Monday, November 07, 2005The Bowl Picture...
We'll start with the Southeastern Conference first since they have all the best bids...Everything will pretty much be decided this weekend with LSU-Alabama, Auburn-Georgia and to a lesser extent Florida-South Carolina.
So let's start with the possibilities.
If LSU and Georgia win: Georgia clinches the East, LSU all but clinches the west (they still have Arkansas and Ole Miss left) and the winner of that SEC final would go to the Sugar Bowl while the loser goes Citrus (Capital One). The winner of Florida-South Carolina will probably get the Peach Bowl. Alabama-Auburn winner will take the Outback Bowl and the loser will probably go to the Cotton Bowl.
If Alabama and Auburn win: The Iron Bowl will be for the SEC West title and Florida could take the East with a over over South Carolina, a loss will give the East to Georgia. Winner of SEC final goes to Sugar and the loser might go to the Citrus, but the Citrus could also choose Georgia early. LSU would probably go to the Peach and the loser of the SEC championship game could go to the Cotton Bowl. The Iron Bowl loser probably gets the Outback. But this is a tough scenario.
If Alabama and Georgia win: They will play in the SEC final, winner gets Sugar or Rose (in Alabama's case), loser gets Citrus unless they can sneak into an at-large BCS. Winner of South Carolina-Florida goes to the Peach Bowl. Cotton will take LSU and Outback will take Auburn.
If LSU and Auburn win: Florida can clinch East win with over South Carolina, LSU needs to win final two games for West title. Winner goes to Sugar, loser probably settles for Cotton. Georgia will return to the Outback Bowl and Iron Bowl winner probably gets Citrus while loser gets Peach. If Florida loses to South Carolina than revert to the 'if LSU and Georgia win' text.
Other conferences are considerably easier.
ACC: Florida State has clinched the Atlantic Division title while Miami has to win its final three games (at Wake Forest, Virginia and Georgia Tech) to win the Coastal. Any loss and Virginia Tech will win the Coastal. Winner of ACC title game goes to Orange Bowl or slim shot at Rose (if Miami).
Virginia Tech will probably grab the Gator Bowl since most expect FSU to lose to Miami and I doubt the Gator Bowl wants the Seminoles for the third time in five years. The Tire Bowl will get first choice between Boston College, Georgia Tech, Virginia or North Carolina.
Big 10+1: Penn State has the inside track to the Fiesta Bowl and Ohio State could get the at large in the Sugar Bowl if they can win at Michigan. If Michigan wins I think they will get Citrus and OSU gets the Outback. The odd team out appears to be Wisconsin who, despite beating Michigan, might be headed to the Alamo.
Minnesota, Northwestern and Michigan State should all be bowl eligible and will end up at the Sun, Music City and Motor City bowl games.
Big XII: It appears that Texas and Colorado are on a "collision course" for the Big 12 title. If Texas wins out, they get to the Rose Bowl, if Colorado wins, they go to the Fiesta and Texas probably goes to the Sugar. If Colorado wins, I'll be convinced that the Big XII fixes games to guarantee themselves two BCS slots every year :).
After that it's a bit of a mess. I believe that Texas Tech will end up playing in the Cotton Bowl however and I'd be surprised if the Holiday Bowl didn't grab Oklahoma and leave the Independence Bowl for Iowa State.
Pac-10: If USC wins out they go to the Rose Bowl. If they lose to UCLA, they go to the Sugar Bowl (???) and maybe UCLA goes to the Fiesta Bowl...If the Trojans lose we are in store for clusterfuck 101, believe that. I mean EVERYTHING changes because you HAVE to put USC in a BCS game and you have to put the Pac-10 champion in one. And who suffers for this? What if USC and Texas lose...Do you put them in the Fiesta Bowl against each other, send UCLA to play in the Sugar...Miami and who?? (Penn State??) play in the Rose Bowl and where does Notre Dame ended up?
If USC wins (please win) than it becomes an interesting choice for the Holiday Bowl. Do they take UCLA or Oregon? Doesn't sound like a big deal on the surface but the loser of that bid goes to the Sun Bowl in El Paso. I have a few friends who live in El Paso and hate it. I don't know anyone that dislikes San Diego.
Big East: I saved the ugly stepchild for last. West Virginia can win out, win the Big East title and save the conference a lot of ridicule. However South Florida also controls its destiny and if an 8-3 team in just its ninth year of production makes a big bowl, it's going to be havoc and unfair havoc for USF, which has done everything right to get on the fast track in college football.
The winner of the conference will play in the Orange Bowl because...well because the Orange Bowl has to take them. Second place gets the Gator Bowl. Now if USF finishes second, the Gator Bowl might reconsider and choose FSU (if they don't win the ACC title) so that the two in-state schools can meet for the first time. That would leave Louisville to choose the Insight or return to the Liberty Bowl, the bowl they'd have in Conference USA anyway. There's also a great chance the Gator would choose Louisville vs. Va. Tech over USF vs. FSU anyway since it's a better matchup. Rutgers will go to the Liberty or Insight Bowl.
Notre Dame: The Irish win out and they should be around the top 12 and that guarantees them a BCS spot unless a major catastrophe happen. If it does they screw the Big East out of that Gator Bowl slot.
So my BCS projections (if everything goes correctly):
Rose: USC vs. Texas
Fiesta: Penn State vs. Notre Dame
Sugar: Georgia/LSU vs. Ohio State
Orange: Miami/FSU vs. Big East #1