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If the season ended today, Week 8 2010

A quick refresher for those of you who didn't see this series last year...

Starting the week of the initial BCS rankings, I put together an 'If the season ended today' to show who would be going where based on the current BCS standings. These are not projections, except that I assume the highest-ranked team in a conference will be its champion unless mathematically impossible, and I make some judgment calls on who the bowls will think is most attractive where they have discretion. Last year, I posted them here at TNIAAM; previously I posted them on my own blog.

My assumption is that the BCS Bowls are insanely money-grubbing entities, and will select the biggest-draw team available. Further, that they do not care about leaving high-ranking teams out of the BCS.

Teams in Italics have guaranteed a bid. Teams in Bold have guaranteed a bid to a specific game (or come so close that's a virtual guarantee).

BCS Bowls

BCS Title: #1 Oklahoma (B12) vs. #2 Oregon (P10)
Rose: #7 Michigan State (B10) vs. #3 Boise State (WAC/autobid as highest-ranked non-BCS champ; assigned to Rose with Big Ten or Pac 10 team in BCS title game)
Sugar: #4 Auburn (SEC) vs. #10 Ohio State (at-large)
Orange: #17 Florida State (ACC) vs #8 Alabama (at-large)
Fiesta:  #11 Missouri (at-large) vs. #20 West Virginia (Big East)

Here's the logic:

Oklahoma and Oregon are the top 2 schools in the BCS rankings.

Michigan State goes the Rose as Big Ten champion. Auburn goes to the Sugar as SEC champion. Florida State goes to the Orange as ACC champion. West Virginia is guaranteed a bid as Big East champion, but not any specific spot.

As the highest-ranked champion of a non-AQ conference, Boise State gets an autobid. Because Oregon is in the BCS title game, the one-time special rule sending a non-AQ team to the Rose Bowl applies, so they go there.

To replace Oklahoma, the Fiesta takes the best available Big 12 team; Oklahoma State and Missouri are both BCS eligible, but Missouri is more highly ranked, and not less attractive than Oklahoma State.

With the first at-large selection, the Sugar selects Ohio State. They aren't (according to the BCS rankings) the best team available, but they do have the most fans of the available teams, so they go here.

The same logic sends Alabama to the Orange Bowl. LSU has nearly as many fans, and TCU a higher ranking, but Alabama has the biggest fan base and is closer to Miami than any other option.

West Virginia must be sent to the Fiesta as the final at-large team.

Big East Bowls

Champs Sports/Orlando: Notre Dame (if ND is bowl-eligible, they will go here; they've lost too many games to go to the BCS)
Meineke Car Care/Charlotte: Pitt (I'm going to assume Pitt killed us because they found their mojo, not because we suck)
Pinstripe/NYC: Syracuse (If SU, Rutgers, and/or UConn are available, they'll go here and in that order; my bet is that Rutgers will not be available)
Papajohns/Birmingham: Cinci (best Big East team available)
Beef O' Brady's/St. Petersburg: UConn (last bowl-eligible Big East team)

No Bowl: Rutgers, USF, Louisville

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