Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More College Football Surprises...

After another couple weeks, it should be no surprise that there were so many unexpected events--this season has been like that all along.

Missouri and Kansas took care of business the week before their big showdown, which set up a game that would cement the winner front-runner status for a spot in the National Championship Game. Oklahoma, who will face Missouri in the Big XII Championship, did not.

Of course, neither did LSU, who had the clearest path, or Arizona State, who had a very solid chance to capitalize on that opportunity.

Thus, the seven are down to three. Missouri will have a spot if they beat Oklahoma--that much is certain. The other spot is less clear; currently, West Virginia leads Ohio State, but they still have a game against Pitt. This shouldn't be a difficult contest, but even a win will drag down their schedule strength in the formulas, and an unimpressive win may give some voters second thoughts. (However, Oklahoma will probably beat Missouri again, rendering the "beauty pageant" irrelevant.)

As teams now stand, the BCS automatic qualifiers are West Virginia (Big East) and Ohio State (Big Ten). The leaders from the other affiliated conferences are currently Missouri (which faces Oklahoma in the Big XII Championship), Virginia Tech (which faces Boston College in the ACC Championship), LSU (which faces Tennessee in the SEC Championship), and USC (which faces UCLA in their cross-town rivalry game; a loss would open a door for Arizona State... unless Arizona State also loses, which would cause the conference to have four teams with three losses tied for the crown). Georgia and Hawai'i will have at-large bids secured if they remain at (or above) their current rankings; a non-conference-champion ranked in the top four qualifies automatically, and a conference champion from outsider conference qualifies automatically at 12th place. The remaining eligible teams for the two final spots are Kansas or Oklahoma, Boston College, and Arizona State.

Missouri and West Virginia would play for the national championship. The Rose Bowl would be USC and Ohio State. LSU would go to the Sugar Bowl, and Virginia Tech to the Orange Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl would pick Kansas to replace Missouri, the Big XII Champion. The Orange Bowl would be all too pleased to match Georgia with Virginia Tech. The Fiesta Bowl would then select Arizona State, rather than Boston College, to play Kansas. This would leave the Sugar Bowl with LSU and Hawai'i.

However, there are games yet to be played. As I see it, the only current front-runner to lose is Missouri. Thus, the bowls will be reordered something like this:
Championship: West Virginia and Ohio State
Rose: USC and Georgia (replacing Big Ten Champion)
Orange: Virginia Tech and Missouri
Fiesta: Oklahoma and Arizona State
Sugar: LSU and Hawai'i

The wrench in the works would be if Illinois rises high enough to be eligible, and the Rose Bowl wants a traditional-looking matchup of USC-Illinois. This would please the Orange Bowl, which could pick up Georgia, but infuriate the Big XII, as the Fiesta Bowl would not be able to pick a second team from their conference, and select Arizona State, once again leaving Hawai'i in the Sugar Bowl. With possibly three teams in the top ten, the conference could be left with only one in a BCS Bowl. The other possibility is back-room pressure that squeezes Arizona State out of the Fiesta in favor of Hawai'i; but make no mistake, it's looking like someone is going to get the shaft: either the Rose Bowl won't get a Big Ten team, the Big XII won't get a second team in, or the Fiesta Bowl won't get what it wants.


At 1:25 AM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Kathryn said...

OK, update already!

At 6:20 PM, March 12, 2008, Blogger Kathryn said...

(tumbleweed blows by as a cricket chirps....)

At 8:18 AM, August 15, 2008, Blogger bawb said...

Hey, we moved blue-beta. Come to bluebeta.nfshost.com.


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