I'm writing this article because I need to be able to refer all the questions I get via email and twitter to an article on the subject. And I apologize for not putting this together earlier.
Who would Florida State play in the Orange Bowl?
The Big East champion or someone worse (like Louisiana Tech).
There are no alternatives. Here's why:
Because the national championship game is being hosted at the Orange Bowl site, the actual Orange Bowl, which is contractually tied to the ACC Champion, has the last choice of all the bowls to fill the other slot.
Bowls are about money. That comes via ratings and ticket sales. There is absolutely no chance that a bowl selecting before the Orange is going to take the Big East champ, simply because that team (even if Louisville) won't travel well or draw ratings.
Can Florida State go to a BCS bowl other than the Orange?
No. See the point above about "the ACC Champion is contractually tied in to the Orange Bowl."
But Clemson might get to go to the Sugar Bowl v. an SEC team!
Yep. But they won't be conference champs.
2012 Bowl projections, Week 12: Oregon-Kansas State national championship now on course - SBNation.com
Alabama's loss means the SEC is gonna need a whole lot of help getting back into the BCS National Championship, probably most of it from Lane Kiffin. Wouldn't that be funny! Here are projections for all 35 bowl games now that Week 11 is in the books.