Based on this week’s BCS standings, here is NCAA Mock Playoff Bracket No. 4:
No. 9 USC at No. 8 LSU
No. 12 Oregon (Pac-10 Champ) at No. 5 Cincinnati (Big East Champion)
No. 11 Ohio State at No. 6 Boise State
No. 10 Iowa (Big Ten Champ) at No. 7 Georgia Tech (ACC Champion)
Byes: No. 1 Florida (SEC Champion), No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Texas (Big 12 Champion), No. 4 TCU
Sorting out the bracket
After a crazy weekend of upsets, the landscape of our bracket certainly changed. TCU jumps up into a first round bye, while Georgia Tech and LSU both earn first round home games. It looked like Pittsburgh (ranked No. 12 in the BCS) was going to jump into the bracket, but Oregon technically still has the Pac-10’s automatic berth so they push the Panthers aside for now. Don’t worry, Pitt fans. Ohio State hosts Iowa this weekend and the winner clinches the conference’s automatic berth, while the loser will fall out of the bracket.
Outside of Pitt, Miami (Fla.), Houston and Utah are still looking. Watch out for No. 17 Arizona, which is only a half-game behind the Ducks in the Pac-10 and the Wildcats host Oregon No. 21. Also, a sleeper alert goes out to No. 20 Wisconsin which finishes with games against Michigan, Northwestern and Hawaii. A 3-0 finish would give the Badgers a 10-2 final record and a chance at an at large berth.
Proof the playoffs work
We are beating a dead horse here, but we have to do it because critics of a playoff system contend that it takes something away from the regular season. Well Iowa learned the hard way that every game counts, even in our mock playoff bracket. Now the Hawkeyes game at Ohio State is essentially a playoff game to decide who clinches a playoff berth. The Buckeyes game at Penn State was also a "play-in" game. The got the win and took over PSU’s spot in the bracket.
No. 12 Oregon at No. 1 Florida
No. 9 USC at No. 2 Alabama
No. 7 Georgia Tech at No. 3 Texas
No. 6 Boise State at No. 4 TCU
Well, looky here. We have the game all mid-major fans want to see. Both the Broncos and Horned Frogs want to prove their worth in the BCS and now they get to play for it. The other three games are incredibly good too.
Semi-finals (to be played at neutral BCS bowl sites on yearly rotation)
No. 1 Florida over No. 4 TCU
No. 3 Texas over No. 2 Alabama
Want more proof that the regular season matters? On top of playing important late season games to earn a first round bye, Florida has played Iowa and TCU in the semis the last two weeks while Texas and Alabama have had to play each other. You think the Gators want to give up that No. 1 spot?
No. 3 Texas over No. 1 Florida