Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/7/11


We will once again go through the motions of making the selections as if the season ended today, using the BCS rankings as a tiebreaker to determine conference champions. The highest-ranked team in each conference will be selected as the conference champion.

Step 1: BCS Championship Game

The first thing that happens is that Nos. 1 and 2 in the BCS rankings are selected to play in the BCS Championship Game.  LSU and Oklahoma State both had big wins on Saturday to cement (for now) their spots at the top of the BCS standings.

  • LSU to the BCS Championship Game.
  • Oklahoma State to the BCS Championship Game.


Step 2: Conference Champions

Next, all of the conference champions are assigned to the bowls with automatic tie-ins.

The Big-10 conference race became more muddy over the weekend with a Michigan loss at Iowa and a Nebraska loss to Northwestern.   Currently, Penn State sits alone atop the Leaders division while Michigan State is atop the Legends division.   But both schools, especially Penn State, have difficult roads ahead.  Since Penn State has the best conference record at 5-0, they'll get the nod this week in our projections.

Clemson had the week off and remained steady atop the ACC Atlantic Division.  They still have the top conference record at 5-1.

In the Pac-12, Oregon's visit to Stanford on November 12th looks like it will determine the North Division.  UCLA's win over Arizona State shook up the South division.  Both teams are tied with 4-2 conference records but UCLA now holds the tie-breaker.  The Bruins still have a tough trip to USC at the end of the year.   If Arizona State can take care of business, they still stand a good chance of playing for the PAC-12 title.   As the highest ranked team in the BCS, Stanford gets the nod over Oregon for this week's projection over.

As of now, Cincinnati would receive the Big East's bid to the BCS. They have a two-game lead over everyone else in the conference.

  • Stanford to the Rose Bowl.
  • Penn State to the Rose Bowl.
  • Clemson to the Orange Bowl.


Step 3: Replacement Picks

The two bowl games that lost their automatic tie-ins to the BCS Championship Game get to select a "replacement pick" prior to any other selections being made. The bowl that lost the No. 1 team gets to choose first. Right now, that would be the Sugar Bowl, and selecting Alabama is an easy choice.

The Fiesta Bowl would choose next. The easy choice seems to be Oklahoma as a Big 12 representative that is ranked sixth in the BCS standings.

  • Alabama to the Sugar Bowl.
  • Oklahoma to the Fiesta Bowl.


Step 4: Final Selections

Next, the bowls select teams in a pre-determined order that rotates annually. This year, the bowls will select as follows: Fiesta, Sugar, Orange.

The Fiesta is up first and must choose an opponent for Oklahoma. I see the Fiesta selecting the Oregon Ducks, currently ranked seventh in the BCS standings.

Next, the Sugar Bowl must choose an opponent for Alabama. Its decision will be an interesting one.

Currently, Boise State is ranked fifth. If Boise State were to finish fourth or higher in the BCS standings, the Broncos would be assured a spot in a BCS bowl game. But as things stand now, the Sugar Bowl could select another team in their place.

A second B1G team, especially with big fan bases and big television draws such as Nebraska or Michigan, could potentially get the nod instead of Boise.  But it's tough to see a second team ranked high enough to warrant such consideration.

But, for now, we'll assume the Sugar would select Boise State to face Alabama.

That will then send Cincinnati to the Orange Bowl to face Clemson.

  • Oregon to the Fiesta Bowl.
  • Boise State to the Sugar Bowl.
  • Cincinnati to the Orange Bowl.


CBR Official BCS Bowl Game Projections

*BCS Championship Game: LSU Tigers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

*Rose Bowl: Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Stanford Cardinal

*Sugar Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Boise State Broncos

*Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

*Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma Sooners vs. Oregon Ducks


Kris Brauner updates the BCS standings and gives his projections every Monday morning at Crystal Ball Run. Please follow him on Twitter @SNSlant.


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