Pick 6: Projecting the BCS

So much time was spent during the offseason talking about the

coming college football playoff, it will almost make you forget the

Bowl Championship Series is still around for a couple more


Two more seasons of automatic bids, polls, computer ratings and

two teams being selected from 124 to have a chance at the national

title in the postseason.

Then college football will enter a new world of conference

tie-ins and a selection committee picking four teams to have a

chance at the national title in the postseason.

Won’t that be …. great?

Anyway, a way-to-early BCS projection for the 2012 season.



Southern California (Pac-12 champions) vs. Arkansas (SEC


During USC’s great run of the last decade, the Trojans never got

a chance to play a team from the Southeastern Conference in a bowl

game. That was unfortunate, and left many SEC fans wondering if the

Trojans were getting off easy. Time to rectify that – just not with

one of the SEC teams most figured would get there. John L. Smith

leads the Razorbacks past West rivals LSU and Alabama to their

first SEC championship.


Oregon (at-large) vs. Michigan State (Big Ten champions)

RB Le’Veon Bell and the Spartans break their Rose Bowl drought

(last one: 1988) by winning the Big Ten title against Wisconsin

(again with those two!). For RB D’Anthony Thomas and the Ducks,

it’s a third Rose Bowl in four years after losing twice to USC.



Alabama (at-large) vs. Texas (at-large)

An early loss to Arkansas keeps the defending champion Crimson

Tide out of the national title game, but a victory against LSU

gives Nick Saban’s team another BCS bid. Texas gets back to the big

stage on the strength of a fierce defense led by ends Alex Okafor

and Jackson Jeffcoat and strong running game. Should make for a

Sugar Bowl slug-fest.


West Virginia (Big 12 champion) vs. Wisconsin (at-large)

QB Geno Smith and Mountaineers win a title in their inaugural

season in the Big 12 with a high-powered offense that will fit

right in with their new neighbors – and just enough defense. RB

Montee Ball and the Badgers miss out on a third straight Rose Bowl,

but the Fiesta Bowl will gladly welcome their passionate fans to

the desert.


Florida State (ACC champion) vs. South Florida (Big East


The Orange Bowl hasn’t caught many breaks as far as matchups

during the BCS era, and while this all-Florida game will no doubt

fill the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, it’s a regular-season rematch

that won’t excite many outside the state. The Seminoles are FINALLY

back behind coach Jimbo Fisher, just missing out on a ticket to the

national title game. As for USF, well, somebody has to win the Big

East, so might as well go with the team led by a talented,

four-year starter at quarterback (B.J. Daniels).

And the national champion will be … Matt Barkley and the

Trojans snap the SEC’s streak of BCS titles at six with a victory

in Miami, where they last took home the crystal football – before

having to give it back.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP