New BCS standings are in. First the standings, the BCS slots, and the auto-qualifiers (AQ)
4 Boise State
9 Ohio State
10 Oklahoma State
The BCS Slots (as of wk 11, standings in conference used for AQ):
BCS Champ #1: Oregon
BCS Champ #2: Auburn
ACC: Va Tech
Big East: Pitt
Big Ten: Mich St
Big 12: Nebraska
Pac 10: vacant due to Ore
SEC: vacant due to Aub
At-large 1: TCU (non AQ in Top 12, BCS rule 3.A)
- Now we start the sorting process for the at-large and replacement slots:
First the BCS Championship game is set up:
Oregon v Auburn
Then the AQ's get slotted in their games per contracts:
Rose Bowl (Big 10 v Pac 10): Mich St (from tiebreakers w other Big Ten 1 loss teams) v. VACANT
Orange Bowl (ACC v at-large): Va Tech v. VACANT
Fiesta Bowl (Big 12 v at-large): Nebraska v. VACANT
Sugar Bowl (SEC v. at-large): VACANT v VACANT
Now the fun begins. With Oregon and Auburn going to the BCS championship, the Rose and Sugar have to select replacement teams.
- Because of an adjustment to the BCS process, the Rose is contracturally obligated to take the non-AQ conference auto qualifer, so Michigan St, have fun getting your teeth kicked in by TCU.
- Sugar gets to pick a replacement for Auburn, and you know damn well they'll take an SEC team. At this point, it's LSU, a no-brainer.
BCS Champ: Oregon v Auburn
Rose Bowl: Mich St v. TCU
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. VACANT
Fiesta Bowl: Neb vs. VACANT
Orange Bowl: Va Tech vs. VACANT
Now the rest of the bowls fill out their games. this year, the order is Sugar, Orange, Fiesta
The rest of the teams remaining for consideration (in order of AQ, then BCS at-large standing): Pitt, Boise St (#4), Stanford (#6), Wiscy (#7), tOSU (#9), Ok St (#10)
Sugar gets first pick. They already have LSU and the Sugar likes a big name with a big travel base, so WISCONSIN come on down. This eliminates tOSU since the Big Ten can't have more than 2 teams.
Orange is next and needs a little pop to a potential Va Tech matchup. Pitt's not going here since a Va Tech v Pitt matchup would be ratings disaster. Their choice is essentially an undefeated Boise St, a Pac-10 runner up Stanford, maybe with only 1-loss, and an OkSt who is always helped by the T-Boone Pickens Effect. This is probably the biggest toss-up. Stanford while having a decent "name" program, is not known for traveling well, and Boise St is, well Boise St. They'll travel well for their small fan base, and may attract some TV numbers. I say the BCS goes to protect its own and the Orange chooses STANFORD here.
Finally, the Fiesta's job is easy. They have to take Pitt as the Big East AQ.
BCS Champ: Oregon v Auburn
Rose Bowl: Mich St v TCU
Orange Bowl: Va Tech v Stanford
Sugar Bowl: LSU v Wisconsin
Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska v Pitt
Now the analysis:
Wow does Boise get screwed. After I looked at the matchups and BCS rules more stringently this week, I find it hard for Boise to get in a BCS game since they'll be compared most likely against tOSU, Wisconsin, and Stanford for an at-large slot. And sorry, I think from a number of standpoints, they lose comparisons to all those three in terms of bowl selection criteria
Next up in the screwed department would be tOSU if the Sugar takes Wiscy over them. I coud definately see the Sugar taking tOSU over Wiscy as well, but Sparty makes the whole thing suck for those two unless Sparty drops a game the last three weeks. Then both Wiscy and tOSU get BCS slots.
TCU is locked into the Rose Bowl against a Big Ten team. And really, the only place to go for them is up. If Auburn or Oregon slip, and LSU not going to play in the SEC championship game, TCU retroactively becomes The Hat's biggest fan by knocking off Bama and their potential jumper scenario. TCU will be in the national championship game if Oregon loses and maybe if Auburn loses but Oregon stays undefeated. That win against Utah was no joke, son.
Auburn is probably in the best spot. If they lose to Alabama, they still have the SEC championship to impress and get the #2 BCS rating in front of TCU. If they lose in the SEC championship game, they still might have enough to hold onto the #2 slot.
Armageddon scenario: If Oregon and Auburn lose (preferably Oregon to Oregon St and Auburn in the SEC championship game), God help us, but the voters will probably leapfrog TCU into the #1 slot and Boise St into the #2 slot. At that point, it will be up to the computers. I don't think LSU's going to have enough juice especially by not playing in the SEC championship, Auburn's been skating on sketchy computer numbers up to this point (although an Alabama win will help, a 3-loss Alabama will not look as good to the CPU's as a 2-loss Alabama), and I don't think enough people are impressed wwith Nebraska or Wisconsin to vote them ahead enough to make up the difference in the computer part of the BCS rankings. Now if Tom Osborne managed to cry a few tears onto the BCS computer......
After next week, I'll add a Big Ten Bowl Outlook diary as well as the conference standings come into more focus....
UPDATE (11/08): Two points. (1) Mich St is in there now b/c they have an extra Big Ten win. At the end if Wiscy, Mich St, and tOSU all end up with one conference loss, then Wiscy and tOSU will likely both be the Big Ten reps in the BCS games since they'll both be higher BCS ranked than Mich St. If tOSU or Wiscy loses and Mich St wins out, they'll benefit from being higher in the polls due to the other B10 team losing, will probably improve their BCS standing from the current #11, but may not be as sexy for the Sugar Bowl against LSU as an undefeated Boise St (Mich St wins the one-on-one comparison with Wiscy meaning Sparty'd get the auto Rose Bowl slot and Wiscy would be an at-large BCS team; Mich St loses the one-on-one to tOSU since tOSU will be the higher BCS team, leaving Mich St to compete as a BCS at-large possibility). So the Big Ten might actually lose a BCS slot if Wiscy loses. (2) As a poster in the comments pointed out, Boise St did already play Va Tech this year, likely ruling them out from the Orange Bowl, leaving Boise's only BCS hopes at: Rose if TCU gets in the national championship (if Auburn loses), Fiesta as an at-large vs Nebraska, or Sugar as an at-large against a likely SEC team.