The MAC had an eventful weekend, although it actually all ended by Friday. We knew Central Michigan was on to the conference final, but Ohio has joined them by ending Temple’s impressive win streak at 9 and taking the East division. The rest of the league did wrap up play last week as well, with one team earning their all-important 7th win, and another it’s 12th loss.
Here’s our final projection before bowl bids start pouring in. As always, all I have to work with is public information- I have no info on backroom dealings or unofficial alternate arrangements. And as before, I’m making guesses as to the reps from the big leagues, but those are harder since I don’t know as much about the politics involved in each of the big 6.
The At-Large Situation & Notre Dame
We have a few bowls with openings, and a few leagues with extra teams:
- EagleBank Bowl (ACC 8th Spot, possibly Army’s spot). CUSA will get one of the openings, the other will be at-large.
- GMAC Bowl (ACC 9th Spot)
- Humanitarian (MWC 5th Spot- MWC has 5 teams, but TCU to the BCS empties a bowl spot)
- Southeastern- Right now, 10 eligible teams for 9 spots. 7-5 teams include Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas and Auburn. No 6-6 teams. However, if both Florida and Alabama do go to BCS games, problem solved. Projecting that they will.
- Pac-10- 7 teams for 6 spots, and unlikely to get a second BCS bowl. However, UCLA is 6-6 and cannot be placed ahead of a 7-5 team, and the Pac-10 can’t pick them for a bowl over one of their own, then putting a 7-5 team on the at-large market (NCAA Division I Bylaw 22.214.171.124). So the problem does solve itself, really.
- Mid-American- 5 teams for 3 spots. 7-5 teams are Bowling Green and Northern Illinois. No 6-6 teams.
- WAC- 3 bowls, could have 5 eligible teams. 7-5 teams are Idaho, possibly Fresno State. If Hawaii loses and Boise State goes to the BCS, problem solved.
- Sun Belt- 1 bowl, 2 nine win teams, 2 more at 6-6. Middle Tennessee is 9-3, Louisianas Monroe & Lafayette both 6-6.
So if you project Hawaii to lose and send Boise & Alabama to the BCS, what you’re left with is 9-3 Middle Tennessee, 7-5 Bowling Green and NIU, and a couple 6-6 Sun Belt teams. I think the first three are off to the bowls listed above, while the Belt pair are done for the year. UCLA is also out of luck.
Then there’s the Notre Dame factor. The Gator Bowl has the right to take Notre Dame based on some sort of contractual deal, and if they do, the Big East could have somebody fall down into the at-large pool. Right now, that team looks like it could be UConn, currently at 6-5. They play South Florida this week, putting the non-BCS world in the horribly uncomfortable position of rooting for the Bulls in order to put UConn at 6-6 and out of the way of the 7-5 non-BCS schools. If UConn wins, and the Gator picks ND, consider UConn or USF projected to the Humanitarian bowl, and give my regards to Northern Illinois.
The Sun Bowl also has an agreement with Notre Dame, but that spot is assigned to a Big 12 team, and if ND is picked there, it will drop a 6-6 Kansas State or Texas A&M team down and out of the bowl picture, not threatening our three teams.
As far as I can tell, most bowls won’t be able to pick the Domers without a contract in place, since they’re 6-6, which is why it almost has to be the Gator Bowl. However, the Gator may prefer to have a good team there instead, and they have second pick from the Big East, which means that most likely two of Pitt, Cincinnati, and West Virginia will be available.
Boise now just needs favorites to win their conference title games, and they should be in. There is, of course, a bit of a conundrum as a neutral fan of non-BCS teams- if Nebraska upsets Texas, TCU could get a title shot (although Cincinnati could jump them, playing a respectable Pitt team Thursday night), but if that happens, then Boise’s BCS chances are on the rocks. Read Post
So that’s it then. November is gone, and so is the bulk of the college football regular season. There is only one team in America who’s bowl eligibility has not been finalized one way or another (Hawaii), so now our attention will turn to championship games and bowl placements. We might start hearing some bowl selections [...]
For most of America’s 1-A college football teams, the regular season has come to a close. The conferences with no championship game have a few games here and there over the next few weeks, and four non-BCS teams have appointments with championship games next week. Here are some of the highlights from yesterday’s action:
Troy and TCU [...]
In case you were being dragged around the malls into the afternoon, we had two more titles handed out over the last 24 hours or so, and the BCS picture isn’t getting any better for Boise State. Here’s what we know, and what we think:
- Ohio 35, Temple 17- Ohio is you MAC East Champion and will go on to play Central Michigan on Friday night. Both teams end their seasons at 9-3, as Temple’s 9 game streak comes to an end.
- Boise State 44, Nevada 33- The Wolf Pack gave the Broncos all they could, but BSU got out to a big lead early and Nevada couldn’t get caught up. Boise State repeats as WAC champion, and will look to go 8-0 in the league for 2 years running next week.
- Texas survived a good game from Texas A&M to stay in the driver seat for a BCS slot.
- Alabama did the same against Auburn, to keep the SEC Championship locked in as a play-in game, unless UF loses to FSU today.
- Pitt lost to West Virginia last night, which essentially eliminates them from BCS consideration unless they beat Cincinnati next week, and could mean that Cincy will not be rewarded with a BCS bowl if they lose to Pitt next week.
All this means is that as long as Cincinnati beats Pitt next week, it’s still a three way dance between Boise State, Oklahoma State (if they win today, and that’s a pretty big if), and Penn State/Iowa for two remaining places. If Oklahoma wins today, then a pretty clear path opens for BSU’s inclusion, especially if Cincinnati does beat Pitt next week. Read Post
I haven’t made this weekly, since things haven’t changed that fast in the conference landscapes, but now I think we’re ready to have another look. Bowls are listed in the approximate order of selection again, but in some conferences this is not a specific pick. I’m also making guesses as to the reps from the big leagues, but those are harder since I don’t know as much about the politics involved in each of the big 6.
The BCS picture still isn’t great for Boise State. With TCU and the SEC runner up basically locked in, they’re still competing for one of two remaining spots. It’s looking like the leading candidates for those spots are either Iowa or Penn State, the Broncos, and now Oklahoma State, if they overcome Oklahoma in Norman this weekend. Two spots for three teams is better than what BSU was looking at before, but if it all comes down to a business decision, they could the third team on the list of two.
Sugar- TCU vs. SEC runner up
Fiesta- Boise State vs. Iowa or Penn State. Boise fans have to be hoping/praying/begging for the Sooners to step up this weekend.
Our very compressed week continues on the Fringe today, where I’ll update the coaching watch and have a brand new bowl projections, with some new and corrected information from last time I tried it. Then tomorrow, the Pub column will run and I’ll have potentially abbreviated weekend previews for you. After that, the action moves to [...]
Both of our Western conferences were shuffling around, primarily waiting for a big week 13 slate. The WAC did see a near upset and one overtime game, while in the MWC, New Mexico escaped from a winless season before they head over to Fort Worth for this weekend’s finale. Also, TCU has locked up the Mountain West Championship.
Our last wrapup stop in the east before swinging west, and Conference USA is the least-decided league so far. Four teams are still alive in the title chase, although the SMU Mustangs chances are greatly diminished compared to the other three. Houston only needs to beat Rice, while the winner of ECU vs. Southern Miss will settle the eastern division. Championship scenarios down below. Read Post
The Sun Belt weekend played out about like we probably would have expected, with the good teams winning and the bad teams losing. We did see a mild upset as Louisiana Lafayette knocked off their state rivals from Monroe in a close one. Troy has clinched the conference championship, stampeding through the league at 7-0 with just Lafayette coming up on Saturday. Since 2006, Troy is 25-3 in the Sun Belt.