Here are our latest bowl projections for the last season with the BCS in place.
Stanford's victory over Oregon on Thursday caused a huge shakeup in the projections. For the first time, the projection is that Alabama and Florida State will meet in the title game. That would mean the ACC, Pac-12 and SEC would have two teams apiece in the BCS. Fresno State also is projected to get a BCS berth.
Saturday's Alabama-LSU game in Tuscaloosa obviously could cause another shakeup.
Fresno State is unbeaten and No. 16 in this week's BCS standings. BCS rules stipulate that if a team from a non-automatic qualifying conference (Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt) finishes in the top 12 of the final BCS standings or finishes in the top 16 of the final BCS standings and is ranked ahead of a league champ from an automatic qualifying conference, the non-AQ team is guaranteed a spot. Fresno State is five spots ahead of UCF -- the front-runner in the AAC -- this week.
The MAC's Northern Illinois also is unbeaten and two spots behind Fresno State. As with Fresno, NIU should be favored in the rest of its games.
The final BCS standings will be released Dec. 8.
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.
Site: Pasadena, Calif.
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: 5 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/Big Ten vs. BCS/Pac-12
Projection: Ohio State vs. Stanford
Note: The Big Ten and Pac-12 champs head to Pasadena automatically if they are not in the title game. And even if one or both is in the title game, Rose Bowl organizers still crave a Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup.
Site: Glendale, Ariz. Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/Big 12 vs. BCS
Projection: Baylor vs. Fresno State
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. Fresno State seems a good bet to finish unbeaten; if the Bulldogs finish unbeaten, they will be in the BCS -- and they would be the last at-large pick. Baylor remains the pick to win the Big 12.
Site: New Orleans
Date: Jan. 2
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/SEC vs. BCS
Projection: Auburn vs. UCF
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. By virtue of its win over Louisville, UCF is the pick to win the AAC.
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