Top 10 bowls of the 2012 college football season excluding the National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame.
- Fiesta Bowl – #4 Oregon vs #5 Kansas St.
- Cotton Bowl – #9 Texas A&M vs #11 Oklahoma
- Orange Bowl – #12 Florida State vs #15 Northern Illinois
- Chick-fil-a Bowl – #8 LSU vs #14 Clemson
- Sugar Bowl – #3 Florida vs #21 Louisville
- Capital One Bowl- #7 Georgia vs #16 Nebraska
- Outback Bowl – #10 South Carolina vs #18 Michigan
- Alamo Bowl – #13 Oregon State vs #23 Texas
- Rose Bowl – #6 Stanford – Wisconsin
- Holiday Bowl – #17 UCLA vs Baylor
At first glance it’s easy to say the Rose Bowl should be higher and the Orange Bowl lower in the rankings but you are wrong, follow along. The Fiesta Bowl is a lock at number one being the only bowl outside of the National Title game with two top ten teams going head to head. From here on down it gets complicated.
The first thing I did was rank each team within their conference without looking at national rankings.
Ex: Stanford 1 – Wisconsin 6, Florida State 1 – NIU 1, Florida 2 – Louisville 1, and Oregon 2 – Kansas State 1. Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, and South Carolina all tie with three.
Add the numbers together, from top to bottom starting with the smallest number list the bowls. This is how I got the first reference list. A conference number one is different from a conference champ. Wisconsin is a conference champ but has the 6th best record in the Big 10 so the Badgers get hit with a six here.
There are three ties: Sugar/Fiesta, Capital One/Chick-fil-a/Cotton, and Outback/Alamo. The BCS ranking differential is used as the tie breaker, the smaller the differential the higher ranked the bowl. Ex: Cotton Bowl – #9 and #11 = 2, Chick-fil-a – #8 and #14 = 6, and Capital One #7 and #16 = 9,
This helps show what bowl games have the best match ups. The teams in Chart 1 are in order 1-10 and you might notice the Orange Bowl has the only head to head of two conference #1’s.
Both Florida State and NIU are conference #1’s but aren’t on the same level as half the other teams. This is where rankings come in, using the BCS standings, add the the two teams rank together. In the case of Wisconsin and Baylor they get 26 because they aren’t in the top 25.
Ex: Fiesta – #4 Oregon and #5 K-State = 9, Cotton – #9 Texas A&M and #11 Oklahoma = 20, and Rose – #6 Stanford and (26) Wisconsin = 32. The Lower the number the better the teams in the bowl.
Now that we have both charts ranked 1 thru 10, Chart 1 based on conference record and Chart 2 based on combined BCS standing, add the rankings from each chart. Rank the bowls from 1 to 10 starting with the lowest combined total from both charts. Again, use the BCS ranking differential as the tie breaker. The lower the differential the better the match up. This will give you your final bowl ranking for the top 10 match-ups of the 2012 season.
(Conference rank + Conference rank) = Chart 1
(BCS rank + BCS rank) = Chart 2
(Chart 1 rank + Chart 2 rank) = Chart 3