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Preview 2012 - Preseason BCS Bowl Picks
Posted Jul 11, 2012

No, it's not too soon for the possible 2012-2013 bowl matchups -- the BCS games.

Preview 2012 

Preseason BCS Picks

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Preseason Bowl Projections
- Part One - The December bowls
- Part Two - The rest of the non-BCS games
- Part Three - The BCS bowls 

Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO
January 1st, 5:00 pm, ESPN
Pasadena, CA Rose Bowl
Big Ten No. 1 vs. Pac-12
Preseason Call: Michigan State vs. Oregon
Top Three Other Options: 1) USC, 2) Michigan, 3) Wisconsin

WHY? With Ohio State ineligible for a bowl, Wisconsin should win the Leaders by default. It’ll then get its shot to win a second straight Big Ten championship facing the Michigan-Michigan State winner and with one of those three likely to end up in Pasadena. With one of the best defenses in the Bret Bielema era, and with the Bucky running game being the Bucky running game, it will be close. However, Michigan State's defense and ground game will lead the way to a trip to Pasadena.

USC will lose one game along the way that it’s not supposed to – like against Utah – but it will still end up playing in the Pac-12 championship. However, if the Trojans are as strong as expected, there’s a good chance they can blow a few games and still end up here. In the end, USC will be Oregon for the Pac-12 title with the winner playing in the BCS championship and the loser going to Pasadena.

Discover Orange
January 1st, 8:30 pm, ESPN
Miami Gardens, FL Sun Life Stadium
ACC No. 1 vs. BCS At-Large
Preseason Call: Florida State vs. Louisville
Top Three Other Options: 1) Virginia Tech, 2) Rutgers, 3) Cincinnati

WHY? With a nice and soft schedule, Florida State will be front-and-center for the national title chase before losing to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on a Thursday night in early November. It’ll rebound to finish 11-1, win the ACC title, and cause a ton of controversy as this year’s Oklahoma State in the national title debate.

The Orange would love nothing more than to get a strong at-large team after the ratings-tank of last year’s West Virginia blowout over Clemson, but as long as it has Florida State, it doesn’t matter too much who the opponent is. The Big East champion will have to go somewhere, and while there might not be a sexy option this year, again, it’s all about the Noles if they can get in.

Allstate Sugar
January 2nd, 8:30 pm, ESPN
New Orleans, LA Mercedes-Benz Superdome
SEC No. 1 vs. BCS At-Large
Preseason Call: Alabama vs. Texas
Top Three Other Options: 1) LSU, 2) South Carolina, 3) Georgia

WHY? Just assume the Sugar will get its choice of teams with the SEC champion almost certain to play for the national championship. That means the LSU-Alabama winner will most likely end up in the BCS championship when all is said and done, and the loser of the showdown will go here. However, if the Tide loses two games, don’t be stunned if Georgia or South Carolina slips in depending on how the SEC title game goes. Texas will be this year’s Michigan in terms of the BCS. There will be other teams a bit more worthy, but the brand name will be enough to get a big bowl bid. The Fiesta Bowl would be the natural choice if the Big 12 champ gets into the BCS championship.

Tostitos Fiesta
January 3rd, 8:30 pm, ESPN
Glendale, AZ Univ. of Phoenix Stadium
Big 12 No. 1 vs. BCS At-Large
Preseason Call: Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin
Top Three Other Options: 1) Texas, 2) Oklahoma State, 3) West Virginia

WHY? The Fiesta gets the first choice of at-large picks after the bowls that lose their tie-in make their choices. However, the Big 12 champ will have a rough time getting to the title game meaning it would take its automatic tie-in. The Rose Bowl will almost certainly demand a second Pac-12 team if its champion gets to the title game, and there’s no way a Texas or Oklahoma State could play here with the Big 12 champ already in. Oklahoma will be just good enough to win the conference title, but just flawed enough to go 10-2 on the way.

The loser of the Big Ten championship will end up here meaning Wisconsin, Michigan and Michigan State will all be in the running. However, don’t rule out Boise State. If the Broncos beat Michigan State in the opener, then it will be smooth sailing until the Nevada game to close things out. The more likely scenario is a Spartan win on the way to finally breaking through and getting to the first BCS game in the BCS era.

Discover BCS National Championship

January 7th, 8:30pm, ESPN
Miami Gardens, FL Sun Life Stadium
BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2
Preseason Call: LSU vs. USC
Top Three Other Options: 1) Alabama, 2) Oklahoma, 3) Oregon

WHY? For those of you who really wanted a rematch of the 2011 season opener, you might have your wish. To be fair, though, flip a coin between USC and Oregon getting in - yes, we picked

Oklahoma will be in the hunt for the national title, as will Florida State and the Big Ten champion. However, the real fight might be over whether or not a second SEC team deserves to be in. After last year’s outcry, there might not be much of a fight to see Alabama or LSU again. However, Oregon might make the question moot if the offense is revved up like normal. It will take a mega-upset to slow down the Ducks with winnable game after winnable game until the road trip to USC on November 3rd. No matter what happens it might all come down to a Oregon-USC rematch in the Pac-12 title game with the winner going on to play for the whole ball of wax.

LSU is the easier part of the equation. The Tigers are loaded again and have a much, much easier schedule to handle this season with no Oregon or road trip to West Virginia to deal with in non-conference play. North Texas, Washington, Idaho and Towson will make for a nice and breezy four wins, while there are only four true road dates to deal with. Alabama has to come to Baton Rouge, and while away games at Auburn, Florida, Texas A&M and Arkansas will all be challenging, LSU is stronger than all four.
Preseason Bowl Projections
- Part One - The December bowls
- Part Two - The rest of the non-BCS games
- Part Three - The BCS bowls