As we move toward Turkey Day and into December the FBS post season picture is finally becoming clearer. And when I say clearer, I mean as clear as murky lake water. Many things could still happen, but as of right now this is where we stand…
The Two Team Playoff
The best place to start is right at the top with the BCS National Championship game, in Arizona. Right now Oregon and Auburn sit comfortably at 1 and 2 and if they win out, they’ll be in. TCU and Boise St wait at #3 and #4 ready to jump in, if either lose. The gap as of right now between them and Auburn at #2 is far to large of a gap for either to be caught. Especially with TCU and Boise’s remaining schedules. So Auburn fans can feel safe that a 2004 situation will not happen to them again. Now the possibility of Auburn losing to Alabama and still ending up at number 2, is a fasinating situation. As of right now…
1. Oregon .9753
2. Auburn .9687
3. TCU .8966
4. Boise State .8634
An Auburn loss would most likely drop them no farther than 4 or 5 in the standings, but they would also have the benefit of getting to play the SEC Championship Game vs South Carolina. That victory could very well leap frog them back over TCU and Boise. In my opinion, if Auburn or Oregon lose, they will be out and the higher ranked TCU or Boise will be in. And at the end of the year, I figure Boise State to close that gap on TCU and finish ahead of them. Boise State has Fresno State and #18 Nevada on their remaining schedule. While TCU has only a trip to 1-9 New Mexico remaining. TCU also is hurt by Utah falling off the map and Oregon State becoming more and more of a dissapointment.
Right now, those 4 teams are the only ones with shots at the game. So outside of a collapse of the top a la 2007, 2 of those 4 teams are in the championship. Personally, at the end of this, I actually hope Oregon and Auburn win out. I think that game could be pretty exciting.
The Remaining BCS bowls and the At Large Process
Now the conference champions could obviously change with the remaining games and conference championships left to play, but we will assume that the current leaders in the club houses stand pat. If Auburn and Oregon are in the National Championship this is how I see the at large and auto bids panning out.
The Rose has a clause stating that if either the Big Ten Champ or Pac 10 Champ go to the NC game, the Rose will select the highest ranking Non AQ qualifier to replace that champion. This doesn’t play out well for #6 Stanford. With Oregon in the NC, and my assumption that Boise State finishes ahead of TCU would give us a Rose Bowl match up of Wisconsin vs Boise State.
After that the selection process goes by the game played closest, in date, to the National Championship. So the at large draft order is…
1. Sugar (to replace the SEC champ in NC Game)
Going by history, the Sugar will stick to its SEC affiliation and select LSU. After that pick they are left with a pool of, Ohio State, TCU, Stanford, Oklahoma, and Pitt (the automatic Big East Champ). Ohio State is the obvious big fish in that pond. So we fill in our Sugar Bowl with LSU vs Ohio State.
The Orange Bowl gets automatic ACC Champ, at this point I’d say Virginia Tech is the odds on favorite. Now the Orange could suprise and leave TCU out of the BCS by selecting Stanford or Oklahoma, but I think they will go with the highest ranked reamaining team, in TCU. Remember only one non AQ team can get a auto birth. So by Boise being ranked higher, they would get an auto bid. And TCU could be left in the Las Vegas Bowl (Mtn West’s #1 bowl game). So being ranked in the top 5 doesnt do them any favors. But I think the Orange Bowl goes with TCU vs VT.
Which brings us to the Fiesta… oh the poor Fiesta. At least they have the NC Game played in the same stadium, because the Fiesta gets stuck with the Big East Champ. Yes, the Big East champ who right now is projected to be Pitt, who has a very realistic opportunity of being 7-5 at the end of the year!!! If that doesnt explain how bad it is, think about this not one Big East team is currently in the BCS top 25. Not one. 7 teams with 3 losses are in the top 25. So figuring that Nebraska holds serve through the Big XII championship game we’ll finish of the BCS slate with the Fiesta Bowl of Nebraska vs Pitt. How excited are you for a game where a team will be favored by 25 points?
Now the other big scenario would be if Auburn (who we’ll assume is more likely to lose than Oregon, because they have Bama on the schedule) loses and finishes out side of the top 2. Where we could end up with a BCS of…
National Championship: Oregon vs Boise State
Sugar: Auburn vs Ohio State
Orange: VT vs LSU/Stanford/Oklahoma
Fiesta: Nebraska vs Pitt
Rose: Wisconsin vs TCU
Which would make for an interesting Orange Bowl selection. Most likely LSU would get the nod, because of proximity to the bowls location. If LSU loses to #13 Arkansas though, I’d say Stanford would be the most logical choice over Oklahoma.
And just to hammer down the point of why I didnt want to go into all the other possible scenarios of who could win conferences and wind up in BCS games, take a look at this, something like this could seriously be a BCS schedule…
National Championship: Boise State vs TCU
Sugar: South Carolina vs Oregon< /span>
Orange: Maryland vs Auburn
Fiesta: Oklahoma State vs Syracuse
Rose: Michigan State vs Stanford
So, their is still a lot football left to play.
My remaining Bowl Projection
Kraft Fight Hunger: San Diego St vs Fresno St
BBVA Compass: Clemson vs USF
Cotton: Oklahoma vs Arkansas
Godaddy.com: Temple vs FIU
Gator: Iowa vs South Carolina
Capital One: Alabama vs Michigan St
Outback: Florida vs Michigan
Ticket City: Northwestern vs Texas Tech
Chick-Fil-A: Florida State vs Mississippi State
Liberty: UCF vs Tennessee
Sun: NC State vs Cal
Meineke Car Care: UNC vs Syracuse
Holiday: Arizona vs Oklahoma State
Music City: Kentucky vs Maryland
New Era Pinstripe: Kansas St vs UConn
Armed Forces: SMU vs Army
Alamo: Stanford vs Missouri
Texas: Baylor vs Illinois
Military: Tulsa vs Boston College
Insight: Penn State vs Texas A&M
Champs Sports: Miami vs WVU
Independence: Air Force vs Georgia Tech
Little Ceasars Pizza: Notre Dame vs N. Illinois
Hawaii: Hawaii vs UTEP
Poinsettia: Navy vs BYU
Las Vegas: Utah vs UCLA
St Petersburgh: ECU vs Rutgers
New Orleans: Southern Miss vs Troy
Humanitarian: Ohio vs Idaho
New Mexico: Nevada vs Houston