Even though Texas will be relegated to a non-BCS bowl for the first time in three seasons, it is always fun to look at possible BCS matchups.
Obviously, the top two teams in the final BCS standings will head to Glendale for the national championship game. Assuming USC survives UCLA this Saturday, it will be:
BCS National Title Game
Ohio State vs. USC Monday Jan. 8th 6:30 PM Fox
The Rose Bowl historically matches the Pac 10 and Big 10 champions. Since both conference champions will be playing for the title, the Rose Bowl will get the next two selections. They are not allowed to pick the SEC, ACC, or Big 12 champions. In keeping with tradition, the Rose Bowl will pick Michigan first.
Their second selection will set the table for the remaining selections. Assuming West Virginia beats Rutgers at home, an 11-1 Big East champion Louisville would be one possibility. The Cardinals are comfortably ranked in the top 10 but don't have a national following. I doubt the Rose Bowl would count on Louisville fans making the long trip to the west coast. Second, Notre Dame. The Irish fans would travel but picking ND sets up a rematch with Michigan. The Irish were dominated by the Wolverines at home in September. Michigan and ND also play again in Sept. 2007. Another possibility would be 10-2 LSU. The Tigers are probably the second best team in the SEC and, as far as I can tell, have never played in the Rose Bowl. The last possibility would be Florida if they were to lose the SEC title game. Florida and Michigan would be a sexy matchup for TV but would Gators fans travel to Pasadena after losing their final game?
Michigan vs. LSU Monday Jan. 1st 4:00 PM ABC
If the Rose Bowl takes the two above teams, the rest of the selections would be obvious. The Sugar Bowl gets the next selection. The SEC champion, if not in the national title game, automatically heads to New Orleans. If Notre Dame is still a possibility, the Irish would be the obvious choice.
Florida vs. Notre Dame Wednesday Jan. 3rd. 6:30 PM Fox
Next up in the selection process would be the Orange Bowl. The ACC champ automatically heads to Miami. The other selection could be the Big East champ or the non-BCS conference automatic qualifier Boise State. It won't matter if the Big East champ is Rutgers or Louisville. There is no way the Orange Bowl selects Boise State. Assuming Georgia Tech beats Wake Forest and West Virginia beats Rutgers...
Georgia Tech vs. Louisville Tuesday Jan. 2nd 6:30 PM Fox
The Fiesta Bowl is the last to pick this season and really won't have any decisions to make. The Big 12 champion is an automatic selection. I am assuming that Oklahoma beats Nebraska. Boise State is also an automatic selection. The Broncos qualify by being the highest rated non-BCS conference champion that is also ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS standings.
Oklahoma vs. Boise State Monday January 1st 7:00 PM Fox
If the Rose Bowl picks a ND/Michigan matchup, the Sugar Bowl would likely take Louisville sending LSU to the Orange. The Fiesta Bowl would remain the same.