Many prognosticators are projecting Notre Dame as a great fit in the Rose Bowl. We all know about Notre Dame’s virtues this year — national brand, talented team, hadn’t played in college football’s Mecca since the Four Horsemen era. But unless the Pac-12′s second-best team doesn’t finish in the BCS’ final 14, it won’t happen.
The Big Ten, Pac-12 and Rose Bowl are married forever and always. They are full partners in their relationship. In 2007, the Rose Bowl lost top-ranked Big Ten champion Ohio State to the BCS championship. The Rose Bowl had the first replacement pick and selected 9-3 Illinois, which was 13th in the final BCS standings. The Rose could have tabbed 11-2 Missouri (sixth), which beat Illinois in the opener that year. It could have picked 11-1 Kansas (eighth) or 10-3 Boston College (14th), which featured terrific quarterback Matt Ryan. Instead the Rose Bowl opted for the Illini and a traditional Big Ten-Pac-10 match-up, which ended in a 49-17 USC victory over Illinois.
The point is, even with better or high-profile programs around, the Rose Bowl always will pick the traditional match-up if it’s available. Two years ago, the Rose Bowl was required to pick TCU. It did. Unless a second Pac-12 school doesn’t qualify, there’s no way it won’t revive its traditional match-up.
ALSO BEARS WATCHING: Louisiana Tech (9-1) ranked 20th last week in the BCS standings. If it reaches the top 12 or the top 16 and ahead of an automatic-qualifying conference champion, it will compete in a BCS bowl. The Bulldogs beat Illinois and Virginia in non-conference play and face two eight-win teams — Utah State and San Jose State — to close the season. Louisiana Tech’s only loss was 59-57 to Texas A&M, which gives it some credibility. I’m not predicting a BCS berth yet, but it’s possible for Louisiana Tech to move past either the Big Ten or Big East champion and into the top 16. That probably would open up the Sugar Bowl.
BCS Championship — Oregon vs. Kansas State
Nation’s most dynamic offense against possible Heisman Trophy winner
Rose — Wisconsin vs. Stanford
Badgers, Cardinal may not deserve spot here, but deserves ain’t got nuthin’ to do with it
Fiesta — Notre Dame vs. LSU
Fiesta won’t pass up Notre Dame, and LSU travels better than Florida
Sugar — Alabama vs. Oklahoma
First installment of the Champions Bowl, unless Louisiana Tech qualifies
Orange — Florida State vs. Louisville
This is why the Orange Bowl’s next round includes the ACC vs. the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame
BIG TEN BOWLS
Capital One — Michigan vs. Florida
Michigan would get a chance to redeem itself against a prime SEC opponent
Outback — Nebraska vs. Georgia
Oftentimes this game could be rechristened as the “Disappointment Bowl”
Gator — Michigan State vs. South Carolina
Pretty strong contrast between the head coaches
Buffalo Wild Wings — Northwestern vs. Texas Tech
Kain Colter gets his chance at payback against the Red Raiders two years ago
Meineke — Minnesota vs. TCU
Gophers lose all their trophy games but still 5th Legends Division team to earn bowl berth
Heart of Dallas — Utah (replaces Big 12) vs. San Jose State (replaces Big Ten)
I suppose Purdue, Indiana, Iowa and Baylor still have a shot here but can’t predict it
Little Caesar’s — Toledo vs. Ohio (replaces Big Ten)
At least they didn’t play one another in regular season this year
BIG 12 BOWLS
Cotton — Texas vs. Texas A&M
Different holiday weekend, maybe even more hate and intensity
Alamo — Oklahoma State vs. USC
Wonder what controversy Lane Kiffin would find in San Antonio
Holiday — Iowa State vs. UCLA
Two more wins, heck maybe even one, for ISU could earn a San Diego trip
Pinstripe — West Virginia vs. Syracuse
Schools together turned the Big East into the Big Least
Comments are closed.