This week, I have gone through the rankings and the bowl tie-ins to try to anticipate which teams will play in which bowls?
First, please understand that this is just the computer picking the participants. I have used TFS overall rankings to pick the ten BCS bowl teams. After that, I have used the ranking separated by conference to pick the remaining bowl tie-ins. Things get a little messy in some cases, such as the Armed Forces and Military Bowls, so I have used a little subjective judgment (which is of course open to criticism). The only things that are certain at this point are that Brigham Young is going to the Fight Hunger Bowl, and that Navy is going to the Armed Forces Bowl.
These predictions are most likely wrong are when dealing with bids for the Pac-12. Since TFS does not place Northern Illinois in the top 16, the Huskies are relegated to the GoDaddy.com Bowl (which is given to the top pick out of the MAC). So, it is very unlikely that the Pac-12 will get two two-loss teams into the BCS picture, which bumps all of the Pac-12 teams down a bowl, and leaves Washington State, with their 6-6 record, relegated to the “bowl eligible, but lacking a tie-in” category.) I’ll say more on the 6-6 teams in a minute.
But regardless of what TFS thinks, Northern Illinois will probably finish in the top 16 of the BCS standings, and ahead of Central Florida, who will take the top spot in the American Athletic Conference. Having an “AAC” and an “ACC” takes some getting used to! This will bump out one of the major conference second place finishers and move a number of things around.
But also, it should be noted that the bowl representatives pick the bowls. So these “predictions” are probably way off from the final reality. But it gives people something to poke fun at, so here it goes…
To begin, here are the BCS bowl teams, as predicted by The Fleming System:
AAC: Central Florida
ACC: Florida State
B1G: Ohio State, Michigan State
Big12: Oklahoma State, Baylor
Pac12: Arizona State, Stanford
SEC: Alabama, Missouri
Of these, the BCS Championship Game would get Florida State and Alabama. Yes, I know that Alabama lost to Auburn and will have a record no worse than the conference champion. But keep in mind that that is EXACTLY how Alabama was situated when it landed the rematch against LSU for the title game two years ago. (Regardless, I think this is a place the computer has it wrong – Alabama will not get into the title game ahead of the SEC champion. Also, since the SEC Championship game is yet to be played, the result has obviously not yet been entered into the computed rankings.
So with all that in mind, and knowing that pretty much EVERYTHING important has yet to be settled, what with championship games in the ACC, B1G, Pac12, SEC, MAC and MWC to be played, here are the rest of the predictions:
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Of these matchups, my absolute favorite is Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl. If there is a way for that to happen, mark it down now.
As for the open slots, in which conferences have run out of bowl-eligible teams to fill their tie-ins, I have left those open. I expect Notre Dame to end up in the Pinstripe Bowl against an AAC opponent (TFS currently predicts Cincinnati.) As for the others, well …
Counting the spot which Notre Dame will take, there are nine open slots. As of right now, there are 13 bowl-eligible teams with no tie-in agreements to give them a spot. Of those 13, five have a 6-6 record. As I understand the rules, no 6-6 team can be used to fill a spot if any 7-win teams have not been picked. (That rule may no longer be in effect, considering that 9-3 Louisiana Tech stayed home last bowl season.) But if the 6-6 rule is in play (which I believe it should be), then only one of Oregon State, Pitt, Syracuse, Florida Atlantic and Central Michigan will be going to bowls.
And, of course, next weeks games will change everything. Conference championship winners will rise, loser will drop, and in conferences such as the Big12 that do not have championship games, there may be a team or two tat gain bowl eligibility in the final week.
Here are your rankings for Week 15, followed by a quick chart of the top conference, as far as TFS is concerned:
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[table id=13 /]