A little early — the Bowl Selection Show is at 7:30 Sunday night on ESPN — we asked college football beat writer Bob Asmussen to predict the BCS and Big Ten bowl matchups.
BCS Championship Game:
Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Jan. 7, Miami, ESPN
It’s like a basketball title game with UCLA and Kentucky. Or a World Series between the Yankees and Dodgers. Either the SEC wins a seventh consecutive title or you are going to never hear the end of it from the folks in north-central Indiana. The blue-blood programs guarantee an off-the-charts TV rating. Good for ESPN.
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Stanford
Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif., ESPN
For the first time since the late 1970s, a Big Ten team is playing in the Rose Bowl for a third consecutive year, the Badgers matching Bo Schembechler and Michigan. Play like they did in the Big Ten title game and Wisconsin will bring home a winner. Doesn’t matter they represented the Leaders Division by default.
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Louisville
Jan. 1, Miami, ESPN
Anybody else remember the Cardinals beating Wake Forest in the 2007 Orange Bowl? Wake Forest was in a BCS game? We do remember the Seminoles making six BCS appearances ... and losing five of them. Maybe this time.
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Oklahoma
Jan. 2, New Orleans, ESPN
Only Ohio State has made more BCS appearances than the Sooners. The difference is that Ohio State wins most times (6-3), while the Sooners are just 3-5 (remember Boise State). The Gators will look for their sixth win in seven BCS games, the first under Will Muschamp.
Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. Oregon
Jan. 3, Glendale, Ariz., ESPN
The Ducks will be heavy favorites in the consolation game. Of course, if the four-team playoff was going this year, they would be one of the invited teams. Oregon is playing in its fourth consecutive BCS game. Not bad for a track school.
Capital One Bowl: Michigan vs. Texas A&M
Jan. 1, Orlando, Fla., ABC
Just a hunch the Wolverines will go against a Heisman Trophy winner. Sorry, Irish.
Outback Bowl: Northwestern vs. South Carolina
Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla., ESPN
The Old Ball Coach against the Young Ball Coach
Gator Bowl: Nebraska vs. Vanderbilt
Jan. 1, Jacksonville, Fla., ESPN2
Don’t expect a throng of Cornhusker fans to make the trip
Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue vs. Iowa State
Jan. 1, Dallas, ESPNU
Danny Hope can ask Ron Zook what to do during the game
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan St. vs. TCU
Dec. 29, Tempe, Ariz., ESPN
Well, the postgame meal ought to be a treat for both teams
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas:
Minnesota vs. Texas Tech
Dec. 28, Houston, ESPN
Any bowl is a good bowl for the Gophers