Sunday, August 8, 2010

Joel's Daring College Football Picks: BCS!

Now for the only games that matter, followed by the only game that actually matters:

1) Rose Bowl - #9 Oregon State (10-2) vs #6 Utah (12-0)
The Rose Bowl could be in a tough situation this year. They have agreed that, if either the Pac-10 or Big Ten champion goes to the BCS game, they will replace it with a team from a non-AQ conference. (i.e., Boise State, Utah, TCU, or BYU.) I imagine that this is because the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls got tired of being forced to select these small market teams.
I'm surprised that the Beavers are not getting more press as possible Pac-10 champs. Like I said, they get Cal, USC, and Oregon all at home, and are good enough to win all three of those games. The problem, though, is that they also play Boise State and TCU in non-conference games, so if they do win the Pac-10, the Rose Bowl may be faced with a rematch that not very many people would want to see. They can't pick USC. They would probably settle for Oregon vs Boise State, but that means that the Ducks need to win the Pac-10.
I'm bailing them out by saying that Utah will win the Mountain West, defeating Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, TCU, and BYU.

2) Fiesta Bowl: #5 Texas (12-1) vs #4 Boise State (12-0)
Boise State was ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll on Friday. So, logic would dictate that, if they win all of their games, and only one team ranked higher than them also wins all of its games, then those two teams would meet for the national championship, right? WRONG! I don't know much, but I know that the voters will always pick a one-loss SEC champ ahead of an undefeated Boise State in the polls.
But don't worry Boise State fans. The Broncos go on to beat Texas 58-3, and finish third in the national polls. Texas finishes sixth.

3) Orange Bowl: #10 Miami (10-3) vs #13 Cincinnati (10-2)
Yes! Dolphins versus Bengals in t.... wait, what?

I think that the ACC is wide open this year, with three or four teams each having a decent chance of winning it. The Hurricanes have scheduled a tough non-conference schedule, with games at Ohio State and Pittsburgh, but the conference will be decided on Nov. 20, when they play Virginia Tech in Miami. The Big East will be decided two weeks later, on the last day of the season, when the Bearcats host the Panthers.

4) Sugar Bowl: #3 Alabama (11-1) vs #7 Penn State (10-2)
Despite not having any conference champions in their game, the Sugar Bowl will be the big ratings winner of the BCS. They will benefit from the Rose Bowl's clause requiring it to select a non-AQ team, and snatch up JoePa and the Nittany Lions. Then, in a slightly controversial move, they will pick the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Florida Gators, even though Florida played (and lost) in the SEC championship game, whereas Alabama didn't get to play at all.

5) BCS Championship: #1 Ohio State (12-0) vs #2 LSU (12-1)
It seems like everyone and their grandma are picking the Buckeyes to get to the championship game, and I admit, it does seem like the stars are in their favor. They get an early home game against Miami that will boost their favorability with the voters. They also get Penn State at home. The two toughest challenges for the Buckeyes will be games at Wisconsin and at Iowa.

Picking LSU is more of a wildcard pick - they are #16 in the coaches preseason poll. Their key game will be on Nov. 6 versus Alabama. Alabama won the last time they went to Baton Rouge, in 2008, but I'll bet on the home team this year.

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