Alabama's loss shook up the entire bowl picture. Here's what we are projecting this week:
Sugar Bowl: Alabama v. Oklahoma
The Crimson Tide will need some help to get back into the national championship game, and if they don't get it they will be headed to the Sugar Bowl without question. The Sooners should finish strong and be an attractive candidate for a battle of perennial powers.
Fiesta Bowl: Texas A&M v. Notre Dame
The SEC has #4-#9 in the BCS, so after the champion is chosen for the Sugar any other BCS bowl can pick from that group. A&M in the Fiesta would be very attractive to those in Tempe, so this may happen. The Domers are probably going to lose to Southern Cal, but they will still be getting a BCS invite.
Capital One Bowl: Georgia v. Michigan
The Bulldogs could get passed over for LSU or Florida, but they haven't been to Orlando in a few years, and they will be SEC East champions. Michigan will probably lose to Ohio State and be the second choice from the B1G.
Cotton Bowl: LSU v. Texas
The Cotton Bowl gets half of their dream matchup in the Longhorns, but with A&M off the board LSU is a pretty good consolation prize.
Outback Bowl: South Carolina v. Northwestern
The Gamecocks return to the site of two triumphs and one flop. It's been a few years since the flop, and it might be time for USC to come back to Tampa. The Wildcats will be the third choice from a down B1G.
Chick Fil-A Bowl: Florida v. Clemson
The Chick Fil-A Bowl will get an absolute gift if these two teams are available. If Clemson loses to South Carolina they are certainly headed to Atlanta. Even if the Peach Bowl doesn't want them, there will not be any other ACC options. The Gators will go to a better bowl if they don't lose to FSU.
Gator Bowl: Mississippi State v. Wisconsin
The Bulldogs have put together another solid, if not spectacular season. The Gator seems about right for them. Wisconsin, who will probably come in at 7-6 will have a tough time matching up with Miss State.
Music City Bowl: Vanderbilt v. Virginia Tech
What do you get the Commodores for having a successful season? A trip to tropical Nashville. At least they'll save on the travel budget. The Hokies will have to win out to become bowl eligible at all. The middle of the ACC remains a mediocre, muddled mess, so this situation remains fluid.
Liberty Bowl: Tennessee v. Central Florida
The Volunteers get to go to a bowl game after all, but they don't leave the state. Central Florida will be here to represent Conference USA if they can get by Tulsa.
BBVA Compass Bowl: Missouri v. Ball State
The Tigers upset of Tennessee has put them back in the bowl picture. They won't be too excited about Birmingham, but they should be happy to be in a bowl at all after some of their early games. The Big East is slated to send their #5 team to this bowl, but they probably won't have 5 teams to send. If that happens, some hot MACtion will be the replacement. Ball State is as likely choice as any.
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