BCS Championship - Oregon vs. Alabama
It is still messy up top and Oregon is lucky that Ohio State is ineligible or I think the Buckeyes would get the privilege to relive the days where they frequently got hammered by SEC teams in the BCS Championship. But here is what I think happens.
- Oregon takes care of business in the Civil War.
- Stanford has a classic let down game against a good UCLA team and loses in the Rose Bowl, getting Oregon into the Pac-12 Championship Game where they beat UCLA in Autzen.
- Notre Dame isn't that good of a team, and loses to USC next week in LA, dropping them just behind Oregon.
- Alabama and Georgia win next week and Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, dropping Georgia behind Oregon.
- Florida's offense is so bad that they lose to Florida State and drop behind Oregon.
- This puts Oregon in the second spot and they end up going to the BCS Championship. However, after the Stanford game, I now am back to thinking that Oregon's offense is over-hyped and poison to bad defenses but really not that great against good defenses like Alabama so I don't think this is a good match-up for them.
Alamo Bowl - UCLA vs. Oklahoma State
Having finished the season with two big wins over USC and Stanford before a tough loss at Oregon, I think UCLA becomes the second-most appealing team in the Pac-12 and just misses the cut for the BCS Top 14 and the Rose Bowl. The Bruins take a huge step forward by getting into one of the best non-BCS bowls there is and getting a ranked, but very beatable Oklahoma State team.
Holiday Bowl - Stanford vs. TCU
Stanford is heartbroken about how close they got to getting the Pac-12 Championship Game and Rose Bowl, but are still a very tough and appealing team and one of the strongest Pac-12 squads to ever end up in the Holiday Bowl. If they show up in the game, they should destroy TCU very easily.
Sun Bowl - Oregon State vs. Georgia Tech
The Beavers are in the middle of a pack of Pac-12 teams that are very good, but just not quite good enough in the rankings to make the BCS cut. Unfortunately for them they aren't as appealing as UCLA or Stanford, but should be happy to get back to the Sun Bowl after a couple of bad seasons. Georgia Tech will be a very weak opponent who slides in because North Carolina and Miami are ineligible.
Las Vegas Bowl - USC vs. San Diego State
I can't imagine telling a Trojan fan before the season started that they would end up in the Las Vegas Bowl, but I think that is where they are headed due to their less than impressive record and ranking, though I think they might get bumped up when they beat Notre Dame. This will be an interesting matchup though of two Southern California programs.
Fight Hunger Bowl - Arizona vs. Navy
Like almost every Pac-12 team below Oregon, this is a disappointing bowl for an Arizona team that is good enough to be in a much better bowl. However, I think they will be ranked after they beat Arizona State and an easy win in the Fight Hunger Bowl will cap a strong first season for Rich Rodriguez.
New Mexico Bowl - Washington vs. Air Force
The Huskies will also be like Arizona and ranked after the regular season, yet in a terrible bowl facing a lower-tier opponent who barely made it bowl eligibility. This should be an easy win for the Huskies that sets them up for next season.
Liberty Bowl - Arizona State vs. Tulsa
This will be the best bowl that gets to pick the best bowl eligible team that doesn't automatically qualify for a conference tie-in and I think Arizona State will be that team. Unfortunately for them, that means that they will get the Conference USA champion Tulsa who is one of the best non-BCS teams in the country.