College football predictions from before the weekend
After a crazy week in college football, the bowl picture changes for what I think is better for us as fans. We learned that Boise State is not the unbeatable, win-no-matter-what-conference-they’re-in, wonderkids that every small conference backer thought they were. But, rather just a small school from Idaho that gets national attention for playing on a blue field (PETA doesn’t approve) and whooping up on teams such as Mary’s School of the Blind. We also learned that Cam Newton is the real deal and can compensate for a defense that seemingly was assembled by Matt Millen. The Heisman should be given to him already and even if Auburn does lose to SC on Saturday, I still think they deserve to play in the National Championship over TCU (yeah I’m not a little conference supporter – and that includes the ACC, Big East, and the bottom half of the Pac-10), and a one-loss Stanford, Wisconsin, or Ohio State team. So without further ado, here are Money Max’s Pre-Conference Championship Bowl Projections.
BCS National Championship:
Number 1 vs. Number 2
Oregon vs. Auburn
Final Score: Auburn 108-106 5OT
Big-10 Winner vs. Pac-10 Winner*
Wisconsin vs. TCU
FInal Score: Wisconsin 34-17
SEC Winner vs. At-Large**
Arkansas vs. Ohio State
Final Score: Arkansas 34-21
Big 12 Winner vs. At-Large***
Nebraska vs. Connecticut
Final Score: Nebraska 45-14
ACC Winner vs. At-Large****
Virginia Tech vs. Stanford
Final Score: Stanford 34-17
*New BCS rules in affect starting this year state that the first time the Rose Bowl loses a team to the National Championship (i.e. Oregon) they MUST replace that team with a non-BCS automatic qualifier (this will be either TCU or Boise State depending on which team finishes ranked higher in the final BCS rankings). Wisconsin will most likely win the Big-10 barring any BCS shenanigans (because we all now that the BCS never makes mistakes) and will be forced to take on TCU. This is a low scoring output from Wisconsin seeing how they seem to score 70 on any given Saturday but TCU’s defense it pretty good and doesn’t miss many tackles, but Wisconsin’s power running attack will prove to be too physical for TCU and they pull away in the 4th quarter.
**Since the Sugar Bowl lost a team to the National Championship they will have the first choice of an At-Large team. Since money is always a factor and since the Sugar Bowl has strong ties with the SEC they will select Arkansas who comes into bowl play as one of the hottest teams who hasn’t played in a major bowl game in over 20 years. Also, in 2011 the Sugar Bowl gets the first choice of At-Large team followed by the Orange Bowl and then the Fiesta Bowl. Thus, the Sugar Bowl committee takes Ohio State which not only gives the Sugar Bowl a team that travels extremely well, but also sets up a marquee match-up that the Sugar Bowl hasn’t had since West Virginia beat Georgia by 3 in 2006.
***Fiesta Bowl is the biggest loser here since they have the last pick of Automatic Qualifiers for its At-Large spot. Seeing how the Big East sucks so much this year, their champ (in this case Connecticut) will get the chance to be embarrassed by Nebraska in Glendale. I think Nebraska will settle down and their defense will stifle Oklahoma’s potent offense in the Big-12 Championship Game. And not to beat a dead horse, but the Small-East quite possibly could be the worse automatic qualifying conference in history. Pittsburgh runs through the first half of their schedule and then forgets not only that they have a top-3 receiver on their team but that the main goal on offense is to score points; West Virginia was seemingly forgotten after a near loss to Marshall (I should have known better than betting against the Thundering Herd) then rolls Pittsburgh so bad that even the Pillsbury Dough Boy couldn’t help but be impressed (that example not doing it for ya? Pillsbury makes rolls and WVU rolled Pitt…I had a better one but in order to make this more marketable to a wider crowd I’ll leave that up to your imagination).
****Orange Bowl will have to take the ACC winner (VT) and then has the third choice since the Sugar Bowl gets the first two. The teams that the Orange Bowl can pick from is not exactly a reason for the Orange Jackets to rejoice though. With Stanford most likely finishing the season in the Top-4 of the BCS and since they are from a auto conference they must play in a BCS Bowl Game. Now the Orange Bowl would have the great choice of Stanford (who doesn’t have the largest fan base but is one of the better teams in football this year) and the Big East winner who I wouldn’t even pick to play in my annual Turkey Bowl game. Seeing how the Orange Bowl would actually like to have a viewer audience they’ll select Stanford to play rather than a Virginia Tech team that ran through the great ACC (cough…sarcasm…cough) and lost to the great JMU Bulldogs at home.
All of this pales in comparison to a Playoff System which just about every other sport in the universe has to determine their champion. But until the BCS schools stop caring about money (like that will ever happen), we will not be able to witness the beauty of a college football playoff and what could be the greatest thing since the wax between cheese slices, post-Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches, and Bar Refaeli