LSU to Rose Bowl or Fiesta Bowl Makes Perfect Sense

LSU won’t be playing for a BCS National Championship this season but the Tigers could end up in one of college football’s most coveted bowl games.

Stay with me — With Alabama being upset by Texas A&M the Southeastern Conference needs help to get into the championship game.

Lets work off the assumption the top ranked teams in the country remain ranked #1 and #2.  Kansas State and Oregon are currently in the top spots — both teams have perfect 9-0 records.

This blog is based on K-State and Oregon playing in the BCS National Championship game — if that happens it’s very very possible that LSU slides into the Rose Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl. 

As I write this I think LSU heads to Arizona and the Fiesta Bowl — below is an explanation why:

BCS National Championship Game:

#1 Oregon vs. #2 Kansas State

Right now K-State is the projected #1 team in the BCS Poll — but if #2 Oregon chalks up wins over Stanford and Oregon State to close the regular season and gets another victory over UCLA or USC in the Pac-12 Championship game than the Ducks move to #1. 

If Oregon moves to #1 the Rose Bowl gets 1st pick for a replacement in the BCS pecking order.

With the 1st pick their is no doubt the Rose Bowl would take an undefeated or 1-loss Notre Dame.  The ‘Grand Daddy’ gets a nice match-up with the Fighting Irish taking on the Big Ten Champion (Nebraska or Wisconsin).

Since the Fiesta Bowl loses Big XII Champion Kansas State and because the Wildcats are ranked #2 in the BCS the Fiesta Bowl gets the 2nd pick in the BCS pecking order.

With a projected 10-2 overall record the Texas A&M Aggies become a very strong possibility here, but I think LSU gets the call from the Fiesta Bowl officials.  A&M has electric QB Johnny Manziel and the Aggies travel, but LSU is a proven commodity and the Tigers have one of the best teams in the country.

People may be asking “why wouldn’t the Fiesta Bowl take a Big XII at-large team?”  The reason, the highest ranked Big XII team will be either Oklahoma or Texas.  Both of those teams have played in so many Fiesta Bowls it’s hard to count — so the Sooners and Longhorns fans won’t be excited about a trip to the desert.  Plus, the Big XII just signed a long term deal with the Sugar Bowl so the Fiesta Bowl has no obligation to that conference. 

What about Alabama and Georgia?  Barring any unforeseen bumps in the road, The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are set to meet in the SEC Championship game the first week of December.  I truly believe that the winner goes to the Sugar Bowl and the loser is out of the BCS.  Big bowl games don’t like to take teams coming off a loss.  

Now, if K-State and Oregon remain unbeaten and K-State manages to retain it’s #1 BCS ranking than the Fiesta Bowl gets the first pick in the BCS pecking order — and they’d take Notre Dame.  That would send LSU to the Rose Bowl against the Nebraska/Wisconsin winner.  Texas A&M would also be in the mix but the Rose Bowl and LSU flirted a few years ago so I think the Tigers would get the nod. 

Some people have asked me “how can LSU go to the Rose Bowl instead of a Pac-12 at-large team?” 

Great question.

Based on projections the Pac-12 won’t have a second team in the BCS.  The Pac-12 will have Oregon in the BCS Championship Game — but because the conference won’t have another team in the BCS top 15 rankings the Rose Bowl would have to select a team from another conference. 

Again, ALL THIS COULD CHANGE based on upsets and such — but using the current standings and projections here is how I see the BCS unfolding:

BCS National Championship Game:

#1 Oregon vs. #2 Kansas State

Fiesta Bowl:

LSU vs. Clemson

Rose Bowl:

Notre Dame vs. Nebraska/Wisconsin winner

Sugar Bowl:

Alabama vs. Oklahoma (or Texas if Sooners get upset by Oklahoma State in Bedlam)

Orange Bowl:

Florida State vs. Rutgers

Some people have projected that the Sugar Bowl will take Clemson as an at-large team — but because the Sugar Bowl just singed a big deal pitting the SEC vs. Big XII — I think the Sugar Bowl does everything possible to match schools from those leagues.  

We’ll see how it all shakes out.  I know SEC fans are pulling hard for two of the three remaining unbeaten (Oregon, K-State, ND) teams to lose.  If things go crazy and teams start losing left and right and a 1-loss team gets into the BCS title game — it’ll be a SEC 1-loss team (Alabama or Georgia).

 

 

 

 

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