The ACC, long a secondary consideration in the BCS era (a 3-13 record in BCS bowls doesn’t help) is having a 2013 to remember thus far. And when some teams expected to thrive in the early going fall apart unexpectedly, it’s the ACC that’s there to pick up the pieces.
|BCS Bowl Projections|
|Title Game||Alabama vs. Stanford|
|Rose Bowl||Oregon vs. Ohio State|
|Sugar Bowl||Georgia vs. Florida State|
|Orange Bowl||Clemson vs. Michigan|
|Fiesta Bowl||Oklahoma vs. Louisville|
|Scroll down for more|
With Oklahoma State’s surprising loss to West Virginia exposing some very important flaws in the Cowboys’ attack, the Big 12 looks like Oklahoma’s to lose, and perhaps a one-BCS-bid conference in 2013. That’ll happen in a 10-team conference and unexpected early losses.
BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 1) vs. Stanford Cardinal (BCS No. 2)
Comment: Alabama finally flexed the defensive muscle against Ole Miss that had been so integral to its back-to-back runs to national titles these last two years. And with that reassurance, it looks even more like the Crimson Tide can make a return trip to the title game. Stanford started a bit slow against Washington State, but had little trouble dispatching of the Cougars by the end of the night.
Rose Bowl: Oregon Ducks (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champion)
Comment: Oregon again put up wild offensive numbers, this time destroying California in Autzen with ease. Ohio State had a little more trouble with Wisconsin, but was able to take advantage of a rowdy crowd at the Horseshoe to put up another win. Do either of these teams have losses in their future? Looking at their schedules and how they’ve played thus far, perhaps not. Would that be enough for Ohio State to get to the title game? It’s an important question, but it more than likely would for Oregon.
Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs (At-large selection) vs. Florida State Seminoles (At-large selection)
Comment: Georgia might have been the first team with a legit national title chance to stumble out of the gate in 2013, but since losing to Clemson, the Bulldogs have looked every bit their preseason hype. Especially in their all-important victory over LSU on Saturday, the Bulldogs showed why they should not yet be counted out of the title race. But if they fall short, the Sugar Bowl could be waiting. If Florida State, clearly among the best of a revived ACC conference, finishes the season with just a loss to Clemson, they’d be well deserving of this bid as well.
Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (ACC champion) vs. Michigan Wolverines (At-large selection)
Comment: Clemson has led the charge of resurgence in the ACC, and spent little time toying around this week with Wake Forest. Another convincing victory for the Tigers makes it look all the more likely that they’ll be the eventual ACC champs, and if they can capture the conference title without making the title game, they’ll land in the Orange Bowl. Michigan should call for at least a look as far as at-large bids go, and have been able to stay undefeated despite some troubles.
Fiesta Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (AAC champion) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12 champion)
Comment: Louisville had the week off to watch from a distance as the previous Big 12 favorite Oklahoma State fell hard against West Virginia. It was Oklahoma, instead, that looked like the class of the conference by beating Notre Dame on the road. If the Sooners can match that kind of performance in conference play, they’ll be set for a Big 12 title and the Fiesta Bowl bid that comes with.