Tuesday, January 7, 2014
The bowl is half empty - part 5
Here is what it might have looked like. I have bracketed and seeded the teams according to their final regular-season BCS rankings, with some consideration given to tradition (e.g., SEC champion in the Sugar Bowl bracket) and geography. I also used the rule of no more than one team per conference in any given bracket.
Sugar Bowl Bracket
1st seed Auburn (12-1, SEC) vs. 4th seed Arizona State (10-3, Pac-12) -- winner: Auburn
2nd seed Ohio State (12-1, Big Ten) vs. 3rd seed Clemson (10-2, ACC) -- winner: Clemson. (This is what actually happened in this year's Orange Bowl.)
Sugar Bowl: Auburn over Clemson. Ohio State almost beat Clemson. I think Auburn would have sealed the deal.
Orange Bowl Bracket
1st seed Florida State (13-0, ACC) vs. 4th seed UCLA (9-3, Pac-12) -- winner: Florida State
2nd seed Missouri (11-2, SEC) vs. 3rd Oklahoma (10-2, Big 12) -- winner: Oklahoma
Orange Bowl: Florida State over Oklahoma. Oklahoma looked incredible in their bowl game, but Florida State looked unstoppable all season. It would have been close, but I think the Seminoles would have pulled it out.
Eastern Semifinal: Florida State over Auburn
Western Semifinal: Michigan State over UCF
National Championship Bowl: Florida State over Michigan State. Then again, could Florida State have really beaten Oklahoma, Auburn and Michigan State all in a row? Or would another team have risen to the challenge? Unfortunately, for this year at least, we'll never know.
BONUS: The "N.I.T." of College Football
As I did the past two years, I have also set up a second-tier 16-team tournament. I've included all of the conferences champions without a spot in the main tournament (C-USA, MAC and Sun Belt), as well as the next-best available teams according to the BCS rankings and AP poll.
1st seed Louisville (11-1, American) vs. 4th seed Bowling Green (10-3, MAC) -- winner: Louisville
2nd seed Georgia (8-4, SEC) vs. 3rd seed Miami, Fla. (9-3, ACC) -- winner: Georgia
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Louisville over Georgia
1st seed LSU (9-3, SEC) vs. 4th seed Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4, Sun Belt) -- winner: LSU
2nd seed Duke (10-3, ACC) vs. 3rd seed Iowa (8-4, Big Ten) -- winner: Iowa
Gator Bowl: LSU over Iowa
1st seed Wisconsin (9-3, Big Ten) vs. 4th seed Vanderbilt (8-4, SEC) -- winner: Wisconsin
2nd seed Northern Illinois (12-1, MAC) vs. 3rd seed Notre Dame (8-4, independent) -- winner: Notre Dame
Alamo Bowl: Notre Dame over Wisconsin
1st seed Fresno State (11-1, Mountain West) vs. 4th seed Rice (10-3, C-USA) -- winner: Fresno State
2nd seed Texas A&M (8-4, SEC) vs. 3rd seed USC (9-4, Pac-12) -- winner: USC
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: USC over Fresno State
Outback Bowl: Louisville over LSU
Cotton Bowl: USC over Notre Dame
Capital One National Invitational Championship Bowl: USC over Louisville