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Monday, November 24, 2014

BCS bowl game projections – will Northern Illinois squeak in?

Several of the BCS bowl games are set following the conference championship games that were played on Friday and Saturday. We know Alabama and Notre Dame will meet in the national championship game thanks to Bama’s win over Georgia (Nick Saban pictured above, still looking as dissatisfied as ever). We know that the Rose Bowl will be taking the Pac-12 (Stanford) and Big Ten (Wisconsin) champs as is custom. We know Florida will be replacing SEC champion Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, that Big 12 champ Kansas State is going to the Fiesta Bowl, and that ACC champ Florida State is headed to the Orange Bowl. The remaining spots in question are the Fiesta Bowl, which is expected to take Oregon, Florida’s Sugar Bowl opponent, and FSU’s Orange Bowl opponent.

Below is the BCS bowl game projections that are shared by ESPN’s Brad Edwards, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm, and SI’s Stewart Mandel:

BCS National Championship Game – Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Rose Bowl – Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Fiesta Bowl – Kansas State vs. Oregon
Sugar Bowl – Florida vs. Oklahoma
Orange Bowl – Florida State vs. Louisville

USA Today’s Paul Myerberg sees things differently. He has Florida playing Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, because he thinks Northern Illinois will finish in the top 16 of the BCS standings, and therefore get an automatic BCS bowl berth to play FSU in the Orange Bowl (they will be ahead of Big East champ Louisville in the BCS standings).

Northern Illinois entered the weekend No. 21 in the BCS standings. Myerberg reasons that it will jump ahead of Boise State, Kent State, UCLA, and Texas. He also believes Nebraska will drop down enough after the beatdown by Wisconsin to help the Huskies claim a top-16 slot. Edwards and Palm disagree. We shall see what transpires.

Photo: Travis Haney/Instagram

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