The BCeStimation is a weekly column that predicts which 10 teams will make it to the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Rose Bowl and National Championship game.
Last week's slate of games forced some shuffling in this week's BCeStimation, but if that upsets you, then you're probably on the wrong ride kind sir... or kind madam, because I'm sure there are a ton of women tuning in on a week to week basis to see who I think will make it to the BCS. I'd imagine there are about as many women reading this article as there are wins left in Joe Pa's career. That gives us, what, maybe two or three female readers?
Back to football, the Buckeyes almost politely excused themselves from this article with their poor first half performance against Penn State. Watching the first 30 minutes of that game made me feel like I was watching Wisconsin, part deux. To make matters worse, Brent Musburger said the word "moxie" when describing Penn State quarterback Matt Mcgloin about 48 times too many during the game. It's as if Brent had spent the entire week torturing the word "moxie" in his basement and decided to pay tribute to his victim by saying his name over, and over, and over again.
So I'm dedicating this article to the word "Moxie", in remembrance of a normal word that was brutally murdered by Brent Musburger last week. A moment of silence please...
Now to the predictions:
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. TCU
Boise State was here last week, but after closing the gap between them and TCU, I think Boise will hop the Frogs by the end of the year. That means Boise will get the automatic bid to the Rose Bowl, leaving the Orange Bowl with the tough decision to pick either TCU or a (likely) two-loss Oklahoma State team. I don't see how they leave TCU out, but Oklahoma State's big-league fan base might be too much for the Orange Bowl to pass up on.
Why Virginia Tech? Because they have a two game lead in their division, so even if they lose to Miami this weekend, they're still very likely to end up in the ACC Championship game. Virginia Tech's season reminds me a lot of Michigan's season from 2007, when they lost to an FCS school (Appalachian State) and then were drubbed by what turned out to be a top 10 Oregon team. The only difference is, Virginia Tech isn't losing key conference games down the stretch like Michigan did, so that's why they're getting the nod here. Anyway, this is your opportunity of the week to laugh at Michigan.
Why TCU? Because they seemed to have somewhat of a hangover after last week's win against Utah, as they struggled to put away a decent, but not great San Diego State team. The Frogs were able to escape a late rally from the Aztecs, but only managed a five point win, something that hurt them in the computer rankings. And speaking of being hurt in the computer rankings, Utah's humiliating 28-3 loss to Notre Dame doesn't help matters either. Boise is still behind the Frogs in the poll, but they Broncos have three more games to play this season. Boise plays a 6-3 Fresno State team this weekend (Friday night), a ranked Nevade team the next week, and then finish the season with an easier opponent in Utah State. The Horned Frogs only have one game remaining against a one win New Mexico team. That's a whole lot of opportunities for Boise to improve their resume to the computers, while TCU is basically finished with their season.
It's crazy to think that just one week ago, TCU was thinking about the possibility of a National Championship game appearance. This week, the possibility of them not making the BCS altogether is very alive. Sucks to be a non-AQ.
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. Ohio State
With all the craziness surrounding Cam Newton and Auburn, it wouldn't have surprised me one bit if the Tigers had ended their season with a two-game losing streak to Georgia (who's been playing well recently) and Alabama (who is still Alabama). If that had happened, it would've opened the door for LSU to win out and sneak into the SEC championship game, and maybe all the way back into the National Championship. But Auburn rallied past Georgia this past weekend, so the SEC West is out of LSU's grasp.
Why LSU? Because they're defense is playing like 11 floating chainsaws on the field, waiting to destroy anything that has the audacity to cross the line of scrimmage. Moving the ball against this team is about as easy as admitting Lebron is a good guy or cheering for the Heat. Unfortunately for them, the offense looks like 11 confused cats chasing random pieces of yarn around the field. Against Louisiana-Monroe, LSU's last opponent, the Tigers only managed 251 total yards. They did wrack up 51 points, but three of those scores came from the defense. LSU returns to league play this weekend as they host Ole Miss.
Why Ohio State? Because they overcame one of the worst halves of football I've seen them play in Ohio Stadium by scoring 35 unanswered, awesome points in the second. Things were tense for Buckeye Nation, but the defense and running game completely took over down the stretch, producing a classic November victory for Tressel and the Buckeyes.
It's about time that I give some love to Dan "Boom" Herron. The junior running back for Ohio State has played very well this year, and has really turned it on over the last two games. With 824 rushing yards on the season and two games left, it's very likely that Boom will eclipse the 1,000 yard mark, and he's on pace to score more rushing touchdowns than Beanie Wells did in his best year as a Buckeye (Beanie had 15 his sophomore year, Herron already has 13). After rushing for 190 yards and a touchdown against Penn State, the Buckeyes seem to have a dependable, solid running back in the backfield.
Fiesta Bowl: Pitt vs. Nebraska
What would the score of this game be if these two teams were to play? Could Pitt stay within four touchdowns of Nebraka? I honestly don't think so. One of the more entertaining bowls year in and year out would be a very, very boring matchup if this comes to fruition.
Why Pitt? Because despite their loss to UConn, they're still leading the Big East and control their own destiny. I just want to say that I'm picking the Panthers here cautiously. They do have a tough schedule down the stretch (@ South Florida, home against West Virginia, @ Cincinnati), but I'm picking Pitt because I'm just hoping they win so I don't have to figure out the tie-breaker scenario's in the Big East. I don't want to know anything about the Big East. The entire conference is a deep, deep ocean of mediocrity filled with mediocre sharks, mediocre fish, boats that were sunk in mediocre fashion, and 1,000 years ago -- this ocean was hit by a meteor because it sounds like the word mediocre.
A fun thing to think about -- three teams in the Big East are bowl eligible. The Pitt Panthers are not one of those teams, yet they have an inside track the BCS. Why does this conference have an automatic bid?
Why Nebraska? Because their star quarterback returned from injury and helped his team become one victory away from winning the North division. Taylor Martinez was coming off an ankle injury and played a full game against the Kansas Jayhawks, a game they won 20-3. The Cornhuskers only have to win one of their two remaining games against Texas A&M and Colorado to advance to the Big 12 title game, and if they slip up this weekend, a victory over the Buffalo is pretty much a guarantee.
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Boise State
Boise State makes it back to the Rose Bowl projections, and this is the one instance all year where I could see myself rooting for Wisconsin. Typing the last half of that sentence gave me chills, but what can I do -- I don't like Boise.
Why Wisconsin? Because they have proven themselves as an elite team this year, and further cemented their place in the upper echelon of the Big Ten conference by scoring 83 points on Indiana last Saturday. The Badgers could do no wrong in Camp Randall as they scored on each of their 12 offensive possessions. The Badgers travel to Ann Harbor this weekend to face a Michigan, a team with whom they've struggled, but that was in the past, back when Wisconsin was the fourth best team in the conference and Michigan wasn't coached by Rich Rod.
Why Boise State? Because I've already explained why Boise State will jump TCU, I'm going to use this section of the article to retell my favorite memory between "Moxie" (recently deceased by way of torture from Brent Musburger) and me. A couple years ago, Moxie and I were bored and decided to go to Cedar Point. We went on a weekday because neither of us were working, so it wasn't busy at all and we got to ride almost every ride before lunch. Around noon, "Moxie" said he was hungry and wanted some fair-food (cony dogs, cotton candy, etc...). I told him that probably wasn't the greatest idea because he had irritable-bowel-syndrome, and with a whole afternoon to ride more rides, I figured we should probably eat something that wouldn't upset his stomach. "Moxie" refused, like he always did, because when "Moxie" got something in his head, there was no way he wasn't going to do it. So we got fair food and afterwards, rode a couple more rides. About an hour later, "Moxie" started complaining about his stomach, and I asked him if he wanted to leave. He said we could ride the Millennium Force one more time because the line was only fifteen minutes long, and then after that, we'd go. As we waited in line, I could see he was getting more fidgety, bouncing on on the heels of his feet, and he started to sweat. I told him we should just go, but he refused, again, like he always did. When it was finally our turn, "Moxie" got into his seat, and just looked relieved to be sitting down. The ride started and we went up the first big hill. Everything after that happened so fast, but after the second flip, I remember smelling something awful. Yep, you guessed it, "Moxie" had pooped his pants. Fortunately for us, he had an extra pair of boxers in his trunk, but even though he was able to change out of his soiled ones and trash them before we left, I never let him live down that story.
I'm gonna miss that crazy bastard.
National Championship Game: Auburn vs. Oregon
Both of these teams survived scares from over-matched opponents this Saturday, and are both pretty fortunate to still be here.
Why Auburn? Because for right now, Cam Newton is still a member of the Auburn Tigers football team, and until that isn't the case, I'm not going to move Auburn away from the title game. Now, when it comes to the SEC and recruiting violations, these kinds of allegations almost always end up being true, but I'm just gonna ride the Cam train as long as I can. Wait, that sounded awful. I'm going to stick with this Auburn team until Cam Newton gets kicked off the team. The Tigers get this week off before traveling to Tuscaloosa for the biggest game of their season against Alabama.
Why Oregon? Because despite an ugly win this past Saturday, the team did something they haven't done all year -- they leaned and depended on their defense for a victory. After Cal scored a touchdown on their opening drive, the Ducks stymied the Golden Bears offense, holding them to just 193 total yards and 13 points. The 15 points Oregon scored was easily their lowest output of the season and an insane five touchdowns under their average for the year. The Ducks finally get their bye-week this week before they enter the last two games of their season against Arizona and Oregon State.