After the Oregon Ducks thoroughly dismantled the USC Trojan football team this past Halloween night, I remember writing somewhere that I hoped the Oregon State Beavers would beat the Ducks in their in-state rivalry game "The Civil War" that's being played tonight in Autzen Stadium in Eugene. Well, after all the cards have played out (somewhat) in the Pac-10- it looks like I could possibly change my choice of winner, afterall- I was ticked, embarrassed, and full of hate when the Ducks destroyed us. Here's why:
According to Chris Dufresne of LA Times, who wrote today, [if Oregon beats Oregon State tonight, Texas beats Nebraska, Florida beats Alabama, and Georgia Tech beats Clemson (the latter 3 games being played this Saturday). . ] "Here's the projected BCS Bowl lineup: BCS Championship: Florida-Texas. Rose Bowl: Oregon-Ohio State. Fiesta Bowl: Texas Christian-Cincinnati. Orange Bowl: Iowa-Georgia Tech. Sugar Bowl: Boise State-Alabama."
Dufresne further state, "Remember the rules: If it's Florida-Texas in the BCS title game, the Sugar Bowl will get to select a replacement team, no doubt Alabama. The Fiesta picks next to replace Texas and would not likely pass on Texas Christian. Then the selection order goes: Orange, Fiesta, Sugar. The Orange then takes Iowa -- it had Cincinnati last year -- to play projected ACC champion Georgia Tech. The Fiesta then has a choice between Boise State or Cincinnati. We're projecting Cincinnati because Texas Christian and Boise State played in last year's Poinsettia Bowl. The Sugar Bowl then takes Boise State to play Alabama."
Not so fast Christopher!
What happens if the Oregon Ducks lose to Oregon State tonight?
Pure mayhem, in the PAC-10- and especially not good for Cal and Stanford. And the fat-cats wearing shiny pointed shoes representing the Emerald Bowl? They'd hate the Beavers to win tonight too, here why:
If the Ducks win, it could create a four-team tie for second place (provided USC and Cal both lose) among Oregon State, Stanford, Cal, and USC. If Cal wins and we lose- Cal gets 2nd place outright. If we win and Cal loses- we win 2nd place outright. With the win, Oregon will be headed to the Rose Bowl and a more than likely outcome would be that the Holiday Bowl would probably pick the USC-Arizona winner. The Sun Bowl, who would have the next-best pick for Pac - 10 teams- between Cal and Oregon State. And finally- the Emerald Bowl, which would probably grab the Cinderfella team of Stanford. Believe it people, Stanford won 8 games this year and will probably be making its first postseason appearance in eight years. Eight years! Although, I don't see why (if the Sun picks Cal instead of Oregon State?) the Emerald wouldn't want to take the Oregon State Beavers instead of Stanford. The Beavers have a head-to-head win against Stanford and they'd probably hold onto a loftier ranking than Stanford (their season ended last weekend against Notre Dame) even if they lose tonight. Rest assured, the next bowl selection in line (The Las Vegas Bowl) would pick up the leftover scraps.
But, . . . . . . .an Oregon State victory would change everything and potentially leave Cal, Stanford and the Emerald all feeling a bit unsatisfied.
The Beavers would be Rose Bowl-bound and Oregon, as the co-champion, would head to the Holiday. The Sun, in turn, might take the Arizona-USC winner next. The Sun covets the Trojans (for TV ratings and market-draw), but wouldn't sniff at picking up the Arizona Wildcats (if they should win) because of Tucson's close proximity to El Paso and the definite movement of ticket sales. (Truth be told, the Sun peeps would loathe a Wildcat team- USC is one of the biggest draws they'd have in a long, long time for their #3 slot selection for Pac 10 bowl-bound teams)
Then comes the Emerald Bowl. With an Oregon State victory tonight, Emerald would be forced to choose between Cal and Stanford. Cal would have a better record than Stanford (9-3 against 8-4). Cal would have a head-to-head victory (the 34-28 victory in the Big Game). Cal would also be better/higher ranking than Stanford. And lastly, without question- the Cal Bears have a bigger, better, more rabid fans than the Furd. (truth hurts, don't it?)
And so, with an Oregon State win, that would put the Stanford Cardinal football team in. . . . .Las Vegas Bowl, where it would face a team from the Mountain West Conference.
What to do, what to do?
I'll tell you what- I don't think Florida beats 'Bama. Texas will get by Nebraska, yeah. Georgia Tech (they're looking like monsters these days) will beat Clemson. From my perspective: BCS Championship = Texas vs. Alabama. Rose Bowl = Oregon State vs. Ohio State. Fiesta Bowl = who cares? Orange Bowl = not interested? Sugar Bowl = I hope it's Boise State and Florida (ooooh, I'd just love it if Boise State crushes Florida in this one).
As for USC, if Oregon State wins tonight? We'll more than likely get the Sun.