With BC's 17-13 win over Virginia, the Eagles are bowl-eligible for the twelfth straight season. BC became bowl eligible along with Clemson and Georgia Tech this weekend, so there are now nine ACC bowl-eligible teams for eight bowl tie-ins. The math doesn't quite add up, and at the end of the day, you and I both know which team will be left out of the ACC's bowl shuffle, left to fend for whatever bowl scraps it can find.
It's assumed at this point that the Eagles will be shipped off to San Francisco to play a WAC opponent on Sunday January 9 at 6 PM, the night before the BCS National Championship Game in Arizona. The San Francisco-based Kraft Fight Hunger (nee Emerald nee Diamond Walnut) Bowl is keeping a spot warm for the ACC only if the Pac-10 or the WAC -- the two conferences that have tie-ins to this year's bowl -- don't field enough bowl eligible teams.
But what if the Pac-10 does fill their allotment of bowl teams this year? If they do, BC will be in a similar position to N.C. State two years ago, having to wait until a conference doesn't fill its bowl allotments and finding a Pizza bowl in Birmingham, Alabama to play in.
Here's a look at the current Pac-10 standings:
* Oregon 10-0 (7-0)
* Stanford 10-1 (7-1)
Oregon State 5-5 (4-3)
* Arizona 7-3 (4-3)
x USC 7-4 (4-4)
Washington 4-6 (3-4)
California 5-6 (3-5)
x Arizona State 4-6 (2-4)
UCLA 4-6 (2-5)
x Washington State 1-7 (2-9)
Three of the Pac-10's 10 teams are already bowl eligible -- Oregon, Stanford and Arizona -- while USC (sanctions), Arizona State (two many cupcakes) and Washington State (general suckage) are now bowl in-eligible. That leaves four teams battling for the final three bowl slots for the Pac-10.
If Oregon wins its final two games against Arizona and Oregon State, it's all but assured a spot in this year's BCS National Championship, paving the way for Stanford to go to the Rose Bowl and free up another bowl slot for the Pac-10. Oregon State has a brutal final two-game stretch at Stanford and versus Oregon, and without a win in their last two games, would also become bowl in-eligible.
Washington needs to win both of their final two road games against Cal and Washington State, while Cal is playing for its bowl lives with one final game -- vs. Washington. Only one of Washington/Cal will become bowl eligible with this weekend's game serving as a bowl elimination game. UCLA, like Washington, needs wins in their last two games (at Arizona State, USC) to become bowl eligible.
It's looking like even if Oregon gets tripped up in one of their final two games, the Pac-10 won't fill their allotted six bowl slots this season, all but assuring BC another cross-country trip to San Francisco.
Here's a look at my current Pac-10 bowl projections:
BCS National Championship Game: Oregon
Rose Bowl: Stanford
Sun: No team
Las Vegas: No team
Kraft Fight Hunger: No team
Even in the doomsday scenario -- where an Oregon loss to Oregon State in the Civil War drops the Ducks out of the BCS National Championship Game picture -- it becomes tough for the Pac-10 to fill three unused bowl slots.
Say Oregon State wins their final two games, knocking Oregon out of the title game picture and becoming bowl eligible in the process. Add the winner of Washington/Cal to the bowl eligible ranks, though it can only be one of those teams. And say UCLA wins their final two games over Arizona State and USC to get to 6-6 and bowl-eligible. Then, the Pac-10 bowl projections look like this:
Rose Bowl: Oregon
Sun: Oregon State
Las Vegas: California
Kraft Fight Hunger: UCLA
This is the only scenario where the Pac-10 would field six bowl teams for six bowls, sending the Eagles scrounging the country for a spot in one of the sport's 35 bowls. The chances, however, seem remote, as BC would need all of these things to happen over the last two weeks of the season: Oregon to lose (not looking likely), Oregon State to knock off two ranked teams in two weeks, Cal to beat Washington, and UCLA to win out. Imagine what that parlay pays out.
So it looks like BC is all but locked into the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, making it the third time in the last eight seasons the Eagles will travel cross-country to play in the San Francisco bowl ... against their third different conference opponent (Mountain West, then Pac-10, then WAC) in a bowl that has had three different names when BC has played there (Diamond Walnut, then Emerald, then Kraft Fight Hunger).
Here's a look at my current ACC bowl projections:
Orange: Virginia Tech
Peach: Florida State
Champs Sports: Miami
Sun: N.C. State
Meineke Car Care: North Carolina
Music City: Clemson
Independence: Georgia Tech
Kraft Fight Hunger: Boston College