Ridiculously Early 2008 BCS Projections

Posted May 25, 2007

It's May. Yeah, the BCS games are still over seven months away, but that doesn't mean it's not fun to speculate about the possibilities. Can Glenn Dorsey and LSU go down the road to New Orleans for the BCS National Championship? Check out the way-too-early BCS matchups, along with the rest of the bowl projections.

By Pete Fiutak 

- 2007-2008 Way-Too-Early non-BCS Bowl Projections

It's late May, so let's get a few things out of the way before proceeding.

First, this is a nearly-impossible puzzle to put together correctly in the first week of December with all the inside information possible, much less now, and there will be changes in the bowl tie-ins, the seedings, and the conference pecking order before the dust settles at the end of the season. Some of the bowls aren't even sure which teams from which conferences will be available to them, so while a slot might make sense, things get out of whack when some bowls jump the gun, or go with geographical matchups over good football pairings. We always attempt to account for the self-interests of the bowls to sell tickets and generate publicity.

Second, remember that schedules mean everything. Some teams might be better than others, but are predicted to go to lesser bowl games because their records might not be as strong as other possible choices. We're just taking our best educated guess here.

Third, not everyone will get the call. There are only so many available slots, so teams like Kentucky, Cincinnati, Kansas, Colorado, Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee and San Jose State, who'll all likely be worthy, might get shut out due to a lack of at-large bids available. 

Finally, don't yell at us if you don't like where your team is predicted to go. We'll change this before the season starts, and every week throughout the season. If it looks like some team that we have playing in December looks like a world-beater, it'll obviously be predicted to go to another bowl as the year goes on.

Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Jan. 1 / 4:30 p.m. Pasadena, Calif. ABC
*BCS vs. BCS  (Big Ten Champion vs. Pac 10 Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection: Wisconsin vs. UCLA
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) USC, 2) Michigan, 3) Penn State, 4) Ohio State, 5) LSU

The call is for Wisconsin to win the tie-breaker with Michigan, and come up with the wins needed, to get to Pasadena, but Penn State, Ohio State, or even Iowa, who misses the Wolverines and the Buckeyes, could slide in. With USC the call to go to New Orleans, UCLA would be a dream choice to create a Big Ten/Pac 10 matchup. Of course, if USC plays for the national title, the Rose would get the first choice of at-large teams and might be interested in selling out the place with LSU fans, if the Tigers aren't staying close to home in early January.

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1 / 8:30 p.m. New Orleans, La. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS  (SEC Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection: Michigan vs. Hawaii
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) LSU, 2) Florida, 3) Georgia, 4) Louisville, 5) Tennessee

This is the toughest part of the puzzle to put together. Work with us here. If the Sugar Bowl loses LSU to the national title, as predicted, it'll get the second choice of available at-large teams if USC is number one from pillar to post. While a slew of SEC teams might be tempting, the opportunity to take Michigan would be too intruiging to pass up (unless Florida is available, which we're predicting won't be an option). The Fiesta, the dumping ground for disrespected mid-major teams who earn a BCS slot, might appear to be more of a natural tie-in for an unbeaten Hawaii (check out the schedule and you'll see why this isn't so crazy), but it'll come up with a high-octane matchup of its own. Feel free to flip-flop Hawaii and Louisville.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 2 / 8 p.m. Phoenix, Ariz. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS (Big 12 Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection: Louisville vs. Texas
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Oklahoma, 2) Missouri, 3) Nebraska, 4) Hawaii, 5) TCU

The winner of the Texas - Oklahoma game will likely be the Big 12 representative, but with one caveat. If Nebraska is fantastic against USC, or pulls off the shocking upset, the entire landscape dramatically changes. One major fly in the ointment will be if TCU upsets Texas in Austin. If that happens, the Horned Frogs will likely go unbeaten and cause a season-long debate over whether or not they belong in the national championship. If Texas wins the Big 12 title, there won't be a TCU vs. Texas rematch in the Fiesta, so the Sugar would most likely take Gary Patterson's club if it doesn't end up in the BCS Championship game. Of course, Hawaii is the other major option here if it goes unbeaten. Predicting that Louisville and West Virginia will both end up getting BCS bids, the call is for the Cardinals to either go to Phoenix or New Orleans.

FedEx Orange Bowl
Jan. 3 / 8 p.m. Miami, Fla. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS (ACC Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Georgia Tech, 2) Louisville, 3) Maryland, 4) Rutgers, 5) Wisconsin

The Hokies will be the sentimental choice to get into a BCS game, and if they don't win the ACC title, but are eligible, they'll find their way in somewhere. Throw Wisconsin, USC, Michigan, and anyone else you can think of into the mix for the team to potentially play the ACC champion, but Orange Bowl officials will fall all over themselves to get the Mountaineers and their rabid fan base. The game would sell out in about 14 seconds.

Allstate BCS National Championship
Jan. 7 / 8 p.m. New Orleans, La. FOX
*BCS #1 vs. BCS #2 
Way Too Early Projection: USC vs. LSU
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Virginia Tech, 2) West Virginia, 3) Texas, 4) Louisville, 5) Florida

The storylines are just way too easy. The 2003 national title game that never was. LSU comes full-circle after the Katrina disaster and plays for the national championship in what would amount to a home game. (You thought the 2004 Sugar Bowl sold out in a hurry?) The 2006 BCS game that should've happened, but didn't. Take your pick.

USC will be just about everyone's number one going into the season, but the schedule isn't going to make it easy with five brutal road trips to Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Cal and Arizona State (and six if you think last year's Washington close-call wasn't a fluke). LSU will hit a bump in the road, like almost all great SEC teams do, but it'll be given the benefit of the doubt thanks to Florida's performance in the last BCS National Championship. Don't count out Virginia Tech. Talk about your storyline matchups, a rematch of the Tigers vs. the Hokies, who face each other early in the year, would get everyone in the sports world buzzing.

- 2007-2008 Way-Too-Early non-BCS Bowl Projections