Each week, Covers Expert Matt Fargo will give his projected matchups and spreads for the five BCS Bowls: And after just one week, changes to the BCS bowl games have taken place and that includes the BCS Championship:
BCS Championship (BCS 1 vs. BCS 2): Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Oregon Ducks
Projected line: Alabama -3
Alabama still has a sizable lead in the BCS and should it run the table, the Tide will be guaranteed its third straight BCS Championship invite. Last week, they had Florida State as an opponent but the Ducks leapfrogged the Seminoles after their win over UCLA. Many believe that Oregon is the better of the two teams anyway.
The Ducks will likely remain here if they win out as their schedule gets tough with games at Stanford and Arizona, and a home game against Oregon State, plus the Pac-12 Championship. It can be argued that the Ducks are closer to Alabama than the standings show, as Alabama is still getting legacy votes and it is not the better team.
Fiesta Bowl (Big 12 1 vs. At-large 4): Baylor Bears vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
Projected line: Baylor -14
There is no change here. Baylor has been close to untouchable but it has still yet to play anyone after rolling over Kansas last week. The Bears close the season against Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and TCU but they are still the team to make the biggest run at this point.
Fresno State was projected by many to be a BCS buster this season and, so far, the Bulldogs are holding up their end of the bargain. They are coming off a huge win at San Diego State in overtime and, while a couple tests remain, they should be able to win out. Fresno State has to finish ahead of at least one conference champion which comes from an AQ conference and right now that is looking like the AAC.
Orange Bowl (ACC 1 vs. At-large 1): FSU Seminoles vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Projected line: Florida State -9
Florida State was in the BCS Championship last week but Oregon took over the No. 2 spot and it’s likely the Ducks’ spot to lose. The Seminoles could finish undefeated and be left out of the title picture.
The Gamecocks move into the picture this week as all of the other possible at-large teams ahead of them right now could lose at least once. If the remaining SEC teams, other than Alabama, all have two or three losses, Texas A&M will likely will go to the Sugar Bowl which leaves South Carolina with the highest at-large ranking as long as it gets by Clemson at home. The Gamecocks’ final four games are all at home.
Rose Bowl (Pac-12 1 vs. Big Ten 1): Stanford Cardinal vs. Ohio St. Buckeyes
Projected line: Stanford -2
With Oregon moving into the BCS Championship, Stanford moves from the Sugar Bowl into the Rose Bowl. The Cardinal host Oregon next Thursday, which could have a big impact in nearly every BCS bowl game should Stanford pull off the upset. This would be its second consecutive Rose Bowl.
After rolling over Penn State last week, Ohio State has won 20 straight games and could go undefeated once again with a game at Michigan looking like the only roadblock. Last year, the Buckeyes were not eligible but this season, it is due to a weak non-conference schedule and a weak Big Ten on top of it. Still, being undefeated and left out of the title picture stings, something that should be rectified next season.
Sugar Bowl (SEC 1 vs. At-large 2): Texas A&M Aggies vs. Central Florida Knights
Projected line: Texas A&M -13
If the Orange Bowl grabs South Carolina, which is the obvious choice, the Sugar Bowl would get Central Florida, which can run the table in the AAC with its toughest remaining games at home. The Knights are a solid team, but the Sugar Bowl would prefer a more glamorous opponent to take on Texas A&M.
The Aggies should land here representing the SEC as Missouri is likely done and still has to face Texas A&M while Auburn will lose to Alabama. The Aggies do close the season at LSU and Missouri, but with the way this offense is rolling right now, nothing looks like it will get in the way.