Tuesday, November 15, 2005

BCS Math

I've been bored today at work, so I've been sitting here mulling Auburn's chances of getting to a BCS Bowl (If they beat Bama but don't get to the SEC championship game). While the chances are pretty slim, it is possible. I've actually come up with several convoluted scenarios, but there is only one that makes a lot of sense. Notre Dame has to lose.

Right now, the PAC-10, Big 10, ACC, and SEC are all fighting over 1 at large big (the Big 12 and Big East are joke conferences this year and stand no chance of sending two teams). This is due to Notre Dame's ridiculous contract with the BCS that basically assures them a spot if they ever have less than three losses (they're 7-2 right now).

I'm assuming than the current conference leaders all win out. That would result in:

Rose Bowl: USC vs. Texas
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs ?
Orange Bowl: Miami vs ?
Fiesta Bowl: ? vs ?

Teams with Guaranteed spots: Penn St., Notre Dame, West Va.

The bowl selection order this year (since the Fiesta will lose Texas to the National Championship Rose Bowl) will be: Fiesta, Orange, Fiesta, Sugar.

The Fiesta will most likely use it's first choice to take either Notre Dame or Penn St., and the Orange will grab up the other. That will leave the Fiesta to chose either West Va. or an at large team. The likely pool of at large candidates is: 10-1 Oregon, 10-1 Va. Tech, 9-2 Auburn, or 9-2 Ohio St. (Alabama, Texas Tech, and UCLA will also be 9-2, but will all likely be less than the required 12th in BCS rank). Out of those choices, they would most likely pick Oregon based on regional proximity. West Va. would then go to the Sugar Bowl.

But, let's say that Notre Dame loses another game. That would eliminated them from contention. Then the Fiesta would take Penn St. with their first pick, and the next move would belong to the Orange Bowl. They probably would not take Oregon, because it's on the other side of the country. They also would probably pass on West Va. (poor Big East . . .no one wants them). They couldn't take Va Tech because that would be an ACC vs. ACC pairing, which is against the rules. So they would get to pick between Auburn and Ohio St. Now, I know that Ohio St. has a larger fan base, but Auburn has more regional appeal. Also, it's not a given that Ohio St. will beat Michigan, so a loss there would leave Auburn standing almost alone.

Of course, I'm making a lot of assumptions. The biggest is that LSU will beat Georgia in the SEC title game. If Georgia wins, then any second SEC bid would fall to LSU instead of Auburn. Also, if Miami loses another game they wouldn't win the ACC, but would be a more powerful at large candidate than Va. Tech. And of course, if either Texas or USC lose, it will completely change the selection order, and all bets are off.

But for now, in addition to my Auburn colors, I will be cheering for Michigan, Syracuse, and Stanford.