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With Michigan and Ohio State running 1-2 right now it appears the Rose Bowl will fail to match up the champion of the Pac-10 and the Big Ten once again.

One of these years they'll get it right.  It was accidentally brilliant in 2003 when USC and Michigan met in a National Championship game that was also a traditional Rose Bowl battle.  Hopefully it'll work out next year, because there's something wrong with Rose Bowl games featuring Washington State and Oklahoma or Miami and Nebraska.

That said, we may end up having the loser of Ohio State/Michigan playing Cal or USC just the same.  Correct me if I'm wrong on that because I'm unfamiliar with this year's bowl allocation terms, so that matchup might not even be possible depending on what order the bowl committees choose available teams.  It would certainly bring back some of the tradition but in all likelihood the true Big Ten champion will be playing in the Fiesta Bowl, robbing an otherwise great matchup of some of its prestige.

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Reader Comments (13)

The bowl that "loses" the #1 team from its traditional conference tie in to the BCS title game gets first pick for determining its game. So most likely that will be the Rose for the tOSU/Michigan winner. If USC goes as the #2 team then the Rose would get the next pick as well.
October 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterphil
So if things hold, fortune (sort of) smiles on the Rose Bowl.

Thanks Phil!
October 22, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR
There's a good chance you'll get the loser from OSU/UM in the Rose -- unless there is only one undefeated team, and then you could get a OSU/UM rematch in the Fiesta.
October 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKevin @ Fanblogs
[If either Michigan or Ohio State win out] The true champion of the Big Ten will not be playing in the Fiesta Bowl. That team will be playing in the BCS National Championship Game a week after the Fiesta Bowl. It's nitpicking, but this is, after all, a post about the loss of tradition. The BCS title game this year even boots the tradition of the 4 BCS bowls.

Also, and I am really not trying to restart that old hat argument, but can you really call the 2004 Rose Bowl a "national championship" game when one of the teams could not have claimed a national title had they won the game? Had Michigan won, there's no way that the Wolverines (with 2 losses) would've outpolled a one-loss LSU team. The Rose Bowl definitely had "AP National Title implications" in that it affected USC's ability to claim a title, but it's probably going too far as to call it a "National Championship" Game because only one of the teams was involved in the title discussion. Again, I'm nitpicking. Sorry.

Finally, here's the rotation for selection in the BCS.

Top 2 teams in the BCS National Championship Game (Their term, not mine).
ACC champ goes to Orange, Big 10 and Pac-10 Rose, Big 12 Sugar and Big XII Fiesta.
Bowls with champion ties to the teams selected for the BCSNCG get to chose the replacement teams first.
Then it goes Sugar, Orange, Fiesta.

So, assuming OSU/Michigan and USC are the BCSNCG participants, the Rose Bowl would have the first two picks, and could choose the OSU/Michigan loser and Cal. In fact, it's pretty unlikely for the Rose Bowl to choose anyone else. The Rose Bowl could pick Notre Dame, Boise State or a Big East team, but the ACC, SEC and Big XII champs are all off limits since they're "host teams" for other bowls. So if the current situation holds, I think you can expect a Pac 10-Big 10 Rose Bowl (unless Irish $$$ means that much).

Assume USC wins out, Ohio State beats Michigan, here's what the bowls might look like:

BCSNCG: USC vs. Ohio State
Rose: Michigan vs. California
Sugar: Florida/Tennessee/Arkansas/Auburn vs. Notre Dame or Big East Champ if undefeated
Orange: Georgia Tech/Miami/Clemson/Boston College vs. Big East Champ/Second SEC/Big East team.
Fiesta: Texas vs. Boise State

That assumes Boise State finishes in the Top 12 of the BCS or in the top 16 but ahead of another conference champion.

Here's how I'd bet selections would go:

1 BCSNCG: Ohio State
3 Rose: Michigan
4 Rose: Cal
5 Sugar: Notre Dame/Lousiville/WVU
6 Orange: Louisville/WVU/Second SEC team/Notre Dame
7 Fiesta: Texas/Boise - Both would be bound
8 Sugar: SEC Champ
9 Orange: ACC Champ
10 Fiesta: Texas Boise

October 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLD
I wonder if the Rose Bowl/ABC would pick Notre Dame to play the loser of the Michigan/Ohio State game, since Notre Dame played Ohio State last year at the Fiesta Bowl (in a blowout), and Michigan and Notre Dame already played this year (in a blowout). Rematches of recent non-competitive games are rarely liked in Bowl scenarios.

They certainly wouldn't pick Boise State unless they absolutely had to. I have no idea about a Big East team, but I likewise doubt it.

It also doesn't seem likely that if USC wins out and there are other compelling one-loss teams, ABC would let the Rose Bowl would pick Cal.

I suppose what I'm saying is that if the National Championship is OSU or Michigan against USC, the Rose Bowl is screwed.
October 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCM Gayley
With the historical ties to the PAC 10, I don't see how the Rose Bowl could not pick a one loss PAC 10 team if another PAC 10 team is in the National Championship game. It would not look good if there was another situation where a deserving PAC 10 team was left out of a BCS game, a la Cal 2004 and Oregon 2005, and it was the Rose Bowl who was doing the snubbing.

Also, with Notre Dame playing USC in LA in November and scheduled to play UCLA at the Rose Bowl in 2007, I wonder if the Rose Bowl would be worried about travel fatigue by the Irish fans.
October 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterST
"With the historical ties to the PAC 10, I don't see how the Rose Bowl could not pick a one loss PAC 10 team if another PAC 10 team is in the National Championship game."

I think this is true in theory, but it's not likely to occur this year. If USC wins out, then Cal ends up with at least 2 losses. If Cal wins out, then the Bears would at least win the Pac 10 and get the automatic bid to the Rose Bowl. A lot of things would have to break right for the Bears to make it to the BCS title game, though. And USC most likely would not make it to the BCS title game with a late season loss at home to the Bears.
October 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTorBear
Notre Dame will never have travel fatigue.

The Rose Bowl will not select Notre Dame if they can hold true to a Big Ten - Pac-10 meeting. Michigan-Ohio State loser is an absolute lock to be there. California with two losses would be helped that ND has played Ohio State and Michigan lately and the Pac-10 is fresh off a two-loss Oregon not getting a BCS bid.

The only other thing I can see is that the Rose Bowl has said they would take a non-BCS team in the next five years. They might get it out of the way by taking Boise now.
October 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHeath
If, in the hypothetical scenario above, USC runs the table, Cal and Notre Dame would both have 2 losses.

So if the Rose Bowl has the first two picks, a one-loss Big Ten team (loser of OSU-UM) is a no brainer. The other pick is the questionable one.

I think the Rose Bowl would pick California over any other 2 loss team to preserve a Big 10-Pac 10 matchup.

The question is whether the Rose Bowl could pick a 2-loss Cal team over a one loss or undefeated team from another conference.

The options would be:
Undefeated Big East Champion
Undefeated Boise State
One loss SEC division runner up (a division champion would either be bound for the Sugar Bowl or would have a second loss).
One loss ACC division runner up (Clemson or Wake Forest)
A one loss Big East Team
A one loss Tulsa
...That's it.

A current Big XII one-loss team (Texas, Missouri, A&M) will end up with two losses or would be bound to play in the Fiesta Bowl as conference champion.

So here are the teams that might end up with one loss or fewer but still would be available to be picked by the Rose Bowl:

Louisville/West Virginia/Rutgers
Boise State
Tennessee (assumes Florida wins out) and/or
Auburn (assumes Arkansas wins at least 7 SEC games - if Arkansas wins out, Tennessee would have a second loss)
Clemson (assumes BC wins out) or
Wake Forest (assumes Clemson wins out)

It'll all come down to the final rankings, probably, to see how much pressure the Rose Bowl would have on them to not pick Cal. If the winner of West Virginia/Louisville (and Rutgers loses to both) is #3 in the final BCS, they might be hard to pass on in exchange for a #13 BCS ranked 2-loss Cal. Auburn, Tennessee and Clemson might also give a good argument.

I'd say Cal probably has as a better chance than anyone for making the Rose Bowl under that scenario though.

October 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLD

Thanks for all your guys' insight into this. Sounds like we still have a long ways to go to sort the Rose Bowl out.
October 24, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR
Forgot one other option...

Wisconsin could win out and finish with just one loss, to Michigan.

It's unlikely, but if Michigan were to beat Ohio State, and the Rose Bowl picks Ohio State to replace the Big Ten champ, the Rose Bowl could hypothetically pick a one-loss Wisconsin team to play OSU. I doubt the Rose Bowl would be interested in becoming a de facto Second Place in the Big Ten Deciding Game, but it is a possibility.
October 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLD
Now that USC lost - what is the possibility of UM and OSU playing each other in the BCS bowl?
November 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMe
I think pretty slim.

The math is just up against any one loss team overcoming a big conference undefeated.

If there are a bunch of one-loss teams (say, Louisville loses) then yeah, maybe.
November 2, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR

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