Monday, November 07, 2005

BCS Bowlin' | by Jay

As of right now, we're in, at #11. (Notre Dame Football: one louder.)

In case you're wondering how the Bowl Selections work this year, here's the primer from Virginia Tech losing made the picture a lot clearer.

And here's the nutshell version vis-à-vis the Irish:

• If Southern Cal (games versus Cal, Fresno State, and UCLA) and Texas (games versus Kansas and Texas A&M) win out, then they'll go to the Rose Bowl for the National Championship.

• The Fiesta Bowl, having lost its Big XII tie-in with Texas going to the Rose, will then get the first selection of the remaining teams. The Fiesta may pick any eligible team except the SEC champion (tied to the Sugar) and the ACC champion (tied to the Orange). Assuming the big two win the rest of their games, and assuming we win the rest of ours (and we're not assuming anything -- attention ye Fates and Furies: this is merely the idle speculation of an inconsequential website, and is not intended to influence karma in any way), then the Fiesta will probably pick the Irish.

• The Orange would pick next to fill their open slot, then the Fiesta again, followed by the Sugar.

• Our potential opponent is still very much up in the air. LSU, Alabama, Georgia and Auburn are all in the mix for the SEC championship. Florida State will most likely face Miami again for the ACC championship. Both Ohio State and Penn State could win the Big 10. About the only conference lock outside the top two is West Virginia, but even there, a South Florida team has an outside shot if they run the table and beat WVU in the last game of the season. All told, there are about fifteen or sixteen different teams who could end up in the final six slots.

• The NY Daily News floated one possibility:

The Fiesta Bowl already is salivating about the possiblity of a Notre Dame-Penn State matchup Jan.2, which could do a bigger TV number in the East than the BCS title game at the Rose Bowl two nights later.
If Penn State wins the Big 10, this would be difficult to arrange, however. One of the myriad BCS rules provides that when a bowl submits its three-team preference, it must include any non-selected automatic berth teams among its top two preferences. The Orange Bowl would therefore have to put the Big 10 champ (PSU) and the Big East champ (WVU) on its list. You can bet whom they'll list first. A PSU versus Miami (ACC champ) matchup is likely in the Orange Bowl.

Following the Orange, the Fiesta picks again to determine who plays the Irish in their other slot. Per the rule, the Fiesta must list the Big East champ in the top two slots, but I'm guessing they'll list them second after another at-large team. Therefore ND will play the other at-large selection, potentially Virginia Tech, the runner-up SEC school (Bama, LSU, or Georgia), or perhaps Ohio State.

The Sugar Bowl would then be stuck with West Virginia (or USF) against the SEC champ.

Whom do you want to play?