North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

North of the 400’s BCS Bowl Selection Special

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Although the BCS matchups haven’t been announced yet, though it’s pretty easy to determine who will play who – most of the bowl games are pre-determined. The hard part is determining who the at-large bids will be.

For me, that’s also the fun part – choosing who’ll play who, what matchups make the most sense both to football fans and to the BCS itself, from TV ratings and general interest standpoints. What two teams would be the most fun to watch? What two teams would draw the most causal fans? And, most importantly, what two teams deserve to play for the National Championship?

But for my sake and yours, I’m only going to predict the major bowls: The Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange and BCS Bowls. Sorry, International Bowl.

BCS Bowl: #2 Alabama vs #4 TCU

Why? Alabama clinched a spot with an upset win over Florida, when their stand-out defence held the Gators in check and didn’t allow a point in the second half. Not to mention a great showing by running back Mark Ingram: 112 yards on the ground, another 76 receiving and three touchdowns against one of the best defences in the country – Florida hadn’t allowed a team to score three majors all season.

For TCU, the case is a little less clear cut – it’s more in by subtraction then just on their merits. Florida, for obvious reasons, can’t qualify. And Texas, after a subpar performance against Oklahoma on Saturday, deserves to drop a few spots in the polls. But TCU dominated through their schedule – and not an easy one at that. They dismantled #14 ranked Brigham Young in October, handing them their only loss of the season, and ran all over Utah last month, winning 55-28.

How was TCU’s defence? This season, they allowed just 149 points. Number-one ranked Florida allowed 150 while #3 ranked Texas gave up 197. Through November 28, TCU had allowed only 2799 yards. Florida’s defence gave up 2797 and Texas allowed 3158. I’d say that TCU stacks up pretty well. So given their rankings, stats and their dominance this season, giving them the nod doesn’t seem like a huge stretch.

Orange Bowl: #10 Georgia Tech vs #9 Iowa Hawkeyes

By winning on Saturday, Georgia Tech clinched a spot in the Orange Bowl. The other spot, an at-large, is chosen based on a combination of rankings, stats and polls. Here, I’m just going to go with the closest to them: the Iowa Hawkeyes, ranked #9.

Why them? Statistically, they rank pretty close to Tech: the Hawkeyes haven’t scored as often or have as many wins, but have only lost two and have a great defence (they’ve allowed less points then #3-ranked Texas, for instance).

Rose Bowl: #8 Ohio State vs #7 Oregon

With wins this past week, both teams clinched spots in the Rose Bowl. Neither team stands out enough to justify a bump to the BCS bowl, so this one’s pretty much locked in.

Fiesta Bowl: #3 Texas vs #1 Florida

In my books, Texas clinched a spot here by nearly losing to Nebraska on Saturday night: for a team that was ranked so high and looked so good, they didn’t stand out enough to justify going to the BCS. So they’ll keep their spot as the Big 12 host for the Fiesta Bowl.

So why Florida? The Gators will be the hot at-large team, and since they lost their chance at the BCS bowl, why not stage what many thought would be that bowl at the Fiesta Bowl?

Of all the possible matches this bowl could have, this one that makes the most sense, both from a football standing (should be a good game) and from a financial standpoint, since a meeting of these nationally recognized teams is a major draw – it wouldn’t surprise me if this game out drew the BCS game in ratings, actually.

Sugar Bowl: #5 Cincinnati vs #6 Boise State

Why these two?

First off, since Alabama is headed to the BCS, the Sugar Bowl becomes two at-large teams. And since neither of these teams stands out enough to become an at-large in a bigger draw – against Texas or Florida, both of which are head-and-shoulders above these two – it seems natural that they would meet in New Orleans.

Still, this is far from a dud of a game: the Bearcats are a fun team to watch, especially since they can rally back, like they did against Pitt on Saturday, while Boise State can score in bunches – they scored 574 points, more then anybody else in the BCS top 10. I’d wager these two would match up pretty well for an interesting Sugar Bowl.


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  1. […] This post was Twitted by thejockocracy […]

    Twitted by thejockocracy

    December 6, 2009 at 2:19 pm

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