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BCS projections: Florida, Texas to meet for title

With just a little more than a month left in the college football regular season, the race for a much-coveted spot in a Bowl Championship Series game is on.

Here’s how we see the sports’ biggest contests filling out with five weeks to go.

BCS National

Championship Game

BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2

Jan. 7, Pasadena, Calif.

Projected Matchup:

Florida vs. Texas

The only thing that can be said for certain is that the SEC Champion will be playing in this game.

Florida has a cakewalk to the SEC Championship game where it will meet Alabama or LSU. Texas has an even easier road to Pasadena for the championship game.

Like Florida, the Longhorns have an easy end to their regular season, but the matchup in the Big-12 title game will be with Kansas State, Nebraska or Iowa State. Not exactly a challenge for the ‘Horns.

Barring a major upset, Texas is a lock to be in the title game against the winner of the SEC Championship game.

Orange Bowl

ACC Champion vs.

BCS At-Large

Jan. 5, Miami

Projected Matchup:

Georgia Tech vs. TCU

Georgia Tech is looking more and more like the ACC Champion each week, and it closes regular-season conference play with struggling Wake Forest and Duke, which is surprisingly in second place in the Coastal Division.

Virginia Tech and Miami both have two losses in the conference, so Georgia Tech is sitting pretty. The Yellow Jackets will match up with Clemson or Boston College in the ACC title game, and they should take care of business there.

The Orange Bowl gets the first at-large pick and should take the highest ranked at-large team, which should be TCU.

Fiesta Bowl

Big 12 Champion vs.

BCS At-Large

Jan. 4, Glendale, Ariz.

Projected Matchup:

Penn State vs. Boise State

With the Big 12 Champion going to the championship game, the Fiesta Bowl becomes an at-large game.

There is no other worthy Big 12 team, so this is where the second Big Ten team will come into play.

The winner of this week’s matchup between Penn State and Ohio State will be the favorites to come out to Arizona. I’m picking the Nittany Lions to win, so I believe they will get a Fiesta Bowl invite.

Then the Fiesta Bowl gets another at-large pick, and it would be hard for them to pass on Boise State returning to University of Phoenix Stadium.

Sugar Bowl

SEC Champion vs.

Big East Champion

Jan. 1, New Orleans

Projected Matchup:

Alabama vs. Cincinnati

The SEC Champion is going to the championship game, so technically the Sugar Bowl doesn’t have to take an SEC team, but it will.

If Alabama beats Florida in the conference title game, Florida will be in the Sugar Bowl.

I see Florida taking the SEC title and playing for a championship, so that leaves Alabama or maybe even LSU in New Orleans.

The Alabama/LSU matchup will be huge in determining the Sugar Bowl and the championship game.

The Big East champion is cut and dry. Cincinnati is the favorite to win the Big East, but its matchup with Pitt on the last week of the season could land the Panthers here as well.

Rose Bowl

Big Ten Champion vs.

Pac-10 Champion

Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.

Projected Matchup:

Iowa vs. Oregon

We finally get a bowl that is the matchup we are supposed to see.

For the first time since 2005, USC will not represent the Pac-10.

The last Pac-10 team other than USC to play in the Rose Bowl was Washington State in 2003.

Oregon is probably the biggest lock of any of these matchups — it is going to win the Pac-10 and be in Pasadena.

Iowa is undefeated, somehow and someway, despite having the 74th-ranked offense in the country.

The Hawkeyes still have to go to Columbus in two weeks, but that game won’t matter if Penn State beats Ohio State this week, because even if Iowa loses, it holds the tiebreaker over the Nittany Lions.

If PSU beats OSU, Iowa just needs to beat Northwestern and Minnesota at home to smell the roses.

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