MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 25: Dustin Garrison #29 of the West Virginia Mountaineers evades a tackle from Andrew Taglianetti #41 of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers during the 2011 Backyard Brawl on November 25, 2011 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Bowl Projections: WVU Probably Headed To BCS Bowl

West Virginia still needs some things to go right, but an Orange Bowl berth is a possibility.

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2011 Bowl Projections: West Virginia Likely To Face Clemson In Orange Bowl’s Samuel Chi predicts that West Virginia will be headed to the Orange Bowl to face Clemson, which won the ACC Championship Game Saturday night. That’s not a surprising prediction, since WVU appears very likely to head to a BCS bowl after Cincinnati’s win over UConn Saturday, and the Orange Bowl seems like the most likely BCS bowl for them to play in.

Elsewhere, Chi picks Oklahoma State, who delivered what Chi calls an “eloquent statement” in their victory over Oklahoma Saturday night, to face LSU in the national championship game. Oregon will take on Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Alabama will play Stanford in the Sugar Bowl. And Kansas State will play Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl.

These bowl pairings would leave Boise State and Arkansas, among others, out in the cold.

The last BCS standings will come out Sunday night at 8:15 PM.

SB Nation has a blog for every team.


2011 Big Ten Championship Game Score: Wisconsin Escapes With 42-39 Win Over Michigan State

The Wisconsin Badgers (11-2) avenged their mid-season, Hail Mary-induced loss to the Michigan State Spartans (10-3) Saturday night in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game, escaping with a 42-39 victory courtesy of running back Montee Ball's four touchdowns.

Ball tallied 137 yards on 27 carries, and now stands just one touchdown shy of Barry Sander's record  FBS mark of 39 single-season TDs. Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson chipped in as well, completing 17 of 24 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns. Wilson broke a NCAA record by throwing for a touchdown in his 37th straight game.

Wisconsin will be headed to the Rose Bowl on January 2nd to take on the high-scoring Oregon Ducks.

The 2012 Rose Bowl Game will be played on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Pasadena. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. PDT. The game will be televised by ESPN, with Brent Musberger, Kirk Hirbstreit, and Lisa Salters on the call. Stay tuned for more updates as the game approaches.


Penn State Bowl Projections: Yahoo! Picks Nittany Lions For Insight Bowl

While some are are expecting Penn State to take a tumble down the bowl pecking order in Sunday's selections, the Yahoo! Sports staff remains bullish on the Nittany Lions' chances of preserving a slot commensurate with their 9-3 record.

In their final bowl projections, Yahoo! experts predict Penn State will face Texas in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 30 in Tempe, Ariz. That would make Penn State the third selection from the Big Ten outside of the BCS behind just Legends Division champion Michigan State and 9-3 Nebraska, a team that defeated the Lions on Nov. 12 at Beaver Stadium.

That slotting would keep Penn State ahead of 7-5 Iowa and 6-6 Ohio State, both teams the Lions beat convincingly this past season.

Yahoo! sticks with what seems to be the consensus in slotting West Virginia for the Orange Bowl and Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl, though Yahoo! has the Panthers facing Western Michigan where Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel has them facing Toledo.


Penn State Bowl Projections: Sports Illustrated Slots Nittany Lions In TicketCity Bowl

Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel has released his final bowl projections ahead of Sunday night's selections, and the outlook isn't good for Penn State.

Despite their 9-3 record and wins against 7-5 Iowa, 6-6 Ohio State and 6-6 Northwestern, Mandel expects the Nittany Lions to fall all the way down to the No. 7 selection among Big Ten teams and play Houston in the TicketCity bowl on Jan. 2 in Dallas.

Of course, that's a matchup that wouldn't be all bad, as the Cougars boast Heisman Trophy contending quarterback Case Keenum, a 12-1 record and gaudy No. 6 ranking in the BCS ahead of the final poll. If not for a loss in the Conference USA championship game on Saturday, Houston would likely be heading the a BCS bowl game.

That said, the specter of being picked over by more prestigious bowl games and selected behind a trio of teams they beat convincingly will be a hard pill to swallow for the Lions. In Mandel's mind, however, the dark cloud of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal looms large, and could cost Penn State big time.

Madel also projects West Virginia will play Clemson in the Orange Bowl and that Pitt will face Toledo in the BBVA Compass Bowl.


2011 Bowl Projections: Penn State could Fall To Meineke Car Care Bowl

David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News writes that Penn State could be passed over in favor Ohio State and Iowa, two Big Ten teams who lost to Penn State and have worse records. Penn State's probable destination, then, is the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston.

The linchpin is the Insight Bowl in Phoenix which is expected to take Iowa (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) or Ohio State (6-6, 3-5), probably the former. It is then anticipated that the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville will take the team of that pair that remains, probably OSU.

And then Penn State (9-3, 6-2), which played for a shot at the Big Ten championship in the season's final game and defeated both OSU and Iowa, is expected to be snapped up by the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in Houston. That game will be played on Dec. 31 at noon EST in Reliant Stadium.

That would be quite a tumble for Penn State, but it looks like the regular news surrounding the Jerry Sandusky scandal has hurt the Nittany Lions. Jones admits he isn't quite sure what will happen, in part because none of the decision-makers want to say anything about the scandal, but it's no surprise that it seems to be having an effect.

If the Nittany Lions do in fact end up in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Texas A&M would be their likely opponent.


WVU Likely Headed To BCS Bowl After Cincinnati Win Over UConn

Cincinnati's win forced a three-way tie atop the Big East that appears likely to send WVU to the Orange Bowl.


2011 Bowl Projections: West Virginia Will Need Help To Win Big East

The Big East Conference gets to send one team to a BCS bowl automatically, but the standings are extremely jumbled, and we won't know which team gets that spot until all of the games are played on Saturday. For an attempt at simplifying the scenarios, we turn to Andrea Adelson of ESPN.

The Big East will not know its BCS representative until the games end on Saturday, which is fitting for a conference that has prided itself on competitiveness from top to bottom. Louisville, West Virginia and Cincinnati all have a chance to get into the BCS game. Louisville needs Cincinnati to lose to UConn; Cincinnati needs to win AND for West Virginia to lose to South Florida; and West Virginia needs to win AND have Cincinnati win, then finish as the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings.

So I guess it isn't very simple, no matter how you put it. West Virginia can get into a BCS Bowl game with a win, but they need some help. Not just from the Bearcats of Cincinnati, but also the voters who help shape the final outcome of the BCS. For the Mountaineers and their supporters, Saturday will be a very stressful day, even though they play on Thursday.


Penn State Bowl Projections: Insight Bowl Official Talks Possibilities

As Penn State awaits its bowl season fate, many are speculating about what effect, if any, the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and its fallout will have on the Nittany Lions' postseason slotting. Insight Bowl director of public relations Kristen Pflipsen offered her perspective on the situation with Scott Dochterman of The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Tuesday.

Penn State’s recent child sex abuse scandal is a factor for the bowl to consider along with Ohio State’s 6-6 record, Pfilpsen said.

"I wouldn’t say that what Penn State has gone through has really weighed into our decision strongly one way or the other," she said. "We’re sensitive to what happened and obviously we are aware of it and think about it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we will or won’t select them because of that. We’ve had a lot of questions about that.

The Insight Bowl gets third pick of Big Ten teams after the Capital One Bowl and the Outback Bowl. The loser of the Big Ten Championship game (Michigan State or Wisconsin) and Nebraska remain the favorites for those two games, respectively, meaning the Insight Bowl is where 9-3 Penn State should fall in the pecking order.

Pflipsen acknowledged a 7-5 Iowa and 6-6 Ohio State remain in the mix, however, with an Iowa-Iowa State rematch a particularly attractive  possibility for Insight Bowl officials, so it remains to be seen if Penn State can avoid a slide.


2011 Bowl Projections: Where Pitt, West Virginia, Penn State Will Be Playing

With one week left in the College Football regular season, which includes a lot of Championship games, we'll know the complete bowl matchups next week at this time. But before then, there is no reason why we can't speculate a little bit more, right? Here are the latest bowl projections via USA Today.

USA Today has the West Virginia Mountaineers winning the Big East's BCS berth and playing in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech. Local ties aside, this would be a very good matchup between an explosive West Virginia team and a very staunch Virginia Tech defense.

The Penn State Nittany Lions will have their defense tested by Robert Griffin III and Baylor in the Insight Bowl. Girffin has been one of the most efficient passers and arguably the best overall player in College Football this year, and would be the best player the defense has faced all year.

Assuming they can become bowl-eligible with a win over Syracuse on Saturday, the Pitt Panthers are projected to land in the most hilariously-named bowl of all. According to USA Today, Pitt could be headed to the Beef O'Brady's bowl against Marshall.

We'll have more on these games as the matchups become certain.


2011 Bowl Projections: Big East Title Within West Virginia's Grasp Heading Into Final Weekend Of Regular Season Play

Just one weekend of college football games remains before we find out who will be playing in the myriad bowl games scheduled for December and early January.  There's plenty of scenarios still in play across the college football landscape, most notably of course with the BCS Title Game pairing. But the Big East conference, which does not have a championship game, still has several different possibilities in play.

SB Nation has updated its 2011 Bowl Projections, with the most recent addition including scenarios for the Big East champion, as well as potential bowl game destinations for Penn State. Let's start with the Nittany Lions, who lost their opportunity to win the Big Ten this past weekend with a loss to Wisconsin. A December 30 matchup against Baylor in the Insight Bowl appears to be the consensus. If so, the game would feature two teams that play different brands of football.

As for Pitt (5-6), an invitation to the December 20 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl to place Florida International is a possibility provided the Panthers bounce back from their heartbreaking loss to West Virginia and defeat Syracuse this weekend to become bowl-eligible. 

The rest of the Big East is where it gets really interesting, though. Here's how Bill OConnelly breaks down the scenarios still in play:

The Big East title scenario is as follows:

-- If UConn beats Cincinnati, Louisville is Big East champion.
-- If Cincinnati beats UConn and USF beats West Virginia, Cincinnati is Big East champion.
-- If Cincinnati beats UConn and West Virginia beats USF, West Virginia is (probably) Big East champion. At this point, BCS ranking is the tie-breaker, and WVU is currently the only Big East team ranked in the BCS Top 25.

In the above scenario, West Virginia takes the title, but WVU-USF is a complete and total tossup. Cincy is projected to comfortably beat UConn, but that projection does not take into account the fact that, even with his good performance last weekend, Munchie Legaux's Cincy offense is not at the same level as the Cincy offense led by injured quarterback Zach Collaros.

The eventual winner will be headed to south Florida to play in the Orange Bowl against the winner of Clemson and Virginia Tech in this weekend's ACC Championship Game.


Bowl Projections: Liberty Bowl On Table For Big East Teams

Pitt could slip into an SEC bowl slot with a win next weekend.

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