Friday, November 13, 2009

Might TCU Get to Play for BCS Title?

As we get closer to the finish line, it seems like amateur hour all over the web. All sorts of people who have as strong a grasp on college football as they do on grammar are coming out with incredibly nonsensical scenarios.

At the risk of spreading baseless speculations, take a look at this one:
National Championship - TCU vs. Boise State

Rose Bowl - Oregon State vs. Wisconsin

Orange Bowl - Pittsburgh vs. Duke

Sugar Bowl - LSU vs. Georgia Tech

Fiesta Bowl - Kansas State vs. Alabama

First of all, Wisconsin cannot win the Big Ten. It's not unlikely, but impossible, per the Big Ten's tiebreaker rules. And if Alabama wins the SEC championship, even with one loss, it's guaranteed to play in the Sugar Bowl. Furthermore, since in this scenario the Orange Bowl has the first pick, there is no way on God's green earth it'd take the Big East champion over all other qualifiers.

So, Sean, please go back and study up a little more before you venture into something that's slightly above your pay grade.

The only item in this juvenile fantasy that's not a mathematical or procedural impossibility is the first one - a BCS national championship game between TCU and Boise State.

It's highly improbable, but not impossible. In addition, the chances of having TCU in the title game - as the first non-BCS conference member - are better than you think. Here's what will need to happen:

a) Texas loses one of its four remaining games
b) Florida loses one of its remaining regular-season games and then beats Alabama in the SEC title game
c) Cincinnati loses one of its remaining three games

If at least two of the above scenarios occur, plus TCU wins its last three games, then voila!, you'll have Horned Frogs kissing Rose princesses (maybe even the queen) in Pasadena right after New Year's Day.

What about Boise State? You ask.

No chance, because there is just about zero possibility of the Broncos jumping TCU if both teams win out.

What about an SEC rematch in the national title game?

That's a longshot, and only would happen if Alabama wins the SEC championship. The Gators are done if they drop one of their remaining regular-season games because they'll get massacred by the computers for their weak schedule.

Why does Cincinnati have to lose?

Because the Bearcats are almost certain to jump TCU if both teams win out. Cincinnati's remaining schedule will be much more to the computers' liking, not to mention the voters'.

Does Boise State have any shot to make the TCU-Boise title game a reality?

Yes, but the odds on that are longer than having Sarah Palin (an Idaho native, by the way) as our next president. Even if every team ahead of Boise State loses a game, the Broncos may still be behind a couple of one-loss teams in the BCS standings. Right now, their primary concern is trying to stay out a second consecutive Poinsettia Bowl.

★★★★★ GAME OF THE WEEK: Utah at TCU, 7:30 p.m. ET (CBS College Sports). Without a doubt, this is the biggest game in TCU history (ah, don't give me the Sammy Baugh bullcrap, were you alive back then?). But unfortunately, it will be seen by only about a third of the nation's cable audience. This is the moment where TCU (and perhaps the whole of the Mountain West) might be able to cross the Rubicon and become a real player in the BCS. A Horned Frogs victory all but locks up a BCS bowl berth, perhaps more.

★★★★ FOUR-STAR GAME: Iowa at Ohio State, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC). The winner of this game will go to Pasadena. For the Buckeyes, it'll be their first in the Jim Tressel era - and the first since 1996. The Hawkeyes will be the prohibitive underdog now that Ricky Stanzi is out, but an upset will give them their first Rose Bowl berth since 1990. The loser may be out of a BCS bowl altogether.

★★★ THREE-STAR GAME: Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. ET (ABC). The Irish are reduced to playing for a Gator Bowl berth and perhaps saving Charlie Weis' job. For Pitt, while this game has no implication for the Big East's BCS bowl berth, a lot of national prestige will be on the line. The Panthers need to handle Notre Dame to justify their lofty ranking in the BCS standings.

★★ TWO-STAR GAME: Stanford at USC, 3:30 p.m. ET (FSN). Do you know Stanford is the only team to have beaten USC twice at the Coliseum in the Pete Carroll era? The last time these two met in L.A., the 41-point underdog Cardinal scored a 24-23 shocking upset that ended the Trojans' quest for the 2007 national championship. These two teams will be much more evenly matched up this time around. The spread, in fact, is only 10 1/2.

★ ONE-STAR GAME: Florida at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS). The Ol' Ball Coach beat his alma mater (and Urban Meyer) in his first season with the Gamecocks, but has lost the last three, including two humiliating defeats the last two years in which the Gators ran up over 100 points. Steve Spurrier will try to make a better go at it this time around, but an upset is probably out of the question. (The SEC refs will make sure of it ... Sorry, Mike Slive, I didn't mean it.)


MariusJanulisForThree said...

You shame me! I don't want to live in a world where Wisconsin can't win the Big Ten...


PeteP said...

Why must Cincy pass TCU if both win out?

TCU will stay above Cincy in the human polls and both teams will stay close in the computers (especially after the SEC loser goes down and if Texas goes down). TCU is ahead of Cincy in three computers and Cincy is ahead of TCU in three as well. Looks like the computers may be a wash, especially if Pitt loses to ND tomorrow....

Of course, a Cincy loss to WV tonight would do wonders.....