Bob's Bowl Forecast
Did Illinois save itself a BCS berth with the comeback win against Northwestern? Definitely, according to News-Gazette college football writer Bob Asmussen, though he once again has changed Illinois' destination and opponent. In a good way. Think Keith Jackson and parades. Every Thursday until the selections are made Dec. 4, he'll deliver his BCS pairings plus Illinois' destination. Once again, the BCS is a destination for the Illini.
Wisconsin vs. LSU
You see what happens when you mess with the Badgers? You get your cornhead torn off. New Big Ten member Nebraska never really had a chance in Madison. Not at night. Not with Russell Wilson running the Wisconsin offense to perfection. The Midseason Heisman Trophy winner might be a bit on the boring side during interviews. But he's a nightmare for opposing defenses on the field. For LSU, the season comes down to Nov. 5 at Alabama. Sure, there are three other ranked teams on the schedule, including Saturday's game against Florida. But the Gators, Auburn and Arkansas aren't real threats.
Illinois vs. Oregon
Last time these two got together, the Ducks rallied in the fourth quarter for a victory at Eugene. Of course, that was 16 years and two Illini coaches ago. Lou Tepper took his 1995 squad to Autzen Stadium and almost pulled off the win. It will be a greater challenge for Ron Zook against Oregon at Pasadena. The Ducks laid an egg in the opener against LSU, but it might be time to credit the Tigers. Hard to imagine Oregon losing many games the rest of the season. If any. And if it keeps rolling, it will get to host the first Pac-12 title game. Seems fair.
Alabama vs. Oklahoma
Hate to pick against the Crimson Tide in the SEC, especially with the LSU game at home. Nick Saban's guys just went to Florida and drained the Swamp. There aren't any challenges between now and Nov. 5. Unless they are forced to have a debate against Vanderbilt or play a women's basketball game against Tennessee. The problem for the SEC is that Alabama and LSU can't both play in the conference title game. They are the two best teams. Easily. The guess here is the Sooners drop one game this season. Unfortunately, it will be the one Dec. 3 at Oklahoma State. OUch.
Oklahoma State vs. Boise State
Cowboys vs. Broncos. Sounds perfect. Of course, Mike Gundy and Chris Petersen would prefer to play in New Orleans later in January. Problem for both schools is that they have too many teams to jump over. Boise State isn't going to lose. Not Friday against Fresno State. Not at Colorado State. Or UNLV. Or San Diego State. The new league is basically as soft as the old one. At least these two will put on a show. They both have star quarterbacks and enough trick plays for a magician. Enjoy.
West Virginia vs. Clemson
Raise your hand if you actually plan to watch this game. Certainly, there will be something better to watch Jan. 4. Like reruns of "Seinfeld." Or my new favorite, "All-American Handyman" on HGTV. All the folks in West Virginia will tune in. And some in South Carolina. That's about it. No offense to Clemson, one of the surprise teams of the season. Even if the Tigers win out, they aren't going to jump over the teams ahead of them. West Virginia will audition for other leagues. The hunch is the SEC eventually comes calling.