Well this weekend sure made a lot of things more clear. Les Miles has begun his BCS campaign spouting off about the amazing schedule they play. What a pinhead. Utah got completely exposed. And the BCS picture got a lot clearer. Here’s how things look to be shaking down.
First, Oregon and Auburn are on collision courses with each other for the BCS championship. Clearly Cal, Arizona and Oregon State don’t pose much of a threat to Oregon. And clearly Georgia and Alabama don’t pose much of a threat to Auburn. The SEC title game will be Florida or South Carolina, neither of which poses a threat either. Looks like barring some rivalry week madness we have our BCS championship matchup.
But what comes after that? The big new deal is with the Rose Bowl. Starting this year, if the Pac-10 or Big Ten champ gets sent to the BCS championship, then the Rose Bowl must replace them with the non-AQ team that qualifies for an auto BCS bid, if there is one. This year it’s looking like that will be TCU. Before this weekend, TCU had an average computer score of .910 and Boise State was .800. In order to overcome the differential, Boise State would have to be two spots higher than TCU in one of the Harris or Coaches poll and one spot higher in the other. They are currently one spot higher in both polls. But after seeing what TCU did to Utah yesterday, chances are TCU will pass up Boise State. This means TCU will play Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl if the Badgers win out.
Big Ten tiebreakers say in this instance that the highest ranked BCS team gets the bid. This if of course if Ohio State beats Iowa. If Iowa wins, they get eliminated because of being a two loss team, then they take Michigan State head to head with Wisconsin, and the Spartans won that game. So Wisconsin is rooting for Ohio State all the way in that game. Either way, TCU plays the Spartans or Badgers in the Rose Bowl as it stands now.
That leaves the Fiesta Bowl for Boise State to play the Big 12 champion, and that’s anyone’s guess. It will certainly be either Nebraska, Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, depending on how things turn out.
The Sugar Bowl would need to replace Auburn and would likely bring another SEC team, probably LSU, to play the Big Ten team that doesn’t go to the Rose Bowl, either Michigan State or Wisconsin. The Orange Bowl would get Virginia Tech and Pitt.
So to summarize how I see the BCS picture turning out:
BCS Championship: Oregon vs. Auburn
Rose Bowl: TCU vs. Wisconsin
Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. Nebraska
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. Michigan State
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Pitt
Depending on how things turn out you could see TCU and Boise State flop positions, and you could see Wisconsin and Michigan State flop spots as well. That Nebraska pick is very shaky too- depending on how the Oklahoma/Oklahoma State game turns out and the Big 12 championship goes, that could change. But that’s how I have it right now.