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BCS bowl predictions

These are simply my best guesses at how the BCS bowls (and other Jan. 1 bowls) will end up. I'm sticking with the idea that the deserving teams will get rewarded. But read on because that might not happen.

Let's be honest for a moment. The BCS is in place to put the two best teams in the national championship game and to make sure the conference champions get rewarded with a premier bowl game. Yes, the BCS will need to take TCU or Boise State, but no where in the rules does it say that both, if undefeated, are guaranteed BCS bowl invites.

When it comes to at-large selections, BCS bowls are going to want fans in the seats, fans spending money at the bowl sites, and teams that will guarantee great television ratings. Is it fair? No, but that's the reality of the situation. As long as a team like Iowa or Penn State or USC or Miami (even with two losses) is in the top 14 of the BCS rankings, those teams will get very strong consideration. Notre Dame becomes a factor too if they win out and move up the BCS rankings.

Iowa is in a particularly tricky position. The Hawkeyes lost starting quarterback Ricky Stanzi and now must go to Ohio State. If Iowa loses big to the Buckeyes, do BCS bowl officials take a chance on an Iowa team that could potentially lose two of its last three games and go into a bowl without Stanzi?

Last season's Orange Bowl between Virginia Tech and Cincinnati did not do well with television ratings or attendance. You can bet the Orange Bowl folks will think long and hard about a potential Georgia Tech vs. TCU/Boise State matchup.

So, with six conference champions and TCU or Boise State (if unbeaten) locked in, that will leave three at-large spots. It should be very interesting to see how this all plays out.

BCS National Title Game (Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 7, 2010)
Alabama (SEC champion) vs. Texas (Big 12 champion)

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 1, 2010
Oregon (Pac-10 champion) vs. Ohio State (Big Ten champion)

Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, Ariz., Jan. 4, 2010
USC (BCS at-large) vs. Boise State (BCS at-large)

Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, La., Jan. 1, 2010
Florida (BCS at-large) vs. Cincinnati (Big East champion)

Orange Bowl, Miami, Fla., Jan. 5, 2010
Georgia Tech (ACC champion) vs. TCU (BCS at-large)

Note: I predicted the other Jan. 1 bowls, just for fun

Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. LSU
Capital One Bowl: Iowa vs. Auburn
Outback Bowl: Penn State vs. Mississippi
Gator Bowl: Miami (Fla.) vs. Notre Dame