Monday, November 12, 2007

IU Bowl Scenarios

As threatened, I will now have more about IU's bowl possibilities. Here are the current Big Ten standings with the teams' Big Ten records, overall records, and remaining opponent (all remaining games are Saturday 11/17):
1 (tie). Ohio State, 6-1, 10-1 (at Michigan)
1 (tie). Michigan, 6-1, 8-3 (Ohio State)
3. Illinois, 5-2, 8-3 (Northwestern)
4 (tie). Penn State, 4-3, 8-3 (at Michigan State)
4 (tie). Wisconsin, 4-3, 8-3 (at Minnesota)
6. Iowa, 4-4, 6-5 (Western Michigan)
7 (tie). Purdue, 3-4, 7-4 (at Indiana)
7 (tie). Northwestern, 3-4, 6-5 (at Illinois)
9 (tie). Indiana, 2-5, 6-5 (Purdue)
9 (tie). Michigan State, 2-5, 6-5 (Penn State)
11. Minnesota, 0-7, 1-10 (Wisconsin)

For those of you who don't know, here are the Big Ten bowl tie-ins:
1 - Rose
2 - Capital One
3 - Outback
4/5 - Alamo
4/5 - Champs Sports
6 - Insight
7 - Motor City

Assuming the Big Ten champ has 9 or more wins, it goes to the Rose Bowl (unless it's playing in the BCS title game). However, for the remainder of the Big Ten's bowl, the finishing place does not necessarily correspond with the bowl game because all it means is that the respective bowls get to select Big Ten teams in that order. Thus, the Outback bowl doesn't have to choose the 3rd place Big Ten team; it just gets 3rd choice of the Big Ten's bowl-eligible teams. In addition, a bowl must choose a 7-5 team over a 6-6 team, regardless of the teams' finishing position. Thus, a team that was 6-2 in the Big Ten, but 6-6 overall will lose out to a team that was 3-5 in the Big Ten and 7-5 overall.

Also, bowl-eligible teams that do not finish in the top seven of the Big Ten standings have a chance to go to non-Big-Ten-affiliated bowls if there are not enough bowl-eligible teams from the conferences affiliated with those bowls. For instance, the #6 team from the Pac-10 goes to the Armed Forces Bowl, but if there are only 5 bowl-eligible teams from the Pac-10, then the Armed Forces Bowl can give a bid to any bowl-eligible team. In addition to the Armed Forces Bowl, here are a couple other bowls that may have open slots:
-International Bowl (Big East vs. MAC)
-Texas Bowl (Big 12 #8 vs. C-USA #6)
-Independence (Big 12 #7 vs. SEC)
-Humanitarian (WAC vs. ACC #8)
-Las Vegas (Pac-10 #5 vs. MWC #1)
-Hawaii (WAC vs. C-USA #5)

With respect to the BCS bowls, the champions of selected conferences are contractually committed to certain bowls, unless they are # 1 or 2 in the BCS: ACC - Orange; Big Ten - Rose; Big 12 - Fiesta; Pac-10 - Rose; SEC - Sugar). If a BCS bowl loses a host team to the title game, then the bowl gets first choice at a replacement team. Non-BCS schools can earn bids if ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS Standings or ranked ahead of a BCS conference champ.

Essentially, IU must win on Saturday to go to a bowl. At 7-5, even if they were not able to secure a Big Ten tie-in bowl, they would likely be chosen for one of the other non-Big-Ten-affiliated bowls.

Here are this Saturday's match-ups, with my predictions:
Purdue at Indiana (W)
Northwestern at Illinois (W)
Ohio State at Michigan (W)
Wisconsin (W) at Minnesota
Penn State (W) at Michigan State
Western Michigan at Iowa (W)

If those predictions play out, the Big Ten finishing order will be (with likely bowls):
1. Michigan 7-1, 9-3 (Rose)
2 (tie). Ohio State, 6-2, 10-2 (Capital One/Outback)
2 (tie). Illinois, 6-2, 9-3 (Capital One/Outback)
4 (tie). Penn State, 5-3, 9-3 (Alamo/Champs Sports)
4 (tie). Wisconsin, 5-3, 9-3 (Alamo/Champs Sports)
6. Iowa, 4-4, 7-5 (Insight)
7 (tie). Indiana, 3-5, 7-5 (Motor City/Other)
7 (tie). Purdue, 3-5, 7-5 (Motor City/Other)
7 (tie). Northwestern, 3-5, 6-6 (Other)
10. Michigan State, 2-6, 6-6 (Other)
11. Minnesota, 0-8, 1-11 (N/A)

Here are a couple alternate scenarios that would affect IU's bowl position. All assume IU wins because if IU doesn't win, then they are pretty much screwed:

Alternate scenario #1: Iowa loses at home to Western Michigan. Iowa would then finish 6-6, and even though it is 4-4 in the Big Ten, the Insight and Motor City Bowls would have to choose either IU or Purdue because those teams would be 7-5. Go Broncos.

Alternate scenario #2: Northwestern beats Illinois:
1. Michigan 7-1, 9-3 (Rose)
2 (tie). Ohio State, 6-2, 10-2 (Capital One)
3 (tie). Illinois, 5-3, 8-4 (Outback/Alamo/Champs Sports)
3 (tie). Penn State, 5-3, 9-3 (Outback/Alamo/Champs Sports)
3 (tie). Wisconsin, 5-3, 9-3 (Outback/Alamo/Champs Sports)
6 (tie). Iowa, 4-4, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
6 (tie). Northwestern, 4-4, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
8 (tie). Indiana, 3-5, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
8 (tie). Purdue, 3-5, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
10. Michigan State, 2-6, 6-6 (Other)
11. Minnesota, 0-8, 1-11 (N/A)

Here, the Insight and Motor City Bowls would have four 7-5 teams to choose from. IU and Purdue would likely be left out of the mix, given their inferior conference records. However, Northwestern could be left out because they don't have as many fans as Iowa, IU, or Purdue.

Alternate scenario #3: Michigan State beats Penn State:
1. Michigan 7-1, 9-3 (Rose)
2 (tie). Ohio State, 6-2, 10-2 (Capital One/Outback)
2 (tie). Illinois, 6-2, 9-3 (Capital One/Outback)
4. Wisconsin, 5-3, 9-3 (Alamo/Champs Sports)
5 (tie). Penn State, 4-4, 9-3 (Alamo/Champs Sports)
5 (tie). Iowa, 4-4, 7-5 (Insight)
7 (tie). Indiana, 3-5, 7-5 (Motor City/Other)
7 (tie). Purdue, 3-5, 7-5 (Motor City/Other)
7 (tie). Michigan State, 3-5, 7-5 (Motor City/Other)
7 (tie). Northwestern, 3-5, 6-6 (Other)
11. Minnesota, 0-8, 1-11 (N/A)

Here, the Motor City Bowl would have to choose between IU, Purdue, and MSU, likely going with MSU, since it's only a short drive from Detroit and obviously there are a ton of MSU fans/grads in the Detroit area anyway.

Alternate scenario #4: Northwestern beats Illinois and Michigan State beats Penn State.
1. Michigan 7-1, 9-3 (Rose)
2 (tie). Ohio State, 6-2, 10-2 (Capital One)
3 (tie). Illinois, 5-3, 8-4 (Outback/Alamo/Champs Sports)
3 (tie). Penn State, 5-3, 9-3 (Outback/Alamo/Champs Sports)
3 (tie). Wisconsin, 5-3, 9-3 (Outback/Alamo/Champs Sports)
6 (tie). Iowa, 4-4, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
6 (tie). Northwestern, 4-4, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
8 (tie). Indiana, 3-5, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
8 (tie). Purdue, 3-5, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
8 (tie). Michigan State, 3-5, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
11. Minnesota, 0-8, 1-11 (N/A)

Here, the Insight and Motor City Bowls would have five 7-5 teams to choose from. IU, Purdue, and MSU would likely be left out of the mix (certainly for the Insight Bowl) because they had inferior conference records. Again, Northwestern might be left out because of its small fan base. And, again, MSU might have the advantage for the Motor City Bowl, given its proximity to Detroit.

Alternate scenario #5: Western Michigan beats Iowa, Northwestern beats Illinois, and Michigan State beats Penn State.
1. Michigan 7-1, 9-3 (Rose)
2 (tie). Ohio State, 6-2, 10-2 (Capital One)
3 (tie). Illinois, 5-3, 8-4 (Outback/Alamo/Champs Sports)
3 (tie). Penn State, 5-3, 9-3 (Outback/Alamo/Champs Sports)
3 (tie). Wisconsin, 5-3, 9-3 (Outback/Alamo/Champs Sports)
6 (tie). Northwestern, 4-4, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
6 (tie). Iowa, 4-4, 6-6 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
8 (tie). Indiana, 3-5, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
8 (tie). Purdue, 3-5, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
8 (tie). Michigan State, 3-5, 7-5 (Insight/Motor City/Other)
11. Minnesota, 0-8, 1-11 (N/A)

Here, the Insight and Motor City Bowls would have four 7-5 teams to choose from (Iowa would be knocked out of the picture because of its 6-6 record). This scenario would be interesting, given Northwestern's small fan base. The Insight Bowl could very well take IU, Purdue, or MSU because they would travel better than Northwestern, even though Northwestern would have a better conference record than all three. And, again, MSU might have the advantage for the Motor City Bowl, given its proximity to Detroit.

Here are the leagues that have bowl tie-ins that might not have enough bowl-eligible teams, and the teams that are bowl eligible or that can still become bowl eligible (i.e., these are the teams you should all be rooting against in hopes that IU goes to a bowl):

ACC (8 bowl tie-ins)
7 bowl eligible: Virginia (9-2), Virginia Tech (8-2), Clemson (8-2), BC (8-2), Wake Forest (6-4), FSU (6-4), Georgia Tech (6-4)
3 teams that can become bowl eligible (with remaining games):
NC State - 5-5 (at Wake Forest 11/17; Maryland 11/24)
Miami (FL) - 5-5 (at Va Tech 11/17; at BC 11/24)
Maryland - 5-5 (at FSU 11/17; at NC State 11/24)

The ACC will get at least one more bowl-eligible team because NC State and Maryland play each other. Thus, unless the ACC gets 2 BCS berths (which is unlikely), all of the ACC's bowl slots will be taken.

Big 12 (8 bowl tie-ins)
6 bowl eligible: Kansas (10-0), Missouri (9-1), Oklahoma (9-1), Texas (9-2), Texas Tech (7-4), Texas A&M (6-5)
4 teams that can become bowl eligible (with remaining games):
Kansas State - 5-5 (Missouri 11/17; at Fresno State 11/24)
Oklahoma State - 5-5 (at Baylor 11/17; at Oklahoma 11/24)
Colorado - 5-6 (Nebraska 11/23)
Nebraska - 5-6 (at Colorado 11/23)

Between Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, the Big 12 will likely get 2 BCS bids, which will leave 7 other bowls for 4 currently bowl-eligible teams and the 4 other possibly bowl-eligible teams. The winner of the Colorado/Nebraska game will go to a bowl, while the loser will not. Barring a huge upset by Baylor, Oklahoma State will also be going bowling. K-State has the toughest road, likely losing to Missouri at home before heading to Fresno State, which is currently 6-4. If Oklahoma State and Kansas State both lose out, then 2 bowl slots come open.

Conference USA (6 bowl tie-ins)
4 bowl eligible: UCF (7-3), Tulsa (7-3), Houston (6-4), East Carolina (6-5)
3 teams that can become bowl eligible (with remaining games):
Memphis - 5-5 (UAB 11/17; SMU 11/24)
Southern Miss - 5-5 (at UTEP 11/17; Arkansas State 11/24)
UTEP - 4-6 (Southern Miss 11/17; at UCF 11/24)

Unless the entire Memphis team comes down with SARS, it's safe to assume they will win their last 2 games (although they only need to win one to become bowl-eligible). Southern Miss will likely give C-USA 6 bowl-eligible teams, needing only to win one of its last 2 games. UTEP will likely lose to UCF, so the Miners probably won't be going bowling this year.

MAC (3 bowl tie-ins):
2 bowl eligible: Bowling Green (6-4), Central Michigan (6-4)
6 teams that can become bowl eligible (with remaining games):
Miami (OH) - 5-5 (Akron 11/14; at Ohio 11/24)
Ball State - 5-5 (Toledo 11/13; at Northern Illinois 11/24)
Toledo - 5-5 (at Ball State 11/13; at Bowling Green 11/23)
Buffalo - 4-6 (Bowling Green 11/17; at Kent State 11/24)
Akron - 4-6 (at Miami (OH) 11/14; Central Michigan 11/23)
Ohio - 5-6 (Miami (OH) 11/24)

The MAC will get its 3 bowl-eligible teams. Fucking MAC.

Pac-10 (6 bowl tie-ins)
5 bowl eligible: Arizona State (9-1), Oregon (8-1), USC (8-2), Oregon State (6-4), Cal (6-4)
3 teams that can become bowl eligible (with remaining games)
UCLA - 5-5 (Oregon 11/24; at USC 12/1)
Arizona - 4-6 (Oregon 11/15; at Arizona State 12/1)
Washington State - 4-6 (Oregon State 11/17; at Washington 11/24)

UCLA and Arizona will likely lose their remaining games, knocking them out of bowl contention. Washington State will need to win both of its games, which probably won't happen. Thus, there will only be 5 bowl-eligible teams from the Pac-10, with possibly 2 BCS bids (Oregon and whoever wins the Arizona State/USC game on 11/22). If the Pac-10 gets 2 BCS bids, that will leave 3 teams for 5 slots, thus opening the Las Vegas Bowl and the Armed Forces Bowl for my beloved Hoosiers.

WAC (3 bowl tie-ins):
3 bowl-eligible: Hawaii (9-0), Boise State (9-1), Fresno State (6-4)
4 teams that can become bowl eligible (with remaining games):
Nevada - 5-4 (Hawaii 11/16; at San Jose State 11/24; Louisiana Tech 12/1)
Louisiana Tech - 4-6 (San Jose State 11/17; at Nevada 12/1)
San Jose State - 4-6 (at Louisiana Tech 11/17; Nevada 11/24)

If Hawaii finishes undefeated and goes to a BCS bowl, that will free up a WAC bowl if they don't have 3 other bowl-eligible teams, meaning that the WAC's bowl slots will be full if one of Nevada, La Tech, or SJSU wins a 6th game. Given that they all play each other, it is mathematically impossible for all three teams to end up at 5-7. That's WAC.

Work was slow today.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Holy shit. Do you work? I could not even read all of that ...

wee

tron said...

I didn't read this post, because I really don't care about IU bowl dreams, but thought I would share a link to a Detroit Free Press article on the Motor City Bowl.

http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071112/OPINION03/711120306/1132

PS: George Perles was formally the MSU football coach, MSU AD, and board member

GMYH said...

Tron,
If you had read the post, you would see that I made that exact point (without even knowing that Perles was involved). However, if IU wins Saturday and MSU loses, then there is no way the Motor City Bowl could take MSU over IU (or any other 7-5 team).

tron said...

lysol,
Yup, and it's a great rule, I just thought I would help narrow the possible options if IU & MSU have the same fate this weekend. A large faction of MSU fans would rather not go to the MCB, but I'm sure we will accept if invited. At this moment Perles is totally creaming his shorts at the prospect of a CMU v MSU match-up. Thanks for saving me 45 minutes of life.

CES said...

Why would you predict that Michigan would beat OSU? Obviously you don't know that much about Big Ten Football...