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The bowl pairings will be announced on Sunday and the Big 10 has seven eligible teams. Perhaps the real tragedy to the Badgers season finale loss to Penn State is that it will prevent Wisconsin from a fourth straight trip to Pasadena. Assuming Ohio State beats Michigan State Saturday the Buckeyes will most likely head to the BCS title game, leaving an open spot in the Rose Bowl. Had Wisconsin won they would obviously be ranked ahead of a Spartans team with two losses. Instead, it's now a trip to Orlando. Here's how I see it shaking out:
1. Houston 2. St. Louis (from Washington) 3. Jacksonville 4. Atlanta 5. Tampa Bay 6. Minnesota 7. Oakland 8. Cleveland 9. Buffalo 10. Pittsburgh 11. New York Jets 12. San Diego 13. Tennessee 14. St. Louis 15. New York Giants 16. Green Bay 17. Chicago 18. Miami 19. Philadelphia 20. Arizona 21. Baltimore* 22. San Francisco* 23. Kansas City* 24. Carolina* 25. Detroit* 26. Dallas* 27. Cincinnati* 28. Cleveland (from Indianapolis)* 29. New England* 30. New Orleans* 31. Denver* 32. Seattle*
At long last Alabama has been knocked off of their lofty perch and we're down to two unbeaten national championship contenders. However, with Auburn's win over the Tide a debate has begun over who should be #2. Personally, I think the polls have it right. Certainly the SEC is still the best conference in the country (although it looks a lot more top-heavy than it has in previous years.) But going 12-0 in a power conference, regardless of strength of conference, is nothing to sneeze at. And an unbeaten Big 10 team should be ranked higher than a one-loss SEC team, even if that team knocked off #1.