Wednesday, November 12, 2008

bowl chatter

TCU is just a few days into a very long break before its last game of the regular season. How shall we pass the time? By speculating about bowl bids, of course!

The early skuttlebutt puts TCU in either Las Vegas to face a mid-level Pac-10 team (Arizona or Oregon), or in Fort Worth to face a low-level Conference USA team (perhaps Rice). For the Las Vegas Bowl to pick the Frogs, it must not have the chance to pick Utah-- which means the Utes must win out and take the non-cartel autobid. The Wimple always prefers to watch the Horned Frogs beat a cartel team, so here's to the Las Vegas Bowl.

Link to this post in the future through the "BOWL" item on the schedule block on the left sidebar.

November 13 update: The MWC bowl picture is slightly less blurry. UNLV beat Wyoming lastnight, to go 5-6 with one game remaining at the very bad SDSU Aztecs. Wyoming is now the third MWC team to become ineligible for a bowl, joining the hapless Aztecs and New Mexico. Colorado State must win both of its remaining games-- New Mexico and at Wyoming to clinch eligibility. Best case scenario, UNLV and Colorado State win out, and the MWC finds bowl berths for a record six teams: Utah, TCU, BYU, Air Force, UNLV, and Colorado State.

Five conferences look unlikely to fill all of their tie-ins: CUSA (St. Petersburgh/New Orleans); Big 10 (Motor City/Champs Sports); Big 12 (Independence/Texas); Pac 10 (Poinsettia/Hawaii/Emerald); and the SEC (Independence/PapaJohns/Music City). Along with the Mountain West, the MAC, Sunbelt, and WAC will be vying to put a conference member into these slots.

November 20 update: Bowl officials are going on record with their preferences, in this or in that scenario. The Las Vegas Bowl has indicated it's not interested in UNLV, but wants one of the MWC's ranked teams; the Poinsettia Bowl says it wants Utah if the Utes fail to make the BCS. I see this to mean TCU goes to the Poinsettia Bowl if Utah wins on Saturday, and like BYU is going to Las Vegas for the... fourth year in a row?

November 22 update: Utah pulled it off; behind sensational performances from their D and Brian Johnson, they reached 12-0 this season, and will receive an autobid to a BCS game-- likely the Sugar or Fiesta. Elsewhere in the MWC, Colorado State topped Wyoming to become the conference's fifth bowl eligible team. UNLV lost to SDSU (who promptly fired their coach-- a regrettable move, methinks), ending its season with only 5 wins.

November 24 update: The MWC bowl picture is pretty clear now. Utah gets the non-cartel autobid; BYU and TCU will go to Las Vegas and Poinsettia (likely in that order). Air Force and Colorado State likely go to the Armed Forces and New Mexico bowls (likely in that order, as well.) Each team's opponent is very much unclear.

December 3 update: The BCS helped college football fans everywhere understand a nuance in the at-large eligibility rules, when it did not oust TCU from its "might pick 'em" list yesterday. The Frogs are outside of the cartel, and did not win their conference-- and now we understand that any top-14 ranked team is eligible for an at-large berth. This is nice news-- but there's precisely a 0.00% chance that a BCS bowl will pick TCU over the ticket-selling behemoths also elilgible, like Texas and Ohio State. But it's nice to know we're allowed to play the game.

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