Sunday, November 28, 2010

Today's BCS Bowl Analysis/Prediction; Who should and will be the BCS at large teams

There is much debate about who the best one-loss team is and who will be selected for the BCS bowls, and I'm not shy to weigh in so here is what my computer says about who should be in the bowls based on merit and who likely will be given the priorities of the bowls (money).

There are still a few games to play and with championship games, things could change, but as of now it appears the AQ teams will be Oregon, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma/Nebraska (virtual tie in my ratings), Wisconsin/Ohio State (waiting on BCS, very close), and West Virginia (they'll win, UConn likely to lose).  TCU is in line for an automatic berth, and with Boise and LSU losing, Stanford should move to #4 in the BCS and get an auto-berth.  That leaves two spots and the following teams available:

  • Boise State
  • Ohio State/Wisconsin
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma/Nebraska loser
  • Missouri
Boise State should be seriously considered but won't be given the perception of their schedule.  But that is an incorrect perception as my computer has them with a 57th rated schedule which is ahead of Ohio State (62) and Wisconsin (72).  So on merit, they should be picked, but throw in the bowls desire to have hordes of people come to town for the game and that second strike means Boise State won't get a BCS berth.

Since the Big-Televen doesn't have a championship game, their second best team won't incur another loss and is pretty much a lock to get a berth in a BCS bowl and that is probably fair with my computer having Ohio State at #6 and Wisconsin at #11.  You can right this one in in ink.

Assuming Auburn wins the SEC championship, the Sugar Bowl will be looking for another SEC team and would have gladly taken LSU, but with their loss, Arkansas is the most likely candidate and is worthy of it as my computer has them at #8.  I'd say you can right this one in ink too.

What about the OU/NU loser?  Well, that right there is the problem.  The loser is going to incur another loss and go to 10-3 while Arkansas gets to stand pat on their 10-2 record.  My computer has OU and NU at #9 and #10 respectively so they are worthy, but I expect they'll lose out.  What about Missouri?  They are really outside the being worthy rank at #13 in my computer but could move up a bit if Nebraska wins, but given that it is likely the Sugar Bowl making the pick, they'll lose out to Arkansas.

That would make the bowl games:
  • NC - Oregon vs Auburn
  • Rose - Wisconsin/Ohio State vs TCU
  • Sugar - Arkansas vs Ohio State/Wisconsin
  • Orange - Virginia Tech vs West Virginia
  • Fiesta - Oklahoma/Nebraska vs Stanford
The NC and Rose are fixed, the Sugar gets to pick next and would take Arkansas and the Big-Televen team to get the big crowd.  The Orange would stay away from asking Stanford alum to travel across the country and take the neighbor state battle leaving Stanford in the Fiesta.

Now, what happens if something unexpected occurs in the championship games?  Really the only one that would impact anything is if Auburn loses to South Carolina.  In this scenario it all depends on how far Auburn falls and there may be resistance to elevate TCU to the championship game, but that is what should happen and I expect it would.  If Auburn does manage to stay #2, the above stays the same, just replace Arkansas with South Carolina.

If Auburn falls to #3 or below, then things juggle around and I'd expect:
  • NC - Oregon vs TCU
  • Rose - Wisconsin/Ohio State vs Stanford
  • Sugar - South Carolina vs Ohio State/Wisconsin
  • Orange - Virginia Tech vs Auburn
  • Fiesta - Oklahoma/Nebraska vs West Virginia
The Rose would be alleviated of the requirement to take TCU and would jump at Stanford to keep the traditional matchup.  The Sugar would probably rather have Auburn but I believe would be obligated to the SEC champ meaning Auburn falls to the Orange to select and West Virginia ends up in the Fiesta.

Now, if Stanford is somehow passed for the #4 spot in the BCS by Wisconsin or Ohio State, that leaves the door open for a Big-12 team, the most likely would be Missouri as again, I think it would be hard to take a three-loss OU/NU loser.