26 November 2007

The Final Week

(From BCS Guru)

The maddening 2007 season is coming to a close. And the lucky ones are those who have already finished playing.

Last week, Nos. 1 and 2 both went down, clearing the path for three teams to vie for the BCS national championship. After the release of the latest BCS standings, the scenarios are much clearer -- though there is still potential for Armageddon.

The Guru has broken down those scenarios and the attendant results for all BCS bowls: (*denotes team must win its final game to earn berth)

Scenario One: Missouri beats Oklahoma, West Virginia beats Pittsburgh (Probability: 40.5%)

National championship: Missouri vs. West Virginia
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. USC*
Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs. Georgia
Fiesta Bowl: Arizona State* vs. Kansas
Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. Hawai'i*

Scenario Two: Oklahoma beats Missouri, West Virginia beats Pittsburgh (49.5%)

National championship: West Virginia vs. Ohio State
Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC*
Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs. Georgia
Fiesta Bowl: Arizona State* vs. Oklahoma
Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. Hawai'i*

Scenario Three: Missouri beats Oklahoma, Pittsburgh beats West Virginia (4.5%)

National championship: Missouri vs. Ohio State
Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC*
Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs. Georgia
Fiesta Bowl: Arizona State* vs. West Virginia
Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. Hawai'i*

Scenario Four: Oklahoma beats Missouri, Pittsburgh beats West Virginia (5.5%)
(This would be the Armageddon Scenario, and the following would be a best guess)

National championship: LSU vs. Ohio State
Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC*
Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs. West Virginia
Fiesta Bowl: Arizona State* vs. Oklahoma
Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Hawai'i*

In all likelihood, one of the first two scenarios will occur and the BCS dodges another bullet. Should scenario No. 4 occur, it would become a BCS nightmare with as many as eight two-loss teams with a legitimate claim to the title game -- not to mention one-loss Kansas and perhaps a 12-0 Hawai'i as well.

The key game, obviously, is the Backyard Brawl at Morgantown. If the Mountaineers, favored by double digits, win as expected, all is well in the BCS world. If not, then we might have all sorts of controversies, not to mention a potential split national championship.

Isn't that what the BCS is all about?

Further down in the standings, Hawai'i has nearly locked up a BCS berth by climbing into the No. 12 spot of the BCS standings. The Warriors should feel pretty comfortable right now because the circumstances virtually guarantee them an appearance in the Sugar Bowl. Hawai'i simply needs to beat Washington and not get passed by anybody. Should they drop to No. 13, the Warriors then need Illinois to stay out of the Top 14 to maintain their hold on a BCS invitation.

On the other hand, the Big XII, even with three teams in the Top 10, is not assured of a second BCS berth. If Georgia (by being in the Top 4) and Hawai'i (by being in the Top 12) earn guaranteed berths, then the last two slots might be claimed by Arizona State and Illinois. The Fiesta Bowl favors ASU because of its proximity and the Rose Bowl favors the Illini because it would preserve the Big Ten-Pac-10 affiliation.

There are lots of what-ifs. This season is not going to get sorted out until midnight Saturday. And even then, the debates will go on all night.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your Armageddon Scenario leaves out WVU. As the Big East champion, the Mountaineers have already clinched a BCS berth.

The Zookeeper said...

I stand corrected. Nice catch.

Anonymous said...

HAWAII SHOULD PLAY IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP SINCE THEY ARE THE ONLY UNDEFEATED TEAM LEFT OR AT LEAST THE ROSE BOWL...

CAUSE HAWAII IS # 1 RESPECT US....

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that the Rose Bowl would take Illinois just for the sake of tradition. Don't they get first choice if they lose Ohio State? So they grab Georgia, and the Orange Bowl takes a Big XII team. Other than that, I think you nailed it.

Anonymous said...

What if Missouri, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Hawaii, USC, LSU, and ASU all lose this weekend?

The Zookeeper said...

Then Oklahoma gets in the BCS title game. Should both Missouri and West Virginia lose, I believe it will be Ohio State vs. LSU. If LSU also loses, it'll be Ohio State vs. Oklahoma.

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