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  • If the BCS Games were Picked Today….

    by Mike Coffey

    One less week in the season, one less unbeaten at the top of the polls. Though I still feel ND is one win away from being a true BCS lock, there’s still a lot of crucial football to be played. Nevertheless….

    For the purposes of this exercise, the highest-ranked BCS member of a conference is assumed to be that conference’s champion and is marked with an asterisk (*). Any other special notations will be indicated as needed.


    1) Kansas State (B12) *
    2) Oregon (P12) *
    3) Notre Dame **
    4) Alabama (SEC) *
    5) Georgia (SEC)
    6) Florida (SEC)
    7) LSU (SEC)
    8) Texas A&M (SEC)
    9) South Carolina (SEC)
    10) Florida State (ACC) *
    11) Clemson (ACC)
    12) Oklahoma (B12)
    13) Stanford (P12)
    14) Nebraska (B10) *
    15) Texas (B12)
    16) Oregon State (P12)
    17) UCLA (P12)
    18) USC (P12)
    19) Louisville (BE) *
    20) Louisiana Tech (WAC)

    ** As a top-four team, Notre Dame automatically receives an at-large BCS bid.

    It’ll be interesting to watch LaTech and Louisville. The WAC champ will need to finish ahead of a BCS AQ champion, and right now, the Big East is looking (typically) vulnerable.


    Kansas State and Oregon are slotted into the National Championship Game.

    The Fiesta Bowl picks first to replace Kansas State. There’s no way in hell they’re going to let ND get by them, so the Fighting Irish are selected.

    The Rose Bowl picks second to replace Oregon. Stanford is top-14 and eligible (at least today), so the Rose Bowl selects them.

    The Fiesta Bowl then takes its regular pick. Wanting the strongest opponent for the Fighting Irish they can get, they select Georgia.

    The Sugar Bowl takes its pick for Alabama’s opponent, and selects Oklahoma.

    The Orange Bowl selects last, pairing up contractually-bound Florida State with the remaining conference champion, Louisville.


    Gator: Northwestern (B10 #4) vs. South Carolina (SEC #6)
    Capital One: Wisconsin (B10 #2) vs. Florida (SEC #2)
    Outback: Michigan (B10 #3) vs. LSU (SEC #3)
    Rose: Nebraska vs. Stanford
    Orange: Florida State vs. Louisville
    Sugar: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
    Fiesta: Notre Dame vs. Georgia
    Cotton: Texas (B12 #2) vs. Texas A&M (SEC #4)
    National Title: Kansas State vs. Oregon

    That sound you just heard was the organizers of the Cotton Bowl having an orgasm.

    35 Responses to “If the BCS Games were Picked Today….”

    1. Shineyshineon says:

      Oregon’s got quite a week – playing Alabama first and then Kansas State

      • Mike Coffey says:

        Good catch — I had Oklahoma in the official list, got crossed up on O-words (as opposed to an O-face).

    2. While it is not their choice, I have seen reports that Texas will put a lot of pressure on the Cotton Bowl to pick anyone other than A&M.

    3. Good analysis. Do you think that if all teams win out that Oregon could pass KSU, thus giving first selection to the Rose Bowl? If so, could the Irish end up in Pasadena with a $22M consolation prize?

    4. I think this is pretty accurate for Notre Dame’s scenario…..anyway. Even if they finish 12-0 they need a loss from Oregon or Kansas State to get to the NCS.
      USC, as we all know has 3 losses. They have to play UCLA this week and can quite possibly have a fourth loss before November 24th. What’s the difference if USC has 3 or 4 losses? How does that help ND? It doesn’t. It doesn’t matter how many losses USC has if they beat ND it’s a huge upset and another title contender goes down. If ND wins it’s just another win against a 3 or 4 loss team. It won’t mean anything. Well, it will mean something for us ND fans because USC is always a big game. But to those who fill out the ballots how much weight will a win over a 3 or 4 loss USC team carry? I’m still trying to figure out why a 3 loss USC team is in the top 20. Anyway, I’m sure it will work itself out in the end.
      “GO IRISH”

    5. according to my reading of the BCS selection procedures, if the Rose Bowl loses Oregon, they will get an immediate pick of any AQ team BEFORE the Fiesta. I find it hard to believe they’d pass on ND.

      “3. If a bowl loses a host team to the NCG, then such bowl shall select a replacement team from among the automatic-qualifying teams and the at-large teams before any other selections are made. If two bowls lose host teams to the NCG, each bowl will get a replacement pick before any other selections are made. In such case, the bowl losing the No. 1 team gets the first replacement pick, and the bowl losing the No. 2 team gets the second replacement pick. If the Rose Bowl loses both the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions to the NCG, it will receive two replacement picks.”

      I admit, I may be reading this incorrectly. But it gives me the impression that the Rose Bowl would jump to the front of the line.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        Only if the team they lose is the #1 BCS team, which Oregon may be by the end of the year. If K-State is #1, Fiesta gets the first pick.

        • Too true. I guess I was working under the assumption that if Oregon wins out, they’ll jump to number one considering how their season ends and the addition of a 13th game. But as my 7th grade English teacher used to say, “when you assume you make an ass out of you and me.”

    6. If Oregon finishes first in the BCS, which is likely given their closing strength of schedule, then the Rose Bowl gets the first pick and the Irish would likely head to Pasadena. I would love to see ND in the Rose Bowl playing Nebraska or Wisconsin almost as much as a trip to the BCS championship game. Great game and the polls are just people’s opinion anyway. And we know after the election that the people often don’t get it right anyway!

      • The Rose Bowl, for some reason, seems tradition-bound to continue the Pac-12 vs. B1G matchup wherever possible. If a second Pac-12 team finishes in the Top 14, I think the Rose Bowl will take that school ahead of us, even if we’re #3 and the other school is #14. OTOH, if there are no available Pac-12 replacement schools for the Rose Bowl, I think we’d be a no-brainer pick for the Rose Bowl so long as the B1G representative is someone other than Michigan.

    7. Outback is not SEC 3, Cotton not SEC 4; Outback is next choice from East, Cotton is next choice from West.

    8. mike vecellio says:

      Bigger than NC game would beND vs Bama

    9. If Oregon’s in the National Championship game then Stanford’s not in the Rose Bowl.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        Why wouldn’t they be? The Rose Bowl wants to preserve the B10-P12 thing if at all possible, and Stanford is, at this moment, eligible.

        Remember, this is if the games were picked today.

    10. ESPN’s guru Brad Edwards believes if it’s Oregon vs. K-State for the NC…the Irish will more than likely go to the Rose Bowl. This is based on his “contact” at the Fiesta Bowl indicating that the committee will not pass the B12 runner-up Oklahoma if they win out and have only two losses. By Oregon being in the NC game…this would mean that Stanford has 3 losses and therefore the Rose Bowl, which has the next pick after the Fiesta, will pick Notre Dame.

      If his contact is in fact a solid source…the Irish could be in Pasadena on NYD.

    11. Not understanding what you’re not getting.

      If Oregon and k-state win out, they obviously play in NCG. That also means Oregon St. And Stanford are no longer eligible for a BCS bid, leaving rose to get first pick, above fiesta…so fiesta wouldn’t pass nd…however, nd will be picked before fiesta gets a chance.

      This is assuming that when you say ‘picked today’, you mean picked today- predicting outcomes of undefeateds. If you mean, if the season actually ended today, then maybe I see your point…however, season doesn’t end today – which leads me to believe you didn’t mean that, because that would be a pointless article.

      • A couple of points after sorting this out in my head.

        First, if Oregon wins out, you’re correct in asserting that that necessarily means another loss for Stanford, Oregon State, USC and UCLA. Under that scenario, I can’t see any of those teams being eligible for the BCS.

        Second, if Oregon moves ahead of Kansas into the #1 position, the Rose Bowl would need to ask the Fiesta Bowl permission if they wanted to invite Oklahoma. Obviously, they don’t need that permission to ask us, so I think that means we’d be the likely pick for the Rose Bowl in that event — assuming that Michigan is not the B1G’s Rose Bowl representative.

    12. Sorry. Working all night …I’m a little grumpy.

    13. Gary Canori, '72 says:

      Everyone is just spinning. Let the season play out.
      I do think an ND vs ‘Bama would be a great game.
      BTW, has Alabama ever beaten ND??!!!

    14. Scott from CLT says:

      Yes, Alabama did beat us in 1987, Lou’s second year. I believe they beat us 38-7. If you recall, we had 9 or 10 wins to start the season they loss our final games (PSU, Alabama and Texas A&M). I hope we don’t follow that example this year.

      • ND beat Bama in 1987, 37-6. Were 8-1, lost last two regular season games to Penn State and Miami, and the Cotton Bowl to Texas A&M.

    15. I think the Sugar would take Clemson over Oklahoma, IF Clemson beats South Carolina and finishes 11-1. Even though Clemson was destroyed by WVU last year in a BCS bowl, I still think they would be picked again…to be destroyed by Bama.

    16. george kaplan says:

      I believe Jerry’s kids lost to ‘Bama frequently.

    17. irishhawk50 says:

      I seem to remember Alabama beating ND once, but I am pretty sure Bear Bryant never defeated Notre Dame.

      I would love to see ND play Alabama this year but don’t think it will happen. I’m not that excited about playing a 3 loss Big 10 team in the Rose Bowl. Much rather see them against a one loss SEC team, but would much, much rather see them in the BCS championship game! Go Irish!

    18. Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

      Good analysis pretty much spot on. Thank God the games are not picked today. I can see Oregon losing to Stanford or losing the Pac-12 Championship to USC, but they will not lose if they play UCLA. K-State goes down to Texas. The USC game scares the day lights out of me, but if we can’t beat the Trojans, we don’t deserve to be in the title game.

    19. Has ND and Alabama ever played each other? Have you already forgotten the 1973 Sugar Bowl and Tom Clement’s pass out of the end zone to seal the victory?

    20. Kevin:

      I’ll never forget that game. I still have the Notre Dame shirt my wife had made for me and I was there rooting for the Irish and I’m ready to wear it agin for this year’s BCS Championship.

      Go Irish!

    21. 1987- ND 37, Alabama 6

    22. The B1G champion is also vulnerable to finishing below Louisiana Tech. A single loss by Nebraska between now and the end of the season probably would accomplish that.

      In the Big East, meanwhile, the conference championship likely will be decided by the Louisville — Rutgers matchup. I think the winner, regardless of who it is, finishes ahead of Louisiana Tech, but stranger things certainly have happened.

    23. I would like everyone in the audience who thought – on August 31 – that we would be having this discussion to raise his hand.

      You in the 3rd row – you need to go to the bathroom? go ahead.

      Anyone else? I thought so.

    24. Went to the bathroom several times this year during home games. Raised my hand for …what the hell are we doing? We sit at undefeated…on August 31 the bathroom breaks would have been very after Stanford and MSU and Big Blue UM and the scum of Miami fall to us…

      We sit ready to talk about OU downed and left is WF and USC. Bathroom breaks maybe needed …but anyone else? I thought so? is very harsh.

    25. Sure would be a shame if USC wer to knock off their one time rival ND and bust their NC chances. Could happen even though ND has dramatically improved their team, particularly their defense. But, Barkley might just get a hot hand and he and Lee could light up the place.

      ND could become a rival again if they win a few games against te Trojans and earn their way back to become a rival. Better do it now when USC has very limited bench strength due to the sanctions for they will come roaring back when they are over. That’s a fact.

      But for this game I would bet on the Irish in a close one. D is really impressive and the pass rush will make the difference. But, then again…….