OU bowl prediction: Sugar Bowl
BCS rules created to provide worthy mid-majors access to big bowl games could end up knocking Oklahoma from a likely Sugar Bowl tilt with Florida.
A mid-major conference champion is guaranteed an automatic BCS berth if it finishes ranked in the top 16, as long as it's also ranked higher than the champion of any BCS-conference champion.
No. 17 Kent State, No. 20 Boise State and No. 21 Northern Illinois are all currently ranked higher than any Big East Conference team.
Boise State ends its regular season at Nevada, and would be a long shot to reach a top-16 ranking.
But Kent State and Northern Illinois meet next Saturday in the MAC championship game. The team ranked directly in front of Kent State, No. 16 UCLA, plays No. 8 Stanford in the Pac-12 title game.
Stanford easily handled UCLA just last weekend; if the Cardinal wins again, and Kent State wins the MAC, it's highly probable that the Golden Flashes would vault into the top 16 and swipe an at-large BCS berth that looks — at this point — to have Oklahoma's name written all over it.
The Sooners wrap up their regular season Saturday at TCU; if OU wins and Kansas State loses to Texas, the Sooners would be headed to the Fiesta Bowl, likely against Oregon.
If Kansas State beats Texas, though, the Wildcats are Fiesta Bowl-bound, leaving OU hoping for one of the four BCS at-large bids.
Three of those are virtually accounted for; No. 1 Notre Dame has locked up a title-game spot against the winner of next Saturday's SEC title game.
No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Oregon, both off next weekend, each figure to be ranked in BCS' final top four, guaranteeing their bids.
That leaves one spot, and — because of rules limiting each conference to two BCS bids — a two-loss, co-Big 12 champion Oklahoma would be very attractive for the Sugar Bowl to match against Florida.
That is, unless Kent State creeps into the top 16.
OSU bowl projection: Alamo Bowl
After its overtime Bedlam loss to Oklahoma in Norman Saturday, Oklahoma State has been eliminated from consideration for a BCS bowl.
Yet there are still a slew of options for where the Cowboys could be playing their postseason football.
The Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Antonio, though, still appears to be the most probable destination.
The Cowboys would be pegged against a Pac-12 team, likely the loser of the conference's championship game between Stanford and UCLA. Oregon State could also be a potential opponent.
Where OSU falls in the bowl pecking order largely depends on if one or two Big 12 teams get berths to BCS bowl games.
Most projections tab Kansas State for the Fiesta Bowl with the Big 12's automatic berth, and OU to the Sugar Bowl with an at-large bid.
But mid-majors Boise State, Kent State or Northern Illinois are potential BCS busters. If one of those teams finishes in the top 16 of the final standings, it would earn an automatic berth and most likely knock K-State or OU — whichever team doesn't earn the Big 12's automatic spot — out of the BCS entirely.
The Cotton Bowl is still very much in play for the Cowboys if they beat Baylor and K-State beats Texas. That would give OSU a third-place finish in the conference standings, ahead of UT, though the Cotton Bowl could still select the Longhorns if it meant matching them up against Texas A&M.
Politics could also knock OSU out of the Alamo Bowl and into the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. TCU could be an attractive option to go to San Antonio because of the proximity, expected fan travel and the fact that the Horned Frogs are new blood in the Big 12.
If OSU loses to Baylor Saturday, it could fall to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego or the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston.
BCS National Championship (BCS vs. BCS), Jan. 7, 2013
Notre Dame vs. Alabama. Macho man football — points and playmakers are the undercard to these defenses.
GoDaddy.com (MAC vs. Sun Belt), Jan. 6, 2013
Kent State vs. Middle Tennessee. Oh, daddy. Does anybody really care about these teams on this date?
BBVA Compass (Big East vs. SEC), Jan. 5, 2013
Toledo vs. Vanderbilt. Programs headed in the right direction (see what I did) for a change, with 17 wins between them.
AT&T Cotton (Big 12 vs. SEC), Jan. 4, 2013
Texas vs. LSU. The premier matchup: Mack Brown vs. Les Miles in a “he might say anything” faceoff.
Tostitos Fiesta (BCS vs. BCS), Jan. 3, 2013
Kansas State vs. Oregon. What a contrast — plodding vs. blazing; Bill Snyder vs. Chip Kelly.
Allstate Sugar (BCS vs. BCS), Jan. 2, 2013
Florida vs. Oklahoma. Great story line here, with Bob Stoops revisiting his launchpad to the OU job.
Discover Orange (BCS vs. BCS), Jan. 1, 2013
Florida State vs. Rutgers. This Big East automatic bid thing isn't working out so swell.
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio (BCS vs. BCS), Jan. 1, 2013
Stanford vs. Nebraska. No championship fervor, but at least the Rose gets its Pac-12/Big Ten matchup.
Capital One (Big Ten vs. SEC), Jan. 1, 2013
Michigan vs. Texas A&M. A new destination for the Aggies with their new SEC affiliation; a vacation spot for the Heisman?
Outback (Big Ten vs. SEC), Jan. 1, 2013
Wisconsin vs. South Carolina. The 'Ol Ball Coach will love matching his athletes with the Badgers.
Heart of Dallas (Big Ten vs. Big 12), Jan. 1, 2013
Purdue vs. TCU. Better conference affiliation for the Frogs, worse bowl game.
TaxSlayer.com Gator (Big Ten vs. SEC), Jan. 1, 2013
Northwestern vs. Mississippi State. For OSU fans, an early glance at the Bulldogs and the season opener for 2013.
Chick-fil-A (ACC vs. SEC), Dec. 31, 2012
Clemson vs. Georgia. The 'Dawgs must make chicken salad out of their SEC title game loss.
AutoZone Liberty (C-USA vs. SEC), Dec. 31, 2012
Tulsa vs. Louisiana-Monroe. Another solid season for the Golden Hurricane; another trip to Memphis.
Hyundai Sun (ACC vs. Pac-12), Dec. 31, 2012
Virginia Tech vs. USC. Didn't these teams used to be national title contenders?
Franklin American Mortgage Music City (ACC vs. SEC), Dec. 31, 2012
Miami (Fla.) vs. Ole Miss. Two teams that appear to be back on the right track.
Buffalo Wild Wings (Big 12 vs. Big Ten), Dec. 29, 2012
Iowa State vs. Michigan State. Pass the hot sauce, if you're looking for some spice here.
Valero Alamo (Big 12 vs. Pac-12), Dec. 29, 2012
Oklahoma State vs. UCLA. Last time these two met, Vernand Morency was outrunning Maurice Jones-Drew inside the Rose Bowl.
Kraft Fight Hunger (Navy vs. Pac-12), Dec. 29, 2012
Navy vs. Arizona. Rich Rod has done a nice job in his debut in the desert.
New Era Pinstripe (Big East vs. Big 12), Dec. 29, 2012
Syracuse vs. West Virginia. Just like old times for the Mountaineers. The good old times.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces (C-USA vs. MWC), Dec. 29, 2012
East Carolina vs. Air Force. At least one team will feel right at home.
Meineke Car Care of Texas (Big Ten vs. Big 12), Dec. 28, 2012
Minnesota vs. Texas Tech. A decent chance for Tommy Tuberville to stop his annual late-season slide.
Russell Athletic (ACC vs. Big East), Dec. 28, 2012
Duke vs. Louisiana Tech. In the ACC's new mediocre universe, even Duke gets a bowl bid.
Bridgepoint Education Holiday (Big 12 vs. Pac-12), Dec. 27, 2012
Baylor vs. Oregon State. Defense takes a Holiday.
Belk (ACC vs. Big East), Dec. 27, 2012
North Carolina St. vs. Cincinnati. We know the teams, but we don't know anything about Belk or its bowl.
Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman (Army vs. ACC), Dec. 27, 2012
Bowling Green vs. Western Kentucky. Uh, where's Army? You can buy bowl spots, but not bids for 2-9 teams.
Little Caesars Pizza (MAC vs. Big Ten), Dec. 26, 2012
Northern Illinois vs. San Jose State. Uh, where's Big Ten representation? Oh yeah, on probation.
Sheraton Hawaii (C-USA vs. MWC), Dec. 24, 2012
Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Fresno State. Wait, these two teams get to go to Hawaii? For real?
MAACO Las Vegas (MWC vs. Pac-12), Dec. 22, 2012
Boise State vs. Washington. All bets are off on Boise as a BCS buster this year.
R+L Carriers New Orleans (C-USA vs. Sun Belt), Dec. 22, 2012
Rice vs. Arkansas State. Wouldn't it have been more fun to have Rice and Duke or Vanderbilt match wits?
Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg (Big East vs. C-USA), Dec. 21, 2012
Ohio vs. Central Florida. Nice little season for the Midwestern Okies — Tettleton, Blankenship and Foster.
S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia (BYU vs. MWC), Dec. 20, 2012
Brigham Young vs. San Diego State. Host team vs. Home team. Weird.
Famous Idaho Potato (MAC vs. WAC), Dec. 15, 2012
Ball State vs. Utah State. The Potato Bowl? A game only David Letterman could love.
Gildan New Mexico (MWC vs. Pac-12), Dec. 15, 2012
Nevada vs. Arizona State. This ought to make Todd Graham stick around for, oh, another week or so.