Bowl projections: SEC champ goes WHERE?

At the risk of committing blasphemy and being cast into the darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, I am now projecting a BCS title game without the SEC champion. (ducks)

(me, not Oregon Ducks )

(well, them too)

Oregon and Kansas State Wildcats are now projected for the BCS title game after Alabama Crimson Tide lost at home to Texas A&M Aggies . The Tide are still projected to win the league and play in the Sugar Bowl, which has not hosted the SEC champion since the Bush adminstration (George, not Reggie).

(well, him too)

With Stanford Cardinal 's win over Oregon State Beavers , the Pac-12 is no longer projected to have an eligible team to replace Oregon. The Rose Bowl then jumps at the chance to grab Notre Dame Fighting Irish to face Big Ten champ Nebraska Cornhuskers .

The Fiesta Bowl would then select Oklahoma Sooners to replace Kansas State and LSU Tigers as an opponent. The Sugar, needing an opponent for Alabama, really doesn't have much left to choose from.  Clemson Tigers is the only eligible team from a conference that doesn't already have an at-large team selected, and Louisville Cardinals is also available as the Big East champ.  I have the Sugar grabbing Clemson and leaving the Cards to face Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl.

I also have a Texas Longhorns -Texas A&M Cotton Bowl, which the Longhorns might opt not to play. Can't blame them; A&M is better.

Navy Midshipmen and Brigham Young Cougars have already clinched and accepted spots in the Kraft Fight Hunger and Poinsettia Bowls, respectively.

I have 72 eligible teams in this week's projections.  Ball State Cardinals and Miami (Ohio) RedHawks get left out.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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