As we close in on the end of the regular season, the BCS picture is now a little clearer. A look at the latest BCS rankings gives us a pretty good idea of which 10 teams will be selected for the big payday bowls.
Oregon and Auburn are still on a collision course to meet in the BCS title game. Pittsburgh could sneak in with four or five losses. And TCU is in position to receive the automatic bid that goes to the highest-ranked non-BCS conference champion.
So let’s take a look at the teams that are in the driver’s seat and project the 10 schools that will receive invitations to the BCS this year. To do this, let’s assume that the current highest-ranked team in each conference wins their remaining games including any conference championship games…
A few notes on the projection…
- At this point, there are seven automatic qualifiers including the top two teams (Oregon, Auburn), the other BCS conference champs (Va Tech, Nebraska, Pitt, Wisconsin) and the highest-ranked non-BCS champ (TCU).
- The most likely at large teams are one-loss LSU and Ohio State as well as undefeated Boise State.
- Other teams that could receive consideration, but are most likely to be left out: Stanford (9-1, BCS #6), Oklahoma State (9-1, #10), Alabama (8-2, #11).
At this point, it is a long shot for Boise State to make the BCS title game, even if unbeaten (something people have been predicting for a while). They would need to pass TCU in the rankings (not impossible based on remaining strength of schedule for both teams) and have Auburn lose the SEC title game to South Carolina.
Boise State does at least look like a lock for the BCS. One would have to think that there would be too much pressure for the BCS to bypass one-loss BCS teams Stanford and Oklahoma State in favour of the undefeated Broncos. If Boise State doesn’t leapfrog TCU, and Auburn loses, either LSU or Auburn would get the boot with South Carolina receiving the other SEC bid.
So Boise State will survive, sort of. But we are still left with a system that will admit a four- or five-loss team from the Big East over several very good one-loss teams.
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