The college football regular season is over, but the games are not. Championship Saturday helped shaped the college football postseason, but we still aren’t positive who is going to play in which games — namely in the BCS Bowl games. The official selections won’t be made until 8:30pm ET tonight on ESPN, but there’s no fun in not predicting what the games will end up looking like.
BCS National Championship Game
Notre Dame vs. Alabama
This one is no surprise and there’s not a lot of drama as to who will get bids to the National Championship game. The only drama that exists is the question of whether or not the Irish can matchup against the Tide.
Before the SEC title game, the Irish didn’t stand that much of a chance but after seeing that the Tide can indeed be scored on, Notre Dame’s chances increased exponentially. It’s the grande finale, but it’s definitely got the makings of being grand in every way. However, Alabama will have plenty of time to study up on the Irish and on themselves.
The Tide played a sloppy game defensively in the SEC title game and you’ve to believe that Nick Saban will shore that issue up quick in the month Alabama has to prepare. The issue of time could play a factor as well, since both teams won’t hit the field again until January 7th.
Notre Dame has had an extra week to rest up and get healthy, but the story at the end of the day could be that the Irish simply had too much time in between games to rest and it ended up hurting them more than it did help them in their first title shot in over 20 years.
Discovery Orange Bowl
Florida State vs. Louisville or Northern Illinois
This is perhaps the most interesting and dramatic bowl race heading into Selection Sunday. While Louisville won the Big East, they only won a share of the title as there is a logjam of 5-2 teams in the conference. The interesting part comes in when Northern Illinois enters the equation as they very much could be competing in the Orange Bowl. That only happens if the Huskies finish at least 16th in the country.
The chances of that are very high as entering Saturday the Huskies were ranked No. 21 and with a win over No. 17 Kent State, Northern Illinois should move ahead of No. 20 Boise State (beat unranked Nevada), No. 19 Michigan (idle), No. 18 Texas (lost to Kansas St.) and No. 16 UCLA lost in the Pac-12 title game.
The factor all the pundits are weighing in this is how far Nebraska falls after getting obliterated by Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. If the Cornhuskers drop below the Huskies, then Northern Illinois gets an automatic BCS-bid being the No. 16 team in the country.
If they are ranked lower than that, then Lousville is projected to get the BCS-bid from the Big East and head to the Orange Bowl.
All-State Sugar Bowl
Florida vs. Oklahoma or Louisville
This is another bowl game hinged on the results of the polls. If the Norther Illinois scenario plays out, Oklahoma is the real loser as they’ll be knocked out of a BSC bowl. Louisville is the projected winner of the Big East, but even that could change should the voters award the conference’s BCS bid to any of the other 5-3 teams tied for a share of the title.
This means that if Louisville doesn’t get the BCS-bid, it will be either Cincinnati, Rutgers or Syracuse playing Florida in the Sugar Bowl. The only catch is Louisville is the sole 10-win team in the conference despite having an identical conference record to the Bearcats, Scarlets Knights and Orange. Rutgers also lost to Louisville on Saturday further damning their cause.
But if Northern Illinois finishes lower than No. 16 in the polls than Oklahoma will be playing Florida in a rematch of the 2008 National Title game.
Wisconsin vs. Stanford
Here’s another bowl with no drama involved. The Badgers convincingly won the Big Ten for a third straight year and are yet again making a trip to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl.
But don’t make that trick you into believing this will be a sour game to watch, as the Badgers have more than a formidable opponent in Stanford.
The talk will be how Ohio State, who without sanctions against them would likely be playing in the Rose Bowl and not Wisconsin. The Badgers actually finished with a 7-5 record and barely qualified as bowl eligible to begin with. Stanford, on the other hand, has major wins under it’s belt and despite losing to Notre Dame and Washington earlier in the year, finished in the Top 10 in the BCS.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Kansas State vs. Oregon
The main selling point in this bowl game is that it was at one time a projected matchup for the National Championship game. Had both teams not lost in the same week two weeks ago, both were in line to play each other in the title game. Instead we still get to see them play each other but it’s in the Fiesta Bowl rather than the National Championship.
But again, like the Rose Bowl, don’t let that fool you into thinking you’re getting a knock-off title game matchup. Colin Klein very well could be entering this game hot off of winning the Heisman Trophy and Oregon could be facing playing their final game under head coach Chip Kelly.
Both defenses are pretty lackluster, which means this could be a barnburner of a bowl game. And nothing keeps people firmly planted in their seat than a game that doesn’t see the scoring stop.
The official BCS Bowl selections will be made later tonight. Stay glued to Fansided.com all day long to keep up on all the BCS and bowl game happenings.