USC Loss Clouds ND’s Bowl Options

When USC lost to UCLA yesterday, it changed what looked to be an almost settled BCS picture.  USC was to play OSU in the title game, Michigan would play LSU in the Rose Bowl, and Notre Dame would play the SEC winner in the Sugar Bowl.  With USC losing though, where and who the Irish play is up in the air.

The Sugar Bowl is still the most likely destination for the Irish.  USC now goes to the Rose Bowl to play either Michigan or LSU.  If Michigan can jump to second in the BCS standings, the Rose Bowl gets the first pick  of the at large teams and would still probably select LSU.

If Michigan stays at #3 and gets jumped by Florida, the Rose Bowl will still get the first pick among the at large teams to make up for losing Ohio State to the title game, but the Sugar will then get the next two picks.  Most likely, the Rose will take Michigan with their selection and set up a USC-Michigan showdown.

Should the Rose Bowl select Michigan, the Sugar Bowl would then probably take LSU and Notre Dame. Would the Sugar Bowl like taking a local team would could mean less money in hotel reservations, restaurants, bars, etc since there would be a larger number of local spectators?  The city of New Orleans is looking forward to having the Sugar Bowl back this year for the boost to the economy it will provide so the financial implications of picking a local team will most likely be considered.

The problem for the Sugar Bowl, should they decide not to take LSU, is the other at large teams do not create very compelling matchups.  With the four at large teams likely to be Notre Dame, LSU, Michigan, and Boise State, the Sugar Bowl will have to pick two out of Notre Dame, LSU, and Boise State which could make Notre Dame-LSU the only pairing they consider.

So basically it looks like Notre Dame will be in the Sugar Bowl against either Florida or LSU depending on whether or not Florida jumps Michigan for #2.

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  1. It was a fun game to watch, I wish it was manitory that each SEC team plays a Big 10 team dunrig the regular season since we’re the two riches and strongest conferences, Thats the only way we’ll see a Michigan in Tiger Stadium or a Florida team visit Camp Randall I’m a SEC fan and believe it or not we respect the Big 10 more than any conference because you guys enjoy football as much as we do.

  2. What I’d really love to see: a 12 team playoff.

    Top 4 teams get byes. The remaining 8 face each other in play-in games. Automatic bids go to winners of BCS conferences and any team that finishes undefeated and ranked in the top 16. No team without an automatic bid gets in if it’s ranked lower than 16. If a BCS league champ is ranked lower than 16, that league loses its automatic bid for the following season.

    The round of eight (4 games) could be played at the sites of the major bowls. The round of four could then rotate between two of the sites, with the national championship being at a third site. Money from the play-in games would have to be distributed among all 12 teams so that the powerhouses that got the byes wouldn’t lose out on any cash. Traditional bowl venues would make gobs of money, and some of the more minor bowls (the Gator, the Sun), would take on new significance.

    Oh — and at the end, there’d be a legit national champ.

    Seriously, for the Notre Dame fans out there: A lot of us Louisville Catholics grew up rooting for you and hoping for our team to blossom into one that could compete on your level. You’re obviously not afraid to schedule tough — so I hope your AD will takes us up on a series sometime soon. It’d be nice to test our mettle against a non-Big East elite program.

    Too bad Miami tanked.

  3. As for Notre Dame not scheduling the Big East – the Irish have played Pitt 63 times including six straight years from ’99-’05; West Virginia was on ND’s schedule as recently as 2001 (West Virginia is currently 0-4 against ND); Rutgers played at ND in 2002 (Rutgers too is 0-4 agaisnt ND) so Notre Dame has scheduled the Big East recently, just not this year.

  4. In defense of Notre Dame’s schedule, it has teams who have historically been top 25 contenders. Purdue, Michigan State, UCLA, and even Stanford have been top 25 programs in the last 10 years. As for North Carolina, negotiations for the contract for this years game started when Mack Brown was still there so I can’t fault ND for scheduling Carolina.

    As for what teams are more deserving for what games… the bottom line is that the bowl committees (outside of the national title game) care very little for who is deserving and care only about $$$ which is why bowl committees will jump at the chance to pick ND.

    I’m not defending the system and certainly won’t apologize for ND being selected to the Sugar Bowl, but it is the system we have.

  5. I, too, am mystified that USC didn’t slip further in the rankings. They don’t deserve their ranking after losing to two unranked teams. Frankly, Florida should’ve been ranked ahead of USC even before the Trojans choked Saturday.

    Since U of L got shafted with a low-ranked opponent, it’s too bad it wasn’t Notre Dame.

  6. Okay! ND vs LSU! Why not! My questions in all this is, why when USC lost to two unranked teams on their home turf this season do they remain top 5? Also is Michigan’s one loss to the number one team worse than that of a two loss team? And, why is it that Florida fans and coach conclude that Michigan having lost to Ohio State made them a lesser opponent because OSU was in the same conference therefore Michigan can’t even win it’s own conference so should be excluded from the national championship talk. In light of that argument I thought that Florida lost to Auburn this year and when I last looked, Auburn belonged to the very same Southeastern Conference. Would someone with good sense clear the air on these arguemtents.


  7. Bottom Line:

    Notre Dame’s opponents won /loss record 76 – 69
    Louisville’s opponents won /loss record 77 – 67

    Notre Dame top 25 opponents and record against 3 top 25’s
    1 win (Penn State) 2 losses (Mich and at USC)
    Louisville top 25 opponents and record against 3 top 25’s
    2 wins (WVU and Miami) and 1 loss (at Rutgers)

    I am not here to bash Notre Dame. I just want to point out that there’s no need to bash anybody if you’re ND when you’re schedule includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Stanford (1-11), North Carolina and Mich State. The only two top echelon teams you played smoked y’all.

    Breaking News: So will LSU.

    I’m not debating whether the Irish should be in a BCS bowl. Under the current system no more than 2 schools from a conference can go. That means that Auburn and Wisconsin were out. That only leaves Notre Dame based on their ranking. I just don’t agree with their ranking.

    I simply think that UL deserves to be in the Sugar Bowl against an opponent that’s ranked 2 spots above us in the BCS. Notre Dame should be playing Wake in the Orange, hooking up 2 teams that are more closely ranked than LSU – ND.

    It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. But know this: Notre Dame does not want the Cardinals this year, they don’t want WVU this year and I’m pretty sure they don’t want Rutgers. Don’t be dogging our program when you have to schedule the entire armed forces, 3 middle of the pack Big 10 teams, one bottom of the barrel Pac 10 team and one bottom of the barrel ACC team to get to 10-2 and then gloat over a 10 win season.

  8. The reason Louisville fans are upset is because they wanted — and deserved — a showdown with a team from one of the conferences that’s been talking smack about the Big East all season. Wake Forest is good, but assuming we beat them, it won’t do anything to shut up the loud mouths in the SEC or the Big Ten. Handing LSU its ass at the Sugar Bowl would’ve done it. I’m not saying that’s how it would’ve gone down, but Louisville sure deserved the matchup more than Notre Dame. We’ve already seen how you guys handle elite competition.

    If the SEC and Big Ten (and Notre Dame) are so much better, why won’t they ever agree to some Home/Away deals with Big East teams? Simple: After a few losses, they wouldn’t be able to sit up on their little perches and maintain their “obvious superiority” by never scheduling anyone tougher than Prairie View A&M out of conference. Obviously, Notre Dame is an exception to that since they’re independent, but they wouldn’t dare schedule a tough team from a non-prestige conference and risk losing some luster.

    Ultimately, there needs to be a playoff. That’ll be the only way to remake the landscape of college football. And that’s why the playoff won’t happen anytime soon.

  9. Did I miss something, or is Louisville in a BCS Bowl game???? If anything Auburn and Wisconsin fans have something to complain about since both schools are ranked ahead of Notre Dame but couldn’t go b/c of the only two teams per conference rule.

    Had Louisville not gotten into he BCS at 11-1 and Notre Dame did, then I could see some complaining from Louisville, but they are in, and with a win they could finish the season 12-1 and in the top 3.

    In response to Bruce Adams, my point is that bringing in a team that isn’t as close as LSU gives the local establishments a greater opportunity to get people in New Orleans for multiple days. With LSU being so close, there’s a much greater chance LSU fans will come in for the game and not stay in the hotels.

    That said, ND will need to be at the top of its game to come out with a win. If they squander opportunities like they did againt USC or turn the ball over like they did against Michigan, it could be a long night for the Irish.

  10. Excuse me ND Fan and Big Least, i think before i opened my mouth about Louisville I would be sure what i am talking about but maybe that is why ND Football is where it is now because everyone thinks they are great because of their record and not by looking at how bad they got spanked when they played legitimate BCS teams, by the way ND is behind Louisville in SOS, just in case you where wondering my three favorite teams are Louisville, and whoever is playing Kentucky and ND.

  11. Let’s ignore the names on the uniforms. Who would you think is better: an 11-1 team who beat 8/9 bowl teams (with the best victory over the #13 team in the country), or a 10-2 team who beat 5 bowl teams (with the best win over a fringe top 25 team)? I guess in order to be a truly good team, you have to beat the service academies.

  12. Come on ND guy, you can ask any resturaunt owner, bar tender, and hotel clerk. LSU brought 10 times as many fans to the Sugar Bowl in 2003-2004 than Auburn did a year later (2004-2005), and they were undefeated! We know how to travel! Even if it’s only a 2 hour drive.

  13. I dont understand why teams in the Big Least think they deserve anything more than Notre Dame. They have no strength of schedule. They have no really good teams. They just have 3 mediocre teams that all play each other with no real out of conference play. Its really not fair.

    I am saying the same thing about Boise State. You should have to at least play 1 ranked team if you are going to go to a bowl game. That should be in the by-laws.

    If its not, Im not sure why we dont play the high school teams that louisville and boise state played.

  14. hey cards fan Kentucky, Temple, the scum of Miami, Kansas State, Middle Tennessee and barely beating Cincinnati are not as stellar as you believe it is. Louisville did nto have a real game until November. While the Cards warmed up in the kitchen with cupcakes ND played (iuninspired or not) an under-rated G. Tech, then Penn State, Michigan and Mich. State -a far more difficult September when most are playing Southwest Tech or cellar dweller teams from the Atlantic 10.
    ND does play Navy every year ( WW II agreement)but it is rare when all 3 are on the schedule in the same year.
    ND need to fix things- you need to dump the tasteless Taliban comment and read your history books and learn some manners.
    ND vs. Louisville – I would enjoy that and mail some kleenex to you.

  15. You’ve got to be kidding! The No. 11 team in both polls does not deserve a showdown with LSU in the Sugar Bowl over No. 5/6 Louisville. What makes Notre Dame vs. anyone a compelling matchup? Michigan and USC pulverized the Irish this year. The UCLA and Michigan State wins were gifts; the Georgia Tech win was uninspired; and only the Taliban would take on all of the U.S. military in the same year. Let Notre Dame go to the Orange Bowl, where their inert defense will be torched by the speed and misdirection of Wake Forest.

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