2012 bowl projections: Kansas State to play for national title

Jamie Squire

The Kansas State Wildcats may currently sit in the top spot in the NCAA this week, but a tough finish to the season could have dire consequences on the team's bid for the BCS National Championship.

Thanks to Alabama's loss to Texas A&M this past weekend, projections for who will appear in the BCS National Championship Game shifted considerably. Kansas State jumped to No. 1 in the latest BCS rankings -- making them one of three undefeated teams at the top of the rankings -- and it could be the first title game without an SEC team since Jan. 2006.

According to SB Nation's Jason Kirk, the latest projections have K-State facing Oregon as the top two BCS teams at the end of the season. The path to the title game is far from paved in certainty, however, as Notre Dame, Oregon and Kansas State all have a tough finish to their season.

Says Kirk:

The SEC isn't out of the national title running, but it's likely gonna need two teams from among Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame to lose along the way. Take a look at their remaining schedules -- both the Ducks and Irish have very tough games left, while K-State's game against Texas seems to look a little more challenging by the week. And USC could end up knocking off both Oregon and Notre Dame. If that happens, the winner of Georgia-Alabama in the SEC Championship will likely sneak back into the title game.

The Missouri Tigers (5-5, 2-5) have struggled just a bit in their jump to the SEC this season, yet are currently slated for the Liberty Bowl on New Year's Eve against Tulsa, compliments of finishing in the No. 8 or No. 9 spot in the conference. Kansas, who came close the team's second win of the season in a tough loss to Texas Tech, remain well out of bowl contention this season.

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