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Bracketology/Bowls Expert

Bowl projections: Only the voters can stop Oregon

USC tanked again Saturday, ending any realistic hope the Trojans are up to the task of derailing Oregon in the Pac-12. Of course, they still get a shot at them next week, and may get another, but the Ducks look too strong to be stopped.

Except by the voters.

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, Oregon has to watch its back for Notre Dame, which was impressive at Oklahoma on Saturday. The Fiesta Bowl could luck out and get No. 3 and No. 4 for the second year in a row. The current projections show both those teams would still be undefeated as well.

Florida ends up as the replacement for Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, although Georgia is projected now to win the division. Florida could end up the highest-rated SEC team left after all is said and done. The Gators are projected to face former assistant Charlie Strong's Louisville squad.

Oregon State is the replacement for its in-state rival, still facing Nebraska, which took care of Michigan last night.

Florida State is back to being projected against Boise State in the Orange Bowl. The Cornhuskers' win helped the Broncos, too. Michigan was right on Boise's heels in last week's BCS. Of course, now Nebraska may become a threat. The Broncos must finish ahead of at least one AQ conference champion for a top-16 ranking to be sufficient. Otherwise, Boise has to reach the top 12, which seems unlikely.

This week's projections show a full complement of 70 eligible teams -- exactly. Thanks in no small part to UCF being added to the list after learning this week that the NCAA will not hear its appeal of a bowl ban until after the season.

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