Bowl/playoff projections: Chalky week means projections stable

If you're a fan of the underdog, this was not your week.  There were only two upsets out of 58 FBS games this weekend, Utah Utes winning at BYU and Memphis Tigers over Arkansas State.  That means there are very few changes to the bowl projections this week, and none involving the BCS.

The Big Ten looks like a bit of a mess (big surprise).  Michigan Wolverines struggled to beat two of the worst teams in FBS the last two weeks.  Nebraska Cornhuskers got run off by UCLA Bruins two weeks ago, while Wisconsin Badgers was botching the end of the Arizona State game, with the help of the refs.  It may be hard for the Rose Bowl to find a replacement for Ohio State Buckeyes if, as projected, they make the BCS title game.

I have Nebraska, though Wisconsin and/or Michigan may also be qualified.  Nebraska's schedule gives them the best chance to put up a good enough record to be an option, and those chances are better if Michigan wins the division.  That means the Cornhuskers have to win the rest of their games to finish 10-2.  That won't require an upset.

Still, Wisconsin could be qualified, but after playing in the last three Rose Bowls, I believe the bowl would take any other eligible Big Ten team to avoid a fourth straight trip for the Badgers.  However, they won't pass up Wisconsin if they are the only choice.

Also, in this week's projections, I only have 69 eligible teams.  USC is included with a projected 6-7 record to fill the gap.

There are no changes to this week's if-we-had-a-playoff projection:

Sugar Bowl: 1. Alabama Crimson Tide vs 4. Clemson Tigers

Rose Bowl: 2. Oregon Ducks vs 3. Ohio State

Cotton Bowl: Texas Longhorns A&M vs Oklahoma State

Orange Bowl: Florida State vs Michigan

Fiesta Bowl: Stanford Cardinal vs LSU Tigers

Chick-Fil-A: Georgia Bulldogs vs Louisville Cardinals

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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