Perhaps it’s my fever-induced state, but I just convinced myself that Auburn still has a good shot at a BCS Bowl bid.
Imagine the expected OSU-USC matchup shakes out. The Rose gets the first two picks, so naturally they take Michigan first. But who else does the Rose pick? The SEC title game loser? If that’s Arkansas, they would probably get hammered in the polls. If West Virginia beats Rutgers, I think the Rose wants a conference champion, and they can get that in WVU. (Of course, what the rose really wants is OSU-USC, but oh well.)
So the next to pick is the Sugar. The Sugar gets UF as the SEC title game winner. Notre Dame is still available, so the Sugar picks them.
Next is the Orange, and this is where it gets interesting. Provided Boise State beats Nevada, they get a BCS bid. Since none of the bowls actually want Boise St., they will fall all the way to the Fiesta. Auburn is currently 12th in the BCS standings, and at 10-2 they meet both of the criteria for at-large selection. Ahead of them are the following teams likely to lose in the next few weeks (whereas Auburn is done): LSU, Arkansas, and Notre Dame. ND won’t fall that far when/if they lose this weekend, whereas LSU probably will (3rd loss) and Arkansas will face the usual title-game loser curse. Based on what I’ve said, the Orange could select from a pool of Arkansas, Louisville, Boise State, Auburn, and maybe Oklahoma. If I’m a bowl game committee chairman, I want people in the seats, so I want a SEC team. Arkansas is far away and will be coming off a loss, whereas Auburn is closer and just beat their arch-rival. Auburn is not likely to fall any further despite not playing. (Especially if UF wins the SEC title.)
As usual, I refuse to predict Tech to win the ACC, though I like our chances.
I’m pleasantly surprised by the number of eligible teams this year – especially from the Big 12 and SEC, which I thought might not make it. The Big 12 even has an extra team this year, and plus their weakness sorta helps them (in the sense they won’t get 2 BCS bids). The Big Ten will fall short, but Cincinnati should be able to go to the Motor City, and Washington State isn’t that far away from Boise.
Anyway, I’m tired and sick and heading back to Madison later today. And To Hell With Georgia.