BCS standings for Wk 13 as of 8:15p EDT (bcsfootball.org):
Pretty much there are still limited permuations of the BCS if the favorites continue to win... I'm going to start with the pretty much locks:
ACC, Big East, and Big 12 will likely only get one team in the BCS game. ACC and Big East due to the general ineptness of the conferences. These will likely be:
- ACC: winner of Va Tech v Florida St/NC St championship game. This winner will go to the Orange Bowl.
- Big East: Who the hell knows... could be Pitt, West Va, even UConn(!!! who would have thought that the most impressive win on our schedule at the end of the year could be a BCS conference champion NOT named Ohio St). Bottom line is this team will likely be the last team picked by BCS bowls when picking opponents for the mandatory games.
Big 12: With last night's
chokeloss by Nebraska, all this did was make it more difficult for a Big 12 team to get an at large bid. It likely will be the winner of Oklahoma v Oklahoma St against Nebraska in the Big 12 title game, with the either a 1-loss conference champ and a 3-loss runner up, or a pair of two loss teams. Anybody hoping Nebraska wins and goes all Chris Benoit on the last night of Monday Nite Nitro by accepting the conference title trophy and then dumping it in the trash bin on the way out the door?
- SEC: They're still probably going to get 2 teams in the BCS no matter what. If Auburn gets in the BCS champ game, then a 1-loss LSU or a 2-loss Arkansas is your likely 2nd team in the Sugar Bowl. If Auburn loses to Alabama, it'll be the winner of the SEC champ game as the Sugar Bowl rep and a 1-loss LSU/2-loss Arkansas/2-loss Alabama as an at-large. If Auburn beats Alabama but loses in the SEC championship to So Car, it'll be So Car in the Sugar Bowl and either LSU or Auburn as an at-large. Even if Cam Newton is arrested tomorrow for money laundering and fraud at Fannie Mae, bottom line: SEC's getting 2 teams. Damn.
- Non-AQ's: One of them is getting in for sure. Two is wholly dependent on if Boise or TCU qualifies for the Natl Champ game. B/c of a contractural quirk for this year, if a non-AQ makes it as an at-large and a Pac-10 team is in the MyNCG, then the non-AQ must go to the Rose Bowl. Still a shot for an at-large in the Orange Bowl, but that may be dictated by who wins the ACC (see below).
So assuming the season holds in terms of chalk teams winning, we'll be looking at:
- BCS Champ: Oregon v Auburn
- Rose Bowl: Wisconsin v. TCU/Boise (whoever ends up higher in BCS if they're both undefeated, autobid as per BCS selection rule 3A/B)
- Sugar Bowl: LSU/Arkansas/Alabama vs. at-large
- Orange Bowl: Va Tech/FlaSt/NC St v. at-large
- Fiesta Bowl: Neb/OkSt/OU v. at-large
So let's analyze the competition for the at-large slots. It is impertive to understand that the order of selection will play HUGE in this decision. I'll analyze them in the order of the at-large selections:
- Sugar Bowl: already made LSU the replacement pick for Auburn in the MyNCG (but it could just as easy by Arkansas if they beat LSU or Alabama if Auburn loses the Iron Bowl but wins the SEC). So looking for 1 at-large team to match-up against LSU. The choices are either a 1-loss Big Ten team (tOSU, Mich St), a 1-loss Stanford, or an undefeated Boise St/TCU (whichever left out of the Rose Bowl- at this point it's still Boise St as TCU is higher in BCS and gets the non-AQ autobid). My thinking is that from a bowl organizers point of view, a Big Ten team, especially tOSU probably gets more butts in seats and generates a better TV viewership than Stanford. So now the choise is really between tOSU and an undefeated non-AQ. Since a non-AQ is already in the BCS, I say tOSU gets the at-large slot
- Orange Bowl: Already have the ACC champ... if it's Va tech, then a Boise at-large here is unlikely as common thought is to avoid rematches (especially since it wasn't that good of a game in the first case). Va Tech vs Stanford might be attractive here, or the Orange might bite the bullet if convinced by the rest of the BCS hierarchy and take the Big East champ. If it's not Va Tech, then Boise might be a good selection to prop up a not as attractive FlaSt / NC St ACC champ.
- Fiesta Bowl: already have the Big 12 winner, so looking for someone to matchup with Neb / Ok St / OU. Here its a crap shoot and dependent on who the Orange takes. Orange takes Boise, then the Big East champ has to go here. Orange doesn't take Boise and takes the Big East champ, then I could see either Stanford or Boise St, and frankly a Big 12 v Boise St rematch may be more viewer friendly than Stanford (especially if Boise St has a Heisman finalist Kellan Moore at QB, sorry Andrew Luck). Stanford though is still a national name (albeit with a weak in-person following), and I'm torn. I'd say you could flip a coin and land with either Stanford or Boise St.
The wrenches in the plan
There are a couple big wrenches that could be thrown in the gears here:
- the Big Ten doesn't end up with both Ohio St and Wisconsin with 1-loss: in real terms, a 1-loss Mich St doesn't matchup as well in a at-large comparison with undefeated Boise St or a 1-loss Stanford if they don't get the Rose Bowl bid. They way it's working right now, if Sparty ties with Wiscy only, then they''ll get the Rose Bowl as a result of a head to head win against the Badgers. Wisconsin then would still be a pretty strong at-large bid for either the Sugar or Orange Bowl. If its Mich St and tOSU, then tOSU will get the Rose Bowl and Sparty will be left to fend for the at-large against Boise & Stanford, and frankly I don't think they win that comparison.
- tOSU jumps Wiscy in BCS standings: this one just popped up this week when I actually looked at the numbers... tOSU is not that far behind, maybe there's a voter backlash against Bielema in the last two weeks??? Who knows. What I know is that if tOSU jumps Wiscy in BCS standing, then the three way tie formula in the Big Ten sends Ohio St to the Rose Bowl, and leave Wiscy and Mich St battling Stanford and Boise St for an at-large. At this point, I think its a real possibility that Boise AND Stanford are looked more favorably than Wiscy and Mich St. Especially if Stanford keeps rolling out body bags and some body gets sentimental at the Sugar Bowl for a Bo Schembechler reunion tour game between Harbaugh and Miles.
- Oregon loses: that vaults either TCU or Boise into the MyNCG, Oregon to the Rose Bowl and then by my reading, as long as the other TCU / Boise team is still in the rule 3A/B auto-bid position, they'll get in as an auto-bid, probably in the Sugar or Fiesta and knock out Stanford or a 2nd Big Ten team from the BCS
- Auburn loses: here it matters when Auburn loses. they lose to Alabama in the Iron Bowl but beat So Car, they still have a shot at the MyNCG bid as the #2 team. They lose to So Car in the SEC champ, they'll be in a fight with LSU for an at-large in the Orange Bowl, since So Car will be in the Sugar Bowl, and the Sugar won't have SEC v SEC (Orange Bowl will almost certainly pick a 2nd SEC team over the Big East champ or anybody else)
Your weekly sign of the apolcalypse:
- Still looks like only way Boise and TCU meet in the MyNCG is if Auburn and Oregon lose, most likely Auburn losing in the SEC championship game. But if that happens, both non-AQ's are well positioned with human pollsters to jump into the #1 / #2 slot needed to overcome computer softness. There's some open politic-ing going on with Les Miles trying to say LSU w/ 1-loss should be ahead of the non-AQ undefeateds, but I don't think that's going to sway voters.... UNLESS
- If the Cam Newton thing goes REALLY BAD and he's found to have been ineligible for this season, preferably after the Iron Bowl, then Auburn will have to forfeit all games he played in (all of them), become ineligible as a team for the BCS, and THEN you might see southern voters backlash against the ruling and cast all their Auburn muscle that was in the polls behind the next likliest SEC-brotherhood team.... LSU. I would think there'd be enough of a majority of voters who finally throw up their hands if this happened and just say, "all right TCU/Boise St, with all this shit going this year, here's your ONE TIME golden ticket", but keep your eyes peeled about this if the Cam Newton things breaks toward ineligibility in teh next week or so.
See you next week as the picture becomes much clearer after the Big Ten season wraps up and the Iron Bowl is played.