Hypothetical: 4-9 and a Rose Bowl berth

Submitted by Brhino on December 2nd, 2011 at 9:38 PM

The following is inspired by the faint possibility of a 7-6 UCLA team playing in the Rose Bowl (oops, Oregon just scored another touchdown...).


Suppose a Big Ten team (Let's say Indiana just for fun) starts the season with four straight non-conference losses.  Also suppose that Indiana goes 3-5 in conference play but still wins the Leaders division.  This is not impossible - if every Leaders team loses every game against the Legends division, and each team goes either 3-2 or 2-3 in intra-Leaders games, then the division winner will be whichever 3-2 team wins the tiebreaker.

That would make Indiana 3-9 after the regular season but still playing in the championship game.  Suppose they win.  Their record goes to 4-9, and as the winner of the Big Ten championship game, they are awarded a spot in the Rose Bowl.

Or are they?  They don't have six wins, so they're not even bowl eligible.  So what happens?



December 2nd, 2011 at 10:07 PM ^

Bowl eligibility only applies to bowl invitations. The B1G is automatically given a berth in the Rose Bowl. Imagine if every team in an AQ conference save one was given a bowl ban. Even if that remaining team went winless, they would still take the conference's BCS berth.


December 2nd, 2011 at 10:09 PM ^

Hypothetical: a meteor falls into the path of a wide receiver running up the sideline, knocking him out of bounds before he returns and catches the pass.  Is it a valid catch? 


December 2nd, 2011 at 10:37 PM ^

They go to the Rose Bowl as Conference Champs. No 6 wins required.

A more realistic example would be a 5-8 MAC champ. Could happen. If they win the tie breaker in the division at 4-4 and then win the conference champ game they go bowling. Record is irrelevant.


December 2nd, 2011 at 11:20 PM ^

No way that any team could possibly lose all four non-conference and somehow win a division.  There's no way a team could ever be that bad, especially considering how laughable non-conference schedules are, and then somehow be that good.  Neither division has enough cupcakes.


December 2nd, 2011 at 11:52 PM ^

Have you not watched college football over the past 25 years??? Anything is possible. And this case could certainly be possible if say, the star qb and rb were suspended/injured for the first 5 games then came back. Nothing impossible about this scenario at all. And did you see the Leaders division this year? what about next year?


December 2nd, 2011 at 11:23 PM ^

This has actually happened in the Sun Belt. In 2001, North Texas went 0-5 in their out of conference games, went 5-1 in conference and beat the other 5-1 team. The NCAA ruled at 5-6 they had to be allowed into a bowl as conference champion.

Doctor Wolverine

December 2nd, 2011 at 11:45 PM ^

This basically sounds like the Big East every year. When will the BCS get smart and require AQs to at least be in the top 20, better yet top 14? If not, the spot should go to a more qualified team.


December 3rd, 2011 at 2:36 AM ^

Let's also not forget that the Pac 12 South's best team is ineligible for the post-season, hence the silliness of UCLA. Let's say next year's B1G East, Ohio is banned from a bowl but rips through the competition, while everybody else falls off to the 2-3 win level. It's even more plausible once the B1G goes to 9 conference games - you could see someone with as few as 3 wins conceivable going to the title game.

Of course, maybe this is an argument for the B1G's gerrymandered divisions. After all, the biggest disparities between divisions this year are in the SEC and the Pac 12. I am not a fan of "leaders and legends" divisions, but maybe there's something to it.