Oregon and Auburn are headed to the Big Game. The Rose Bowl is obligated to take No. 3 TCU to replace the Ducks and will have Big Ten champ (by tiebreaker) Wisconsin on the other side. The Sugar Bowl will tab 10-2 Arkansas to replace the Tigers and pit the Hogs against 11-1 Ohio State. Faced with a choice of No. 5 Stanford or unranked Big East champ Connecticut, the Orange Bowl will take the 11-1 Cardinal to meet ACC champ Virginia Tech, leaving Big 12 champ Oklahoma to face the 8-4 Huskies in the Fiesta Bowl.
• Reports out of Atlanta on Saturday indicate the Outback Bowl, ever the contrarian, is leaning toward 7-5 Florida over 9-4 South Carolina, which shook up my projections for that and several other SEC bowls.
• UConn's Big East-clinching win over USF had a ripple effect for Notre Dame. The Champs Sports Bowl, which has first dibs on the 7-5 Irish, is expected to take 9-3 West Virginia instead, allowing the Sun Bowl to stage a glamorous Miami-Notre Dame matchup.
• Reversing course from earlier in the week, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl invited Nevada on Saturday, freeing up Boise State to face Utah in Las Vegas in a matchup of ranked teams. The complex deal involving multiple ESPN-owned bowls also allowed UTEP to play in the nearby New Mexico Bowl (normally a WAC game).
• As always, it's important to remember that most bowls are not obligated to choose their teams in exact order of conference standings. For instance, "ACC No. 3" means "third choice of ACC teams," not "the ACC's third-place team."