until Texas vs Kansas

Monday, November 7


BCS Bound?

And then there were three. USC, Texas, and Alabama are the only unbeaten teams remaining. Thanks to Miami and Arizona, we don’t have to talk about Virginia Tech and UCLA any longer. The road to Pasadena is now crystal clear. If USC and Texas win out, they will meet for the national championship in the Rose Bowl on January 4th. What about Alabama? The Crimson Tide are good but not even in the same category as USC and Texas. Bama couldn’t even score an offensive touchdown on Mississippi State. Their next three games are LSU, Auburn, and Georgia. Very small chance to win out.

So, instead of looking at the Rose Bowl favorites, let’s take a look at likely BCS bowl teams by conference.

Big 10
Penn State (9-1, 6-1)—The Nittany Lions are a victory over Michigan State away from a BCS bowl. The game is in East Lansing in two weeks. The Spartans have lost four of their last five. Penn State is one second away from a perfect season. Alternative: Ohio State would need victories over Northwestern and Michigan and a Penn State loss.

Miami (7-1, 4-1)—The Canes looked like Miami of old on Saturday night, but there is still work to be done. Miami must run the table against Wake Forest, Virginia, and Georgia Tech without star tailback Tyrone Moss to win the Coastal Division. Miami is a botched field goal attempt from an undefeated season. If the defensive dominance continues, a 12-1 season is not out of the question. Alternative: Virginia Tech should beat Virginia and North Carolina to finish 10-1.

Florida State (7-2, 5-2)—FSU has already clinched the Atlantic Division and will play in the inaugural ACC Championship game in Jacksonville. The Seminoles have no offense and probably won’t beat either Miami or Virginia Tech.

Georgia (7-1, 5-1)—The Dawgs have Auburn and Kentucky at home to finish their SEC season. With Shockley back, Georgia should take care of business and head to the Georgia Dome on December 3rd. Alternative: Florida could win the East with a road victory over Steve Spurrier and a Georgia loss.

LSU (7-1, 4-1)—Yeah, I know Alabama is undefeated but the Tigers are the better team. LSU finishes with Bama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. The Bayou Bengals are a 4th quarter away from being undefeated. Alternative: Alabama has two tough games left but do control their own destiny. If they can find an offense, they could finish undefeated. Otherwise 9-2 is likely.

Big East
West Virginia (7-1, 4-1)—Another Big East representative that no BCS bowl will want. The Mountaineers have Cincinnati, Pitt, and South Florida to end the year. Alternative: South Florida, one of the only teams with four regular season games left.

Big 12
Texas (9-0, 6-0)—The Horns should wrap up the South with a home victory over Kansas this weekend. Obviously, our last game is with the Aggies in College Station the day after Thanksgiving.

Colorado (7-2, 5-1)—Buffs have two games left and need just a single win. This week they play an improving Iowa State team and then get Nebraska at home. Alternative: Iowa State would need to win out and have Nebraska beat CU in Boulder.

Pac 10
USC (9-0, 6-0)—Trojans have some tough games to end the year: California, Fresno State, and UCLA. ATL expects them to win out and be waiting for us in Pasadena. Alternative: UCLA still has a shot even after getting embarrassed in the desert. The Bruins need to beat Arizona State and then USC.

ATL’s Automatics Berths
Penn State, Miami, Georgia, West Virginia, Texas and USC.

At Large Potential
Notre Dame (6-2)—Irish need only to win out against Navy, Syracuse, and Stanford for an “automatic” berth.

Virginia Tech (8-1), Alabama (9-0), Ohio State (7-2), LSU (7-1), Texas Tech (8-1).

Rose: USC vs. Texas
Fiesta: Penn State vs. Notre Dame
Sugar: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia
Orange: Miami vs. West Virginia

Technically, Oregon has a better shot of winning the Pac-10 than UCLA. Even if UCLA beats USC, Oregon would finish ahead of UCLA if it doesn't lose again because all would be 7-1 in the conference, and Oregon's conference loss came to a higher-ranked opponent. Although, I guess that would mean that USC would still get in. Kind of weird, but I think that's how it works.

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