December 22 1st round games:
- West #8 Northern Illinois at West #1 Alabama, at Bryant-Denny Stadium
- East #7 West Virginia at East #2 Stanford, at Stanford Stadium
- East #6 Southern Miss at East #3 Arkansas, at Reynolds Razorback Stadium
- West #5 Clemson at West #4 Oregon, at Autzen Stadium
This one is pretty straight forward. With the exception of the LSU game no team has gotten within 16 points of the Crimson Tide. Alabama has beaten four top 25 team while the only top 25 team Northern Illinois played beat them by 42.
Alabama 49 Northern Illinois 10
Stanford vs. West Virginia:
Stanford is the only one of the top four seeds to be facing a team from one of the big six conference, and I use that term with the Big East loosely. West Virginia played 2 top 25 beating Cincinnati by 3 and losing to LSU by 26. Regardless of their schedule they are a quality team and will give Stanford a run for its money. Stanford's only lose was to Oregon and their key wins were against Washington, USC, and Notre Dame. Overall Stanford will come out victorious but the game will be closer than you would expect from a 2-7 match-up.
Stanford 24 West Virginia 21
Arkansas vs. Southern Miss.:
Arkansas really fly under the radar this, but that was more due to the fact the the top two seeds were from the same division in the SEC. Despite that Arkansas still beat three top 25 teams and used their potent offense to beat everyone else except Alabama and LSU. Southern Miss came on late and despite a lose to UAB was able to finish 11-2 including and upset over undefeated Houston in the CUSA championship game. You would think that their recent experience would give them a chance for the stunner but losing their coach to UNC negates all of that.
Arkansas 41 Southern Miss. 30
Oregon vs. Clemson:
Overall the best game of the first day of the Bowl Championship Tournament featuring two of the countries most explosive offenses. The biggest factor in this game is the fact that it is in Oregon and Clemson has two travel across the country. Both team get healthy with the two week break but in the end the home field advantage and long travel distance proves two much so Clemson.
Oregon 52 Clemson 42
December 23 1st round games:
- East #8 Louisiana Tech at East #1 Louisiana State, at Tiger Stadium
- West #7 Arkansas State at West #2 Oklahoma State, at Boone Pickens Stadium
- West #6 TCU at West #3 Boise State, at Broncos Stadium
- East #5 Wisconsin at East #4 Kansas State, at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium
The most intriguing thing about this game is the fact that both schools are in Louisiana and tickets will be hard to come by. On the field LSU is undefeated and has dominated in every game but one and Tech has 4 losses on the season.
LSU 45 Louisiana Tech 6
Oklahoma State vs. Arkansas State:
Arkansas St is a great story, coming from out of nowhere to win 10 games and getting Hugh Freeze the Ole Miss job. Losing their head coach and the inability to cover Justin Blackmon allows the Pokes to move on to the next round in a romp.
Oklahoma State 35 Arkansas State 13
Boise State vs. TCU:
This is the only match-up of conference teams as well as the only the rematch of the 1st round. Once again the game takes place at Boise and if it is anything like the first game we should be in for a thriller. Both teams are evenly matched but the weather in Boise give the Broncos a small advantage which is all that it take to make sure the Boise's deficiencies in the kicking game don't show up for at least one week.
Boise State 35 TCU 31
Kansas State vs. Wisconsin:
A Midwest match-up taking place at the home of one of the surprising teams in college football this year. Kansas State lost both of their games against top 10 team and only narrowly beat Baylor and Texas. Wisconsin on the other hand only lost games within the last minute so as long as they have at least a one score lead they should be fine. Ultimately the more all around team pulls off the only upset of the 1st round.
Wisconsin 31 Kansas State 20
This sets up the next round of games to be:
December 30 Quarterfinal games:
- West #4 Oregon vs. West #1 Alabama, at the Rose Bowl
- West #3 Boise State vs. West #2 Oklahoma State, at the Fiesta Bowl
- East #5 Wisconsin vs. East #1 LSU, at the Outback Bowl
- East #3 Arkansas vs. East #2 Stanford, at the Capital One Bowl