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2011 BCS Bowl Projections: Stanford Cardinal Looking At Orange Bowl Against Virginia Tech Or Fiesta Bowl Against Oklahoma

There will be no National Championship for the 11-1 Stanford Cardinal; Oregon and Auburn already sealed the deal. There will be no Rose Bowl either; it's expected that they will invoke the rule where they can chose to select an undefeated non-automatic qualifier school, and that school will be the 12-0 TCU Horned Frogs, who should take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl.

Still, a grand consolation prize seems to be on its way. The Cardinal are expected to finish in the top four of the BCS and earn an automatic bid to one of two places. The Sugar Bowl is not likely to happen. They get the first pick of schools, and they'll likely take an SEC and Big Ten school. The SEC runner-up will take Auburn's place. That's likely to be Ryan Mallett and the Arkansas Razorbacks after they beat the LSU Tigers and finished with the second best BCS ranking in the SEC. The Big Ten school figures to be the Ohio State Buckeyes, who will find themselves in a January bowl for the eighth time in nine years.

That leaves two choices. The Orange Bowl (which will be played on January 3rd, 2011 at 8:30 PM ET in Miami on ESPN) has the next available choice; they're obliged to pick the ACC champions, the Virginia Tech Hokies, who beat up the Florida St. Seminoles 44-33 in the ACC Championship Game. The Fiesta Bowl has the last choice (which will be played on January 1st at 8:30 PM ET in Glendale on ESPN), and they'll already take the Big 12 Champions, the Oklahoma Sooners, who narrowly edged the Nebraska Cornhuskers 23-20 in the Big 12 Championship Game.

So that leaves the Cardinal and the Big East champions, the Connecticut Huskies, to fret about their fate. If Connecticut had lost and West Virginia had won the Big East, you probably could have punched Stanford's tickets to Glendale, but Husky football fandom is far newer to this than even the Cardinal are--they've only been an FBS school for over a decade now.

It should be very interesting to see what happens, although I'm sure bowl directors are crying themselves to sleep tonight at all the potential lost ticket sales.