Monday, November 8, 2010

Will a second Big Ten team make the BCS?

The ESPN & CBS "experts" have the BCS Bowls taking a second Big Ten team. I think Oklahoma's loss to Texas A&M helps, but it is still far from guaranteed.

If we assume Oregon and Auburn win out - they're in the BCS Championship game. Other automatic qualifiers are the ACC team that no one wants (for this post we'll consider this Virginia Tech), the Big East team that no one wants (Pitt?), likely Nebraska and MSU/Wisconsin/Iowa/OSU. Assuming that TCU and Boise also win out, they're guaranteed spots.

So 8 of the 10 spots are spoken for that leaves 2 spots for the 3 Big Ten teams that aren't in the Rose Bowl, LSU/Alabama and Stanford.

I would guess Auburn would move ahead of Oregon in the polls - conference championship game + win over Alabama - so the Sugar Bowl gets the first pick after other teams are assigned. But I think the same thing would happen if Oregon is still #1.

Here are the Bowls before the selections start:
BCS - Auburn vs Oregon
Sugar - At-large 1 vs At-large 5
Rose - Big Ten Champ vs At-large 2
Orange - Va Tech vs At-large 3
Fiesta - Nebraska vs. At-large 4

I would see it going like this: Sugar Bowl wants an SEC school if they can get one. One loss LSU meets that bill. Rose Bowl loves the Big-Ten PAC ten match-up, so they take 1 loss Stanford. You'd end up with something like:

BCS - Auburn vs Oregon
Sugar - LSU vs Pitt
Rose - Big Ten Champ vs Stanford
Orange - Va Tech vs TCU
Fiesta - Nebraska vs. Boise St

The Big Ten runners up need one of the following:
  • Auburn loss before conference championship game - moves one of the non-aq schools to the championship game and gives the Orange Bowl 2nd choice
  • Oregon loss - also would move the Orange bowl to 2nd pick, plus there is no way the Rose Bowl would select a team to set up a Big Ten conference game
  • Boise or TCU loss - 1 loss Big Ten team will trump 1 loss non-AQ
  • LSU loss - 2 loss LSU likely doesn't go in favor of 1 loss Big Ten
Also - does which Big Ten team is available matter? OSU and Wisconsin are huge travelers. Iowa is too, but with 2 losses already, it is tough seeing them take a spot over a 1 loss AQ conference school. I would think MSU would travel well to a big bowl since they haven't been a in a long time. The Big Ten (monetarily) might be best served if MSU is the Rose Bowl team.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like Adam Rittenberg thinks a second BigTen team will make it, but sights part of my argument why they might not.