoning on this one is, well, unreasonable.

Furthermore, even if it had been given the choice, the Fiesta Bowl would have been wary of Oregon on account of its quarterback situation. You guys would have taken a serious beating from ND or OSU, and you'll be lucky to survive the Sooners. Remember what happened to grumpy Cal against Texas Tech?

Oregon in the BCS? Ha! They couldn't even handle a dilapidated Oklahoma program. If Adrian Peterson could rip a whole in your (top-ranked) defense like that, imagine what Weis and his band of offensive warriors would have done to your pathetic program. In the figurative Blowout Bowl (presented by Capital One), Notre Dame hangs 60 on the Ducks for a 66-3 win.

I know this post is VERY late, but I just found the site. I'd just like to say 'HA' to all those that said Oregon should have been in the BCS before WVU. Oregon would have got crushed by Georgia...they couldn't even beat OU. I do believe Oregon should have been in the BCS before FSU, but WVU definately deserved to be in the BCS this year.

Mountaineers_fanatic, you deserve the last laugh. A lot of people, including us at College Football Blog, did not give West Virginia the respect it deserved because it came from the Big East. Congrats on your big win over Georgia. It clearly showed that the Mountaineers belong among the big college football powers and will be a national championship contender in 2006.

NOTRE DAME HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE GOLDEN TEAM OF SPORTS WRITERS AND THE MEDIA. NOW WITH CHARLIE WEIS THEY THINK THERE THE BEST TEAM TO EVER PLAY COLLEGE FOOTBALL. GIVE IT A REST. NOTRE DAME DIDN`T POST A QUALITY WIN ALL YEAR LONG LAST SEASON, AND WHEN THEY BACKED IN TO A BOWL GAME OHIO STATE HUNG 408 YARDS OF OFFENSE ON THEM. THE MEDIA NEEDS TO JUMP OFF THE BAND WAGON AND START WRITING ABOUT QUALITY ATHLETES AND PERFORMANCES, NOT COACHES THAT MAY OR MAY NOT DO WELL. IF NOTRE DAME IS THE TEAM THE MEDIA SAYS THEY ARE, WHEN WILL THEY JOIN A CONFERENCE AND PLAY QUALITY TEAMS WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT.

Hey Scott,
Caps lock key broken? But seriously, how is winning your final five games backing into a bowl game?

Lots of people complain about the coverage the media gives to Notre Dame. Give it a rest. The media is catering to their readership, and ND backers make up the largest portion. It behooves them to write about ND more often than other programs. I guess you didn't take economics.

Your conference comment is borderline idiotic. Take a look at some historical data on schedule strength over the last couple of decades ... I think ND's compares rather favorably, to put it mildly.

Thanks for contributing, though. I hope you get your keyboard fixed soon.

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