Bowl Analysis 11/24/13

There is a lot of potential for complete chaos over the next two weeks. We have 69 eligible but the next two weeks will see that almost certainly climb to 74 and could go as high as 80.

American. Six bowl ties, four eligible. Rutgers is down to two chances to win one game and get eligible, they play at UConn and host USF. Rutgers remaining opponents have a combined 3 wins. SMU must win one of their final two they travel to Houston and host UCF. Rutgers will really have to collapse to not make it while SMU needs one good game against a good opponent. Both get eligible they cover all their bowls. One makes it and Beef O'Brady is open. Both collapse and BBVA Compass in Birmingham is open.

ACC. Eight bowl ties, ten eligible. Syracuse is the only left in play. They host Boston College on Saturday. Right now they are on track for two BCS bids so if Syracuse loses they will only have one at-large available. If Clemson and Florida State collapse leaving the ACC with one BCS spot and Syracuse wins they could have three teams seeking a bowl.

Big 10. Eight bowl ties, seven eligible. No one else can get eligible. Detroit is open. If the Big 10 places two in BCS the Heart of Dallas could come open as well.

Big XII. Seven bowl ties, six eligible. No one else can get eligible. Pinstripe is open with Notre Dame in line to back it up though they may be subject to some wheeling a dealing. In the unlikely even the B12 places a second BCS team, Houston's Texas Bowl will be short.

Conference USA. Six bowl ties, six eligible. FAU can still get eligible by beating FIU.

MAC. Three ties, six eligible with Central Michigan needing to win at home over 2-9 Eastern Michigan. They will send teams to Detroit, Mobile, and Boise and have back-up ties with the Poinsettia and they are contracted to fill at least one opening out Beef O'Brady, BBVA Compass, New Mexico. If NIU busts that clears up a little room.

Mountain West. Six bowl ties, five eligible. San Jose would have to win at home against Fresno. Colorado State has to win at home against 2-9 Air Force. Wyoming has to win at 7-4 Utah State. I think SJSU is done, Colorado State will make it and the deck is stacked against Wyoming. If only one makes it they cover what they have unless Fresno busts the BCS, then the Famous Potato Bowl in Boise is vacant. If Wyoming makes it or SJSU upsets Fresno then they have more teams than bowls.

PAC-12. Seven ties, nine eligible. No one else can make it. Two in the BCS looks improbable but it's not completely out of the question. Odds are they have two looking for a place to land.

SEC. Ten ties, nine eligible. Miss St has to win at home against Ole Miss. No one else can get eligible. The SEC is clogging up the BCS standings, it is a given they will place two. That insures the AdvoCare 100 Independence Bowl is open. If Miss St loses the BBVA Compass in Birmingham will also be open.

Sun Belt. Two ties, four eligible. ULM has to win on the road at UL Lafayette. Troy has one shot hosting Texas State. Troy's chances look much better with Texas State's QB injured.

Independents. Notre Dame is eligible. BYU has already accepted a trip to Fight Hunger. Navy is headed to Bell Helicopter.

BCS

Based on today's standings, the title game would be Alabama vs. Florida State. Sugar would get a pick to replace Bama. Sugar tends to be leery of the SEC title game loser so it would look like Auburn may have the inside track. Orange would almost certainly take Clemson to replace Florida State.

Then regular selections start. Orange would have first selection. It's possible but improbable that they might take in-state UCF. Most likely they would take the loser of the Big 10 title game or Wisconsin if the Badgers can move from 15 to 14 to be eligible for at-large selection. But if Ohio State beats Michigan State the Spartans might fall outside the selection window of 14 or better. That could open the door for a Pac-12.

Sugar has the next selection. If Orange takes an at-large and one of Northern Illinois or Fresno is in the top 16 the Sugar will be forced to select between the AAC champion (likely UCF) and the highest rated of NIU and Fresno, currently that's NIU.

Fiesta has the final selection and will have to take the team that the Sugar passed on.

There's a lot of room for crazy left in the BCS. Four AQ leagues have a title game and most contenders still have to play a rivalry game this week. NIU and Fresno each have a regular season game and a championship game to play.

Games Likely Open

Pinstripe is open from the Big XII, Notre Dame is contracted to back it up but the conventional wisdom is that they may seek other options unless the opponent is Rutgers.

Beef O'Brady is open from the AAC. Unless ESPN works something out, they have to take a MAC when they would likely prefer an ACC.

Detroit will be open and the lack of spots makes it likely that the ACC and Pac-12 are both angling to place a team there.

Heart of Dallas will be open if Big 10 places two in BCS. Both ACC and Pac-12 will be after the game with it preferred over Detroit.

Famous Potato might be open if Fresno makes BCS. Likely a Pac-12 destination if that happens.

BBVA Compass. If Miss St loses to Ole Miss it will be open. If that happens MAC will cover either this or Beef O'Brady with ACC going to the other.

AdvoCare 100 Independence. It's open and they can't take an ACC at-large and unlikely to take a Pac-12. Good position for Sun Belt but the ACC is likely trying to convince Notre Dame to go to open up Pinstripe while CUSA is likely to broker deals as well but most likely can't offer anyone other than MTSU or FAU or maybe Tulane.

By the numbers

There are 69 eligible for 70 spots. I expect Rutgers, FAU, Central Michigan, Colorado State, and Troy to make it taking us to 74. Schools with a shot that probably won't make it: SMU, Syracuse, San Jose State, Wyoming, Mississippi State, and ULM. Worst case would be 80 eligible for 70 spots.

Schools who are probably left out: Texas State, Troy (unless Sun Belt gets an at-large and Mobile chooses Troy over WKU), Central Michigan, and FAU. Next in line to be knocked out are probably Ohio and then another Sun Belt.