Conference Call (DEC. 1, 2006)
Big Ten: Too bad BCS rules prohibits a conference from sending more than two teams to BCS bowls in any given year. Otherwise, the Big Ten could've sent three teams to the BCS bowls. Wisconsin, which might finish as high as fifth in the final BCS standings, will be relegated to the CapitalOne Bowl despite a 11-1 record, losing only to Michigan. This is the fourth time in five years that the Big Ten will send two teams to the BCS bowls, and the eighth time in the last 11 years since the conference entered the Bowl Alliance/BCS arrangement.
Pac-10: After the season, Cal will really regret being upset by Arizona that cost the Bears a chance at their first Rose Bowl since 1959. A two-loss Cal, even after losing to USC, would've been the Rose Bowl's preferred choice if USC goes on to the BCS national championship game. As it is, the Pac-10 won't get a replacement team for the Trojans.
SEC: Florida and Arkansas both wrapped up SEC championship berths before the last week, but Arkansas' loss to LSU effectively took both teams out of the national championship picture. With the loss, the Hogs will get a BCS bowl berth only if they beat Florida. The same goes for the Gators, now that LSU apparently has earned an at-large berth to the Rose Bowl.
Big East: West Virginia's ugly home loss to South Florida destroyed the Big East's credibility and will reduce the conference to just one BCS representative. It seems like a joke now that, at various times, WVU, Louisville and Rutgers were being discussed as a national title contender. As it is, Rutgers needs to beat WVU to win the conference. And if it doesn't, the Big East goes to Louisville.
Big 12: Nebraska won the Big 12 North handily whereas Oklahoma earned the date with its old rival by improbably overtaking Texas in the Big 12 South. By losing its final two regular-season games, Texas went from a national title contender to out of a BCS berth all together.
ACC: Georgia Tech and Wake Forest will play for the ACC's only BCS berth, in the Orange Bowl. Former powerhouses Miami and Florida State will be looking for a new head coach, either this year (Miami) or next at the latest (FSU). Such is the state of the ACC -- forever doomed to be a basketball conference.
WAC: Not only did Boise State earn a BCS berth in the first year of the new arrangement, it clinched it handily and with style. As it is, the Broncos will be the home team in the Fiesta Bowl because they'll be the higher seed against the Big 12 champion. Who'd thunk that?
Mountain West, Conference USA, MAC, Sun Belt: See you next year.
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