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2011 BCS Bowl Projections Consensus: Stanford To The Orange Bowl To Play Virginia Tech

Granted, listening to media experts on a regular basis is a fast way to make a trip to the poorhouse. But there seems to be an overwhelming plurality that presumes the Orange Bowl will go ahead and pick Jim Harbaugh, Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal to head over to Miami, despite the (a) reasonably poor fan turnout for a bowl game, (b) horribly remote location from Palo Alto (Miami is at least six to eight hours by flight), (c) criss-crossing of locales between the other at-large team trying to figure out their destination, the Big East champion Connecticut Huskies. Apparently the higher TV ratings should offset the lousy ticket attendance, which probably wouldn't be that much better for the small and young Husky football fanbase (and the strength of their team is...uhh...questionable).

List of writers that have Stanford in the Orange Bowl include Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports's official projections, Martin Shatzer of SB Nation DC, Andy Hutchins of SB Nation, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, and Oklahoma's SB Nation site Crimson and Cream Machine. As the local beat writer, Wilner makes the most compelling case for Stanford in Miami.

Orange Bowl officials, known in the bowl industry as an unpredictable group, will consider a variety of factors.

Stanford (11-1) has a better record, higher ranking and is viewed as a better television draw than Connecticut (8-4), in part because quarterback Andrew Luck is the projected No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.

A Stanford-Virginia Tech BCS bowl does sound more appealing than what sounds like a Connecticut-Virginia Tech snoozefest, that's for sure. Think of it this way: When was the last time you paid attention to an ACC-Big East bowl game?

The list of writers that have Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl include John Tamanha of NBC Sports, JP Starkey of SB Nation Dallas ... and the ESPN Family of Networks aren't ruling out the possibility of the Cardinal heading to Glendale. Still, even if this scenario occurs, it's not likely Stanford can lose that much with whomever they face. Both Oklahoma and Virginia Tech promise to be worthy adversaries.