SjT: Irish & BCS Bowls - a Long Way to Go

OK, Stephen J. Truog is a long time critic of the BCS, the Chicago media's infatuation with the gang down in South Bend and he's an unabashed NU Wildcat fan, but he wonders what all the mid season hype is all about as he looks at college football mid October, and projects a few bowl matchups...

Waaaaaaaaaah! Waaaaaaaaaaaah!
Sheesh - even all the way out in the desert I can still hear all the whining from South Bend this weekend ...
But even worse is all this "greatest game ever" hype.

Yeah, it was a wonderful finish - but greatest game ever? Sorry Chicago columnists, Regis and Domer lovers -- this isn't even the greatest game played in Notre Dame Stadium (the '88 Miami game easily had more drama throughout and that's not even going back more than a couple decades).

And now all the BCS sour grapes is sure to come out -- without the notoriously Irish-biased AP poll in the mix, they're #16 ... and with few big games left, they may need help to get the BCS bid they feel so entitled to. Awwwww.

Are the Big XII/Bowden Computers biased?

Not really ... let's just look at who the Irish have beaten:
  • Pitt: 3-4 - awful team
  • Michigan: 4-3 - most mediocre Michigan team in years
  • Washington: 1-5 - worse than Pitt, but a better coach
  • Purdue: 2-4 - Tiller's worst team in Moo Moo Land
And with no B.C. on the schedule, the rest of the slate looks pretty thin, save for a November home date with Tennessee, who could be out of the top 20 if they don't win at Alabama this weekend. Syracuse, BYU and Stanford are pretty poor this year and Navy -- though always tough -- won't help those BCS rankings either.

I think a win over Tennessee and some serious Mack Brown-esque lobbying from the national press will get ND over the hump and up in the polls for a BCS bid. But if they fall to the Vols in November at home, they just won't have a quality win and a poor SOS will ruin any BCS hopes. GO ROCKY TOP!!! (Though I don't think Phat Phil can exploit the Irish secondary like $C and MSU did and will try to run it instead).

If I had to guess at the BCS now, I'd say ...
* ROSE: USC vs. Texas - Could have the top 4 Heisman finishers, three wearing the maroon and gold. A big game and SC has the hometown edge.

* FIESTA: Penn State vs. Notre Dame - I think the Irish beat the Vols to sneak in and PSU shouldn't lose the rest of the way, so with their Pac 10 and Big XII ties gone, the Fiesta uses those first picks to take the best matchup and make up for having to take Pitt last year.

* ORANGE: Virginia Tech vs. Alabama - Not playing in the SEC title game could help the Tide (or Gators) get into the BCS ... though a 9-2 OSU team would be tough for the BCS to pass up as well.

* SUGAR: LSU vs. West Virginia - Somebody's gotta play the Big Least champ and WV and VaTech have already met. At least they can play up the LSU and Sugar Bowl away-from-New Orleans theme to generate interest.
The contest for that extra bid will be strong between the Big Four (Big Ten, Pac 10, SEC and ACC). With the SEC having the most top 10 teams all year and the open bid probably coming in Miami or Atlanta, it's a pretty safe call that the SEC gets the 1st extra slot for now.

If ND doesn't get a bid, then the Fiesta would probably LOVE to take a 10-1 UCLA and match 'em up with 10-1 PSU in a Rose Bowl away from the Rose Bowl.

As for the Big Ten bowl picture, I hope to put together a midterm report card later this week with bowl predictions. Could be a real interesting year with the upheaval in some conferences though (the Alamo, for example, would probably have NEVER thought they could have a Michigan vs. Oklahoma matchup when this season began and both were in the top 10).
GO CATS!!!
-SjT

Stephen J. Truog has his own NU oriented Web Site
Visit SjTonline


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