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Florida State expected to face Auburn in BCS title game

Michael Conroy / Associated Press
Urban Meyer's hopes of leading Ohio State to a title are likely over, but the Buckeyes could be Orange Bowl-bound.

Top-ranked Florida State did its job Saturday night. But second-ranked Ohio State was upset 34-24 by Michigan State in the Big Ten title game, and as a result, the Seminoles are expected to face Auburn in the final BCS national championship game.

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Auburn beat Missouri in the SEC championship game, then settled in to watch FSU in the ACC title game and Ohio State in the Big Ten championship on Saturday night. As expected, FSU trounced Duke. But Ohio State didn't get its high-powered offense totally untracked and a shaky Ohio State secondary was exploited again, this time by Spartans quarterback Connor Cook, as the Spartans ended the Buckeyes' title hopes.

The BCS bowl pairings will officially be announced on Sunday night.

FSU would be in the national title game for the fourth time overall and the first since the 2000 season. Auburn would be playing for the national title for the second time in four seasons; the Tigers won it all behind Cam Newton in the 2010 season.

Here are all our bowl projections for the last season with the BCS in place.

There will be four at-large spots in the BCS. Alabama and Ohio State are givens; the question is which bowls take the Tide and Buckeyes. Clemson, Oklahoma and Oregon are the other contenders. BCS at-large candidates must have at least nine victories and finish in the top 14 in the final BCS standings. All three of those teams have won 10 and each almost certainly will finish in the top 14.

Remember that a bowl's tie-in with a league doesn't necessarily mean it will get the third- or fourth-, etc., place team from the league; instead, it means it gets the third or fourth, etc., selection from that league.

BCS MATCHUPS

ROSE BOWL

Site: Pasadena, Calif.
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: 5 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/Big Ten vs. BCS/Pac-12
Projection: Michigan State vs. Stanford
Note: The Big Ten and Pac-12 champs head to Pasadena automatically if they are not in the title game.

FIESTA BOWL

Site: Glendale, Ariz.
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/Big 12 vs. BCS
Projection: Baylor vs. UCF
Note: The Big 12 champ is contractually obligated to the Fiesta if it is not in the national title game. This season, the Fiesta gets the last pick among the at-large teams. UCF, which won the AAC, figures to be the final at-large pick.

SUGAR BOWL

Site: New Orleans
Date: Jan. 2
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/SEC vs. BCS
Projection: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
Note: The SEC champ is contractually obligated to the Sugar if it is not in the national title game. But the Sugar always wants an SEC team even if the champ is in the title game. The Sugar gets the second pick among the at-large teams. Oregon could be the opponent, but Oklahoma probably will sell more tickets and the Sugar Bowl will have a tie-in with the Big 12 starting in 2014, so ...

ORANGE BOWL

Site: Miami
Date: Jan. 3
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/ACC vs. BCS
Projection: Clemson vs. Ohio State
Note: If the ACC champ is not in the BCS championship game, it is contractually obligated to go to the Orange Bowl. Will the Orange Bowl take Alabama instead of Clemson? The Orange Bowl also gets the first pick among the at-large teams.

BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Site: Pasadena, Calif.
Date: Jan. 6
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2
Projection: Florida State vs. Auburn
Note: FSU hasn't won a national title since the 1999 season; Auburn will be going for its second title in four seasons.

THE OTHER BOWLS

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NEW MEXICO BOWL

Site: Albuquerque
Date: Dec. 21
Time/TV: 2 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Mountain West No. 4/5 vs. Pac-12 No. 7
Projection: Colorado State vs. Washington State

LAS VEGAS BOWL

Site: Las Vegas
Date: Dec. 21
Time/TV: 3:30 p.m., ABC
Matchup: Mountain West No. 1 vs. Pac-12 No. 5
Projection: Fresno State vs. USC

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL

Site: Boise, Idaho
Date: Dec. 21
Time/TV: 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Mid-American vs. Mountain West No. 6
Projection: Buffalo vs. San Jose State

NEW ORLEANS BOWL

Site: New Orleans
Date: Dec. 21
Time/TV: 9 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Conference USA vs. Sun Belt
Projection: Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Note: Both teams have accepted invitations. Tulane hasn't been bowling since 2002 and has been to just two bowls in the past 25 seasons. ULL will be playing in this bowl for the third consecutive season. The game is at the Superdome, which is Tulane’s home field.

BEEF 'O' BRADY'S BOWL

Site: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Date: Dec. 23
Time/TV: 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: AAC No. 6 vs. Conference USA
Projection: Toledo vs. East Carolina
Note: The AAC won't fill its slot. The bowl has a secondary agreement with the MAC.

HAWAII BOWL

Site: Honolulu
Date: Dec. 24
Time/TV: 8 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Conference USA vs. Mountain West No. 4/5
Projection: Middle Tennessee State vs. Utah State
Note: It makes sense to pick a Mountain West team that didn't play a regular-season game at Hawaii, and Utah State fits that description.

LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL

Site: Detroit
Date: Dec. 26
Time/TV: 6 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big Ten No. 8 vs. Mid-American
Projection: Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green
Note: The Big Ten won't be able to fill its slot.

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POINSETTIA BOWL

Site: San Diego
Date: Dec. 26
Time/TV: 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Army if bowl-eligible vs. Mountain West No. 2
Projection: Northern Illinois vs. Boise State
Note: Army won't be eligible; the bowl has a secondary agreement with the MAC. If this indeed is the matchup, it would be intriguing.

MILITARY BOWL

Site: Annapolis, Md.
Date: Dec. 27
Time/TV: 2:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: ACC No. 8 vs. Conference USA
Projection: Maryland vs. Marshall
Note: Marshall has accepted a bid.

TEXAS BOWL

Site: Houston
Date: Dec. 28
Time/TV: 6 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big Ten No. 6 vs. Big 12 No. 6
Projection: Minnesota vs. Arizona
Note: If Oklahoma is in the BCS, the Big 12 won't be able to fill its slot.

KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER BOWL

Site: San Francisco
Date: Dec. 27
Time/TV: 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BYU if bowl-eligible vs. Pac-12 No. 6
Projection: BYU vs. Washington
Note: BYU already has accepted a bid.

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PINSTRIPE BOWL

Site: New York
Date: Dec. 28
Time/TV: Noon, ESPN
Matchup: AAC No. 4 vs. Big 12 No. 7
Projection: Rutgers vs. Notre Dame
Note: The Big 12 won't fill its slot. Notre Dame didn't have a fallback if it didn't make the BCS and already has accepted a bid. Rutgers has, too.

BELK BOWL

Site: Charlotte, N.C.
Date: Dec. 28
Time/TV: 3:20 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: AAC No. 3 vs. ACC No. 5
Projection: Cincinnati vs. North Carolina

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL

Site: Orlando
Date: Dec. 28
Time/TV: 6:45 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: AAC No. 2 vs. ACC No. 3
Projection: Louisville vs. Miami
Note: Louisville already has accepted a bid.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS BOWL

Site: Tempe, Ariz.
Date: Dec. 28
Time/TV: 10:15 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big Ten No. 4 vs. Big 12 No. 4
Projection: Nebraska vs. Kansas State

ARMED FORCES BOWL

Site: Fort Worth, Texas
Date: Dec. 30
Time/TV: 11:45 a.m., ESPN
Matchup: Mountain West No. 3 vs. Navy if bowl-eligible
Projection: UNLV vs. Navy
Note: Navy already has accepted a bid.

MUSIC CITY BOWL

Site: Nashville
Date: Dec. 30
Time/TV: 3:15 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: ACC No. 6 vs. SEC No. 7
Projection: Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss

ALAMO BOWL

Site: San Antonio
Date: Dec. 30
Time/TV: 6:45 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big 12 No. 3 vs. Pac-12 No. 2
Projection: Texas vs. Oregon

HOLIDAY BOWL

Site: San Diego
Date: Dec. 30
Time/TV: 10:15 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big 12 No. 5 vs. Pac-12 No. 3
Projection: Texas Tech vs. Arizona State

ADVOCARE V100 BOWL

Site: Shreveport, La.
Date: Dec. 31
Time/TV: 12:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: ACC No. 7 vs. SEC No. 10
Projection: Boston College vs. Oregon State
Note: This formerly was known as the Independence Bowl. The SEC won't fill its slot.

SUN BOWL

Site: El Paso, Texas
Date: Dec. 31
Time/TV: 2 p.m., CBS
Matchup: ACC No. 4 vs. Pac-12 No. 4
Projection: Virginia Tech vs. UCLA

LIBERTY BOWL

Site: Memphis
Date: Dec. 31
Time/TV: 4 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Conference USA No. 1 vs. SEC No. 8 or 9/AAC No. 6
Projection: Rice vs. Mississippi State
Note: Rice, which won the C-USA championship game, already has accepted a bid.

CHICK-FIL-A BOWL

Site: Atlanta
Date: Dec. 31
Time/TV: 8 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: ACC No. 2 vs. SEC No. 5
Projection: Duke vs. Texas A&M

HEART OF DALLAS BOWL

Site: Dallas
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: Noon, ESPNU
Matchup: Big Ten No. 7 vs. Conference USA
Projection: Syracuse vs. North Texas
Note: The Big Ten won't fill its slot. North Texas hasn't been in a bowl since 2004. UNT is in Denton, a Dallas suburb.

GATOR BOWL

Site: Jacksonville
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: Noon, ESPN2
Matchup: Big Ten No. 5 vs. SEC No. 6
Projection: Michigan vs. Georgia

CAPITAL ONE BOWL

Site: Orlando
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: 1 p.m., ABC
Matchup: Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2
Projection: Wisconsin vs. South Carolina

OUTBACK BOWL

Site: Tampa
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: 1 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC No. 3/4
Projection: Iowa vs. LSU

COTTON BOWL

Site: Arlington, Texas
Date: Jan. 3
Time/TV: 7:30 p.m., Fox
Matchup: Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC No. 3/4
Projection: Oklahoma State vs. Missouri

BBVA COMPASS BOWL

Site: Birmingham, Ala.
Date: Jan. 4
Time/TV: 1 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: AAC No. 5 vs. SEC No. 8/9
Projection: Houston vs. Vanderbilt

GODADDY.COM BOWL

Site: Mobile, Ala.
Date: Jan. 5
Time/TV: 9 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Mid-American vs. Sun Belt
Projection: Ball State vs. Arkansas State
Note: Arkansas State already has accepted an invitation; this will be the Red Wolves' third consecutive appearance in the game.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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