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Bracketology/Bowls Expert

BCS title matchup all but set: Florida State vs. Auburn

Florida State players celebrate after winning the ACC over Duke. (USATSI)
Florida State players celebrate after winning the ACC over Duke. (USATSI)

The BCS is all but set now.

Michigan State knocked off Ohio State to open the door for the SEC to attempt to extend its national championship streak to eight years. Auburn, which beat Missouri, will have the honors and take on No. 1 and undefeated Florida State. The Seminoles downed Duke 45-7.

Clemson is expected to be the Orange Bowl's selection to replace Florida State, which the Sugar will likely take Alabama to replace Auburn. By finishing third in the standings, Alabama is a BCS automatic at-large qualifier.

With the first at-large choice, look for the Orange Bowl to take the Buckeyes to face the Tigers. Even a disappointed Ohio State fan base will travel in droves to Miami. The Buckeyes haven't played there since 1976.

The Sugar has an interesting choice of opponent for Alabama. The likely options are Oklahoma and Oregon. The Sooners figure to be the selection because they are closer, have a larger fan base, and the Big 12 is a partner with the bowl in the new system beginning next year.

The Fiesta Bowl gets Big 12 champion Baylor and, with the final selection, is left with American Athletic Conference winner UCF. Both schools are making their BCS debuts. Baylor hasn't been in a major bowl since the 1980 Cotton Bowl (the Cotton Bowl was considered a major bowl until the formation of the BCS in 1998), and hasn't won one since the 1956 Sugar Bowl.

The Rose Bowl gets its traditional matchup of Big Ten champion Michigan State and Pac-12 titlist Stanford, which is making its second straight appearance in the game. The Spartans, who were in the Rose Bowl win or lose on Saturday, haven't been in Pasadena since 1988.

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