EDIT:: updated projected BCS with conference tie-ins. thanks to posters.
EDIT EDIT:: Now updated with BCS standings from Sunday night.
I thought I'd give a quick recap as to how things stand following yesterday's amazing day of action.
1) Fla / Ala still on track for "OMG Death Match 2009 Greatest Game In History of College Football" in SEC championship. After looking at the polls released this morning and listening to some of the scuttlebutt in the media, I think this is a no-doubt elimination game for one of the nat'l championship slots. Ala got their big roadblock game out of the way, and even a loss to Auburn may not hold them back fro the BCS championship if they beat Fla in the SEC Championship. Fla only has SoCar, Fla Intl and FSU left, so their path seems fairly straight.
2) A Big XII champion Texas will take the second slot. The only real probable stumbles for Texas left are roadies at Baylor (not too hard) and at Tex A&M (rivalry, but still should be a blowout). The big rock in their path now is the Big XII championship game where either a DL loaded Neb or a resurgent K-St awaits.
3) TCU has jumped Cincy for #4 in BCS, but this may be temporary as Cincy's high profile schedule is about to start. However, looking at the BCS standings (4th in both human polls and 4th in computers) I don't think we can discount anymore the real possibility that TCU's a stunning Cinderella to human voters to the point where they may stay ahead of Cincy as prime beneficiary of a Fla/Ala/Tex stumble. I still think Cincy in the end is going to end up ahead of TCU, but I think the chances of a TCU jump and hold over Cincy is growing.
4) Sorry Boise, but you're out unless TCU stumbles and everyone else collapses. Your hopes were banked on a 1-loss Oregon and voters with a moral dilemma on whether to vote a team with a worse record and a loss head to head above you. Boise looks good in BCS standings, but may be the first team to be in all the positions (non BCS conf in the top 8) for an auto-qualify but not get one.
The At-Large Situation
Reference: 10 slots, 6 conf autobids, 4 at large
ACC: Ga Tech
Big East: Cincy
Big Ten: more on that in a moment
Big XII: Texas
SEC: Fla / Ala winner
PAC-10: Oregon, for now
How many at-large left? 4
So does an undefeated non-BCS team get in? For sure one, so let's assume chalk holds and TCU gets the auto-qualify for non-BCS teams.
Ok so now there are 3 at large bids, who's in? 2 bid conferences?
Yes, so let's look at candidates by conference.
ACC: No one jumps out. Maybe a 2-loss Miami at #14 in BCS standings? Let's put them in the candidate pool
Big East: 1-loss Pitt would be the only real resume blockbuster (#12 BCS), but if we assume a Cincy win in two weeks, then a 2-loss Pitt isn't that attractive.
Big Ten: Here's the rub. Penn St was all setup to be a 2nd BCS bid easy, but with the turmoil of yesterday, it seems that Iowa (#10 BCS) / Ohio St (#11 BCS) next week is an elimination game. I don't think a 2- loss Iowa, a 3-loss OSU or a 2-loss Penn St (who lost every meaningful game this year) is that attractive.
Big XII: A 2-loss OkSt (#19) would seem to be on the only candidate. We'll throw them in the pool
SEC: Fla / Ala loser. That's it since conferences can't get more than 1 at large
PAC-10: Is a 2-loss USC attractive? In this climate, yes. USC sits at #9 BCS. If Oregon (#13 BCS) tanks again though, we're only looking at 1 Pac-10 team. Arizona has a good BCS rank (#17) but USC and Oregon are going to take the Pac-10's two slots available.
Yes, an undefeated Boise St team gets a dip in the candidate pool.
So anyone get in right away?
Assuming Oregon holds on to get the Pac-10 title, and USC wins out, I'll put a 2-loss USC team in.
So who's in at at-larges? TCU, Fla/Ala loser, USC
Leaving? undefeated Boise St, 2-loss Miami, 2-loss Pitt, 2-loss OkSt
Meaning? as much as cache means with Miami, it may come down to Actual Bowl Slots....
BCS Title: Fla (sake of discussion) v Texas
Rose Bowl: Oregon v. Big Ten Champ (Iowa for sake of discussion)
Orange Bowl:Ga Tech v. ????
Fiesta Bowl: ??? v ???
Sugar Bowl: ??? v. ???
Miami would be a nice choice in the Orange Bowl, but as a poster pointed out, an all-ACC Orange Bowl isn't likely. Let's start with putting the already qualified at-large's + the Big East champ Cincy (since they don't have a formal tie-in) in:
Sugar Bowl: would still like a SEC team, so with Ala sitting there, let's put them in.
Fiesta Bowl: would like a western team for attendance purposes and they get one of the 1st two at-large choices since the Big XII team is in the championship, so let's put USC there (big draw)
So now we have:
BCS Title: Fla v Tex
Rose Bowl: Oregon v. Iowa
Orange Bowl: GaTech v ???
Fiesta Bowl: USC v. ???
Sugar Bowl: Alabama v. ???
Well b/c of conference tie-ins and choices for big name teams, we likely will not have the poor man's natl championship of Cincy v TCU possible. So let's slot:
* Put TCU in Fiesta v USC as Dallas area alums will flock to Arizona
* Cincy as an undefeated team has some interest and a Cincy v Alabama matchup would be good for ratings.
* This leaves the Orange Bowl. As I said before, Miami would be nice, but unlikely due to ACC rematchery. next best looking is either an undefeated Boise St or the Fighting T-Boone's. While OkSt may guarantee an ungodly number of tickets sold due to Pickens fronting cash, I think Boise gets it.
So that's it?
Well no. If either USC or Oregon drops another game, I think you may be looking at a "poor man's natl championship" in the Fiesta Bowl with TCU v. Boise St, Cincy v Alabama in the Sugar, and OkSt taking on GaTech in the Orange.
Any big losers from yesterday?
Yes, three big losers come out
1) Penn St-- they had a BCS bid locked if they could just win out. Now they may be competing with Wisconsin&tOSU/Iowa for 2nd best Big 10 bowl
2) Notre Dame-- Another team who had their BCS bid mapped out, beat Navy, Pitt, UConn, and Stanford, and they're cashing a huge check.
3) The Pac-10-- Oregon's loss as mentioned above puts 2 Pac-10 BCS bids in serious question.
We stand on the precipice of 4 Div I teams being undefeated at the end of the season, all with BCS victories. Chaos ensues.