We'll once again try to take a look at all the conference races and see how things might look for BCS bowls.
The SEC East is easy. The winner of the Florida / South Carolina game this weekend is going to win the East and play in the SEC Championship game.
The SEC West is probably easy too. If Auburn wins either one of their remaining games against Georgia or Alabama, then they win the west and go to Atlanta. But for the sake of discussion, let's look into what happens if Auburn were to lose to Georgia and Alabama.
In that scenario, LSU would then control their own destiny. If they defeat Ole Miss and Arkansas, they would win the SEC West. However, another scenario exists in which we could see a four way tie for the West. If LSU defeas Ole Miss but loses to Arkansas, then all four teams (Auburn, LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas) could have just two losses. What happens then? The tie-breakers would get down to divisional record. This would eliminate both LSU and Arkansas since both of their losses would be to West division teams. That leaves Alabama and Auburn, and Alabama would get the nod based on their head to head match up.
The SEC is in a good position to put two teams into the BCS, especially if Auburn is playing in the national championship game. If LSU can finish 11-1, they are a near lock to make a BCS bowl. The only way that doesn't happen is if Auburn loses the SEC Championship game. Then, the SEC East champ would go to the Sugar and Auburn would likely take the at large spot.
Can a 10-2 LSU team go a BCS bowl game as an at large team? I don't think it's likely since that loss would likely come in the last game of the season to Arkansas. The Hogs would likely be 10-2 as well and would have more momentum in the polls coming off six straight wins. Therefore, it certainly cannot hurt to root against Arkansas and other 1 and 2-loss teams around the nation.
It should be noted that Mississippi State only has two losses right now too, and I have ignored them thus far in this conversation. Perhaps, I should not but they have a difficult schedule ahead of them with games against Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole Miss.
Not much has changed in the Big-10 this week, and four teams still sit atop the league with one loss. Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio State are all still hopeful to win the league.
Michigan State defeated Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Iowa and Ohio State. Iowa defeated Michigan State. It appears to me that Wisconsin and Michigan State have the easiest schedule from here out.
Ohio State and Iowa play each other in a couple of weeks, and things will clear up some after that. For now, I'm going to project Wisconsin as the conference champ since they are ranked the highest in the BCS standings.
Nebraska seems to be in total control of the Big-12 North right now. It's hard to imagine a scenario where they do not win the division.
The South is totally up for grabs with Oklahoma State currently in the lead and controlling their own fate. The Cowboys still have to travel to Austin, which does not seem like a tall task these days, and play host to Oklahoma. In between is a trip to Kansas.
If the Pokes were to slip up somewhere, then things get extremely interesting. Currently, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Texas A&M all sit with two losses.
Baylor can take care of a lot of their business themselves as they must still play Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
Texas A&M still has road trips to Baylor and Texas and a home game against Nebraska. It's tough to see them winning all three of those.
Oklahoma is still in good shape in my opinion. They can personally give Baylor their third conference loss and give Oklahoma State their second. Then, all they need is for Texas A&M to drop a game, and they'll win the South.
It would take a pretty epic collapse for Pittsburgh to not win the Big East. This is a pretty easy projection right now.
Virginia Tech is in the driver's seat for the Coastal division. They are two games up on their competition, which is Miami and North Carolina. However, the Hokies still have both of those teams on their schedule.
The Atlantic division is up for grabs after Florida State's loss this weekend. The Noles, along with NC State and Maryland, all have a pair of losses. NC State has already defeated Florida State. Maryland still has games remaining against both FSU and NC State. This will likely come down to the last weekend.
The PAC-10 is Oregon's to lose. Losses by Arizona and Oregon State this weekend made things even easier for the Ducks. Stanford still has a loss, but they're essentially two games behind Oregon due to their head to head loss. Oregon would need to lose two of their last three in order to not win the PAC-10.
We'll again run through the exercise of projecting the BCS bowls based on how things stand right now.
First, we'll project Oregon and Auburn into the BCS Championship game.
Then, we'll put the other conference champions into the bowls which they are tied to. In this case, Nebraska goes to the Fiesta as the Big-12 champ, Virginia Tech goes to the Orange as the ACC champ, and Wisconsin goes to the Rose as the Big-10 champ.
The Rose Bowl gets the next pick since they lost one of their tie-ins to the national championship game. However, there is a clause in the BCS that states, "For the games of January 2011 through 2014, the first year the Rose Bowl loses a team to the NCG and a team from the non-AQ group is an automatic qualifier, that non-AQ team will play in the Rose Bowl." What does that mean? It means that the Rose will be forced to take TCU.
The Sugar Bowl picks next since they lost Auburn to the BCS Championship game. If the season ended today, they would almost certainly choose LSU.
Now, the bowls pick in order which goes Sugar, Orange, then Fiesta this year. So the Sugar picks again, and I believe a one loss Stanford team would be the most attractive.
The Orange is next and will be deciding between an undefeated Boise State and a 1-loss Ohio State team. The Orange would feel some pressure to take Boise State, but they'll also want to avoid a rematch of the season opener between Virginia Tech and Boise, so they go with Ohio State.
The Fiesta Bowl then gets stuck with Pitt.
So we get:
BCS Championship Game - Auburn (SEC Champ) vs. Oregon (PAC-10 Champ)
Rose Bowl - TCU (at large) vs. Wisconsin (Big-10 champ)
Sugar Bowl - LSU (at large) vs. Stanford (at large)
Fiesta Bowl - Nebraska (Big-12 Champ) vs. Pitt (Big East Champ)
Orange Bowl - Virginia Tech (ACC Champ) vs. Ohio State (at large)
Here is my Week 10 ballot for the Mumme Poll.
Remember how the Mumme Poll works:
Rather than being required to rank twenty five D-1 teams in order of preference, Mumme Poll voters submit ballots which consist of their top ten teams in the country, without ranking (other than to designate a single best from those ten, for use as a tiebreaker). The poll rankings are then compiled by means of approval voting; that is, the teams are ranked in the order of the total number of times they appear on voters' ballots.
BLOGUIN HEISMAN POLL
Here is reminder on how the Bloguin Heisman Poll works- Each Bloguin blog gets 3 votes. 3 points for top choice, 2 points for second choice and 1 point for the third choice on the ballot. The entire Heisman poll is posted on Wednesdays at Randall Simon's Sausages.
1. Cameron Newton QB Auburn - Newton is on pace for 2,457 passing yards and 24 touchdowns with 1,490 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns during the regular season. He still stands out as the clear top player in the nation and maybe the most impressive stat is that Newton is second nationally in passing efficiency. A lot of stuff came out about Newton late last week, and it certainly looks suspicious. However, as long as Newton is eligible and playing, I figure he's eligible to get my vote.
2. LaMichael James RB Oregon - You know James is special when you look at his stat line and see 126 yards and three touchdowns and wonder what went wrong. The nation's best running back plays in the nation's most exciting offense and unless something drastically changes, he'll be in New York.
3. Andy Dalton QB TCU - Dalton led TCU to the most impressive win of the weekend in the Horned Frog's demolition of Utah. He was 21 of 26 for 355 yards and three touchdowns. For the season, Dalton is one of the nation's most efficient quarterbacks, completing 67.5% of his passes. I think he deserves this spot right now, but I can't see him winning the award without any other showcase games left on TCU's schedule.
Note: Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon would be #2 on my ballot this week if it were not for his recent DUI arrest. On the field, he's the most dominant receiver in the nation, and one of the best in recent memory. I also considered, for the first time, Boise State QB Kellen Moore for a spot on my ballot. Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett may be working himself back into the discussion as he keeps racking up stats.
Colorado has fired head coach Dan Hawkins, according to the Denver Post late Monday night. Let the speculation begin as to his replacement and expect Les Miles' name to get thrown around a bit.