The Big Ten Conference schedule might be over, but stay tuned to this weekend’s college football action for an update on where the Ohio State Buckeyes will land in the BCS. The way it stands now, No. 6 OSU looks headed to New Orleans for the second time in four seasons while No. 5 Wisconsin is likely to grab the automatic bid to the Rose Bowl.
It’s been yet another successful season in Columbus, and the probable BCS berth would just add to the team’s already nation-high of eight in the the 13th year of the system. OSU is 5-3 in those contests, with all but one occurring in the past nine years, and posted a big 26-17 Rose Bowl victory over Oregon last season.
Stay tuned for a detailed look at why Ohio State seems headed for Louisiana, who they are likely to play, and why you probably won’t see a Big Ten-Pac 10 Rose Bowl match up.
BCS Selection Procedures:
As is often reported, there is a large list of automatic qualifiers as well as at-large possibilities in the BCS system. Winners of the BCS conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, SEC, Pac 10) all receive secured berths while the remainder of the eligible teams must have nine wins and a top 14 ranking, normally. The highest ranked mid-major conference representative in the top 12 of the standings also unlocks an automatic berth.
From there, it is all about the lining up of the bowl games. Many conferences have historical alignments, such as the Big Ten-Pac 10 in the Rose Bowl. But there is now a new quirky rule about this as well. Check out what the BCS added into their regulations since last year:
“For the games of January 2011 through 2014, the first year the Rose Bowl loses a team to the National Championship Game and a team from the non-automatic qualifier group is an automatic qualifier, that non-AQ team will play in the Rose Bowl.”
With No. 2 Oregon headed to the NCG with a win, the Rose Bowl must select a school from a non-BCS conference in the replacement procedures. Alongside that, the rest of the bowl games follow an process of picking the at-large and non-historically affiliated teams in a set order each year. The bowls losing the NCG representatives get first pick and then this season, that is followed by the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls to pick the remaining teams.
Usually, those bowls just pick the most attractive teams for marketing and ticket purposes. That’s how the rest of the BCS usually lines up and let’s take a look at what the possibilities are this season.
Current BCS Predictions: National Championship: No. 1 Auburn vs. No. 2 Oregon Rose: No. 3 TCU vs. No. 5 Wisconsin Sugar: No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 7 Arkansas Orange: ACC Champ (No. 15 Va Tech or No. 21 Florida State) vs. No. 4 Stanford Fiesta: Big 12 Champ (No. 9 Oklahoma or No. 13 Nebraska) vs. Big East Champ (Connecticut, No. 24 West Virginia or Pittsburgh)
The Buckeyes will most likely be going to the Sugar Bowl because they are just an incredibly valuable at-large selection. It will probably be Arkansas as their opponent because of that game’s ties to the SEC in replacing Auburn. Thus, the Orange Bowl will then nab poor Stanford, who can’t go to the Rose Bowl, next in the selection order as the more desirable choice even though it likely makes more sense travel-wise for them to play in the Fiesta.
Many of today’s college football outcomes could still change what happens in the BCS, with the ACC, Big 12, Big East, and SEC champions all yet to be determined. More likely than not, the Sugar Bowl will pick an SEC team to replace Auburn, while a loss for the Tigers today to No. 19 South Carolina could shake up tons of movement in the predictions. Stay tuned, but know that the Bucks are likely going to Louisiana no matter what as the most desirable at-large selection.
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.