Posted by Adam Jacobi
Yesterday, we ran down the list of potential Big Ten champions and what it'll take for each of them to punch their ticket to the Rose Bowl. Now, let's look at the other half of the Granddaddy. Of course, if the Ducks win out, they're probably headed to the BCS Championship instead of Pasadena, but they'll still be the Pac-10 champions. It's worth mentioning, however, that in the event that Oregon finishes undefeated and goes to the title game (likewise with Michigan State and the Big Ten), the second-place team will, in all likelihood, not be taking its place in the Rose Bowl; this is the first season that the new BCS rules require an unused Rose Bowl berth go to a a BCS-eligible team from a non-AQ conference. Being that Boise State, TCU, and Utah are all in the Top 10, it's pretty safe to assume one will be available to crash the party in Pasadena. That said, the Pac-10's nine-game, round-robin schedule and its lengthy tie-breaking procedure mean we've still got a wide-open conference race unfolding.
Oregon can go to the Rose Bowl (or BCS Championship Game) if...
- Oregon wins out;
- Oregon loses to Arizona or Oregon State AND that team loses another Pac-10 game;
- Oregon loses to USC, Washington, or California but wins the rest of the games;
- Oregon loses two games AND the two teams to beat Oregon have at least three conference losses apiece;
- Oregon loses two games AND wins a multi-team playoff that, since Oregon has no current losses upon which to base their situation, could turn into anything this far away from December.
Stanford can go to the Rose Bowl if...
- Stanford wins out AND Oregon loses at least two games;
- Stanford loses another game AND Oregon loses at least two games AND one of the teams to beat Oregon is also tied at 7-2 IF that team lost to Stanford AND the other team to beat Oregon is higher in the standings than the other team Stanford lost to.
Arizona can go to the Rose Bowl if...
- Arizona wins out AND Oregon State loses at least one more game.
- Arizona loses to a team that is not Oregon, Oregon loses another game but beats Oregon State (who also wins out aside from the Oregon loss), no other Pac-10 teams finish at 7-2 or better, and Washington finishes higher than the other teams Arizona and Oregon lost to.
Oregon State can go to the Rose Bowl if...
- OSU wins out;
- OSU loses one game to a Pac-10 team that ends with at least three conference losses AND Washington loses another game.
USC can go to the Rose Bowl if...
- USC wins out AND Oregon loses another game AND Stanford loses another game. HO HO HO JUST KIDDING SAY HELLO TO BOWL INELIGIBILITY
The Pac-10 has some awfully complicated multi-team tiebreaker rules that, with five or six games left in the conference season, render a full accounting of what each team needs for a Rose Bowl berth nearly impossible. Enjoy:
(1) When three or more teams are tied in Conference play, if one has defeated all others, it shall be the Rose Bowl representative. If that is not the case, a comparison of the tied teams' records against the other tied teams shall be made and the team having the best record against the other tied teams shall be the Rose Bowl representative. If two or more teams are still tied after this comparison, the appropriate two-team or multiple-team tie-breaking procedures shall be repeated among those teams still under consideration. (2) If more than two teams are still tied after the process above is completed, each remaining tied team's record against the team occupying the highest position in the final regular season standings shall be compared, with the procedure continuing down through the standings until one team gains an advantage. When arriving at another group of tied teams while comparing records, each team's collective record against the tied teams as a group shall be used. If at any point in the process the multiple-team tie is reduced to two teams, the two-team tie-breaking procedure shall be applied. If more than two teams are still tied after comparing their records all the way through the Conference standings, the team among the tied teams with the highest ranking in the final BCS standings shall be the Rose Bowl representative. If a tie remains, the teams most recently earning Rose Bowl or Bowl Championship Series automatic selection shall be eliminated.
Yeah. So until we see a couple more weeks' worth of results suss themselves out, a potential 3-way or 4-way tie scenario won't be in great focus yet. As a general rule, though, the more winning a team does, the less help they need to claim the league title. But you probably knew that already.