The losses by BCS No. 12 Nebraska and No. 16 UCLA is what have given the Huskies hope. They also defeated BCS No. 17 Kent State in a dramatic double overtime victory for the MAC Championship on Friday. Boise State, at 20 for week 14, also has an outside chance to bust the BCS.
Of course, news of NIU coach Dave Doeren's announced departure to NC State may hurt them in the polls some, but there were very unfortunate tragic occurrences on Saturday that kept a lot of minor news off sports tickers on most channels. However, human polls in the BCS seem to not give much credit to non-BCS teams. Since it is so close and to contradict the others, I am projecting Northern Illinois in to bust the BCS at the 16th spot, but we will know more mid-day today and officially when the BCS Standings come out Sunday night during the BCS Selection Show at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN.
Three of the top five teams in the final BCS Standings could be SEC teams, but at least three of the top six will be. Palm has Kansas State securely projected at fifth while I am not as sure of it since I have Georgia at the five spot with the Wildcats on the bubble, but Palm has been on target.
In my opinion, I have been one of the most informative BCS analysts over the past two seasons and fairly accurate, but the most accurate is Jerry Palm. Brads Edwards is off more than Palm, but has gotten better some this season and has waffled more when he has been uncertain rather than give out wrong projections.
I will post updates after the Coaches Poll mid-day release time and after the official BCS Standings are announced. Updates will be listed below in this post or you can bookmark the Projections page.
***Update Dec 2 Sunday 3:20 PM ET***
Official AP top five: 1 Notre Dame, 2 Alabama, 3 Ohio State, 4 Florida, and 5 Oregon. Official USA Today Coaches Poll top five: 1 Notre Dame, 2 Alabama, 3 Oregon, 4 Florida, and 5 Georgia. The projected Coaches Poll top five was correct and Georgia is just 20 points behind Oregon for the fifth spot in the AP Poll top five. UCLA dropped to 19th from 16th in the Coaches Poll and Nebraska dropped to 21st from 13th while Northern Illinois is ranked 16th. The BCS Selection Show is going to be very interesting. CBS Sports' Jerry Palm has Northern Illinois projected at the 17th spot in the BCS Standings, just .0033 behind projected No.16 Nebraska and .0051 behind UCLA, projected at 15. Both Nebraska and UCLA lost Saturday with the Cornhuskers being humiliated by Wisconsin. I am sticking with my projections, but NIU may get shut out of the BCS by an extremely small margin. If the Huskies do make it, then they will be in the Orange Bowl.
***Update Dec 2 Sunday 5:35 PM ET***
According to Bleacher Report, Northern Illinois to play Florida State in the Orange Bowl!!! I was the only expert that I know of to have them projected early this morning!!!
***Update Dec 2 Sunday 9:38 PM ET***
Official BCS top five: 1 Notre Dame, 2 Alabama, 3 Florida, 4 Oregon, and 5 Kansas State.
Official BCS Bowls: BCS National Championship- 1 Notre Dame vs 2 Alabama, Sugar Bowl- 3 Florida vs 21 Louisville, Fiesta Bowl- 5 Kansas State vs 4 Oregon, Rose Bowl- 6 Stanford vs Wisconsin, and Orange Bowl- 15 Northern Illinois vs 12 Florida State.
Follow College Football Universe late Saturday nights and early Sunday mornings for projections before the official polls are released.
Projections for Final BCS Rankings
Week 14 Rankings
1. Notre Dame 1,500 (60)
2. Alabama 1,400
3. Georgia 1,331
4. Ohio State 1,294
5. Florida 1,262