Ducks Fowl Things Up

Pete Carroll always says that his goal is to win the Pac-10 and the Rose Bowl.

While his team enjoys a bye week (and a chance to get healthy), yesterday’s game between Oregon and Arizona just improved his odds at the former while hurting his odds at the latter. The Ducks were a 12.5 point favorite and were expected to win-out en route to the BCS National Championship Game. Instead, they became the 5th team this season to be ranked 2nd and get knocked-off by an unranked squad.

Now what?

There are a number of scenarios for USC’s bowl hopes, based on the BCS eligibility system and Pac-10 arrangements. Here’s a breakdown of what could happen. As you can see, there’s a lot of football left to go.

If the Trojans beat Arizona State and UCLA and …

  • Oregon beats UCLA and Oregon State: USC will earn a share of the Pac-10 crown, marking their record 6th straight year at the top. However, they will tie the Ducks, and Oregon will go to the Rose Bowl on a tie-breaker (beating USC head-to-head). USC could go to the Fiesta Bowl (vs. Big 12 champ, unless they go to the national championship game), Sugar Bowl (vs. SEC champ, unless they go the national championship game), or Orange Bowl (vs. ACC champ, unless they go to the national championship game).
  • Oregon loses to UCLA or Oregon State: USC would win the Pac-10 and go to the Rose Bowl. Even if USC and Arizona State have the same record, USC would win the tie-breaker (since this scenario assumes USC beats Arizona State). There’s also a complicated series of upsets that could put USC in the championship game, but it’s downright silly to think about.

It gets really complicated after the jump.

If the Trojans beat UCLA and lose to Arizona State and …

  • Oregon beats UCLA and Oregon State: Oregon goes to the Rose
    Bowl, Arizona State goes to the Holiday Bowl, USC goes to the Sun Bowl.
  • Oregon beats UCLA and loses to Oregon State: Arizona State wins
    outright and goes to the Rose Bowl. Oregon goes to the Holiday Bowl and
    USC goes to the Sun Bowl.
  • Oregon beats Oregon State and loses to UCLA: Arizona State wins the
    conference and goes to the Rose Bowl. Oregon goes to the Holiday Bowl,
    USC goes to the Sun Bowl.
  • Oregon loses to Oregon State and UCLA: Arizona State goes to the Rose Bowl with the Pac-10 crown, USC goes to the Holiday Bowl.

If the Trojans beat Arizona State and lose to UCLA and …

  • Oregon beats UCLA and Oregon State, Arizona State beats
    Arizona: Oregon ties Arizona State, but takes the Pac-10 and the Rose
    Bowl on the tie-breaker. Arizona goes to the Holiday Bowl. USC goes to
    the Sun Bowl in El Paso.
  • Oregon beats UCLA and Oregon State, Arizona State loses to Arizona:
    Oregon takes the Pac-10 outright and heads to the Rose Bowl. USC and
    Arizona State tie for 2nd, USC takes the tie-breaker and goes to the
    Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
  • Oregon beats UCLA and loses to Oregon State, Arizona State beats
    Arizona: Arizona State wins outright and smells Roses. Oregon ties USC
    for second and goes to the Holiday Bowl on the tie-breaker. Trojans
    head to El Paso and the Sun Bowl.
  • Oregon beats UCLA and loses to Oregon State, Arizona State loses
    to Arizona: USC, Oregon, and Arizona State tie for the Pac-10 crown.
    Oregon goes to
    the Rose Bowl. USC goes to the Holiday Bowl.
  • Oregon beats Oregon State and loses to UCLA, Arizona State beats
    Arizona: Arizona State takes the Pac-10 and Rose Bowl. USC, Oregon, and
    UCLA tie for second. UCLA goes to the Holiday Bowl, Oregon goes to the
    Sun Bowl, USC goes to the Emerald Bowl or Las Vegas Bowl.
  • Oregon beats Oregon State and loses to UCLA, Arizona State loses
    to Arizona: A 4-way tie emerges between USC, Oregon, Arizona State, and
    UCLA.
    UCLA goes to the Rose Bowl, Oregon goes to the Holiday Bowl, and USC goes to the Sun Bowl.
  • Oregon loses to Oregon State and UCLA, Arizona State beats Arizona:
    Arizona State wins the Pac-10 and goes to the Rose Bowl. USC and UCLA
    tie for 2nd. UCLA goes to the Holiday Bowl, USC goes to the Sun Bowl.
  • Oregon loses to Oregon State and UCLA, Arizona State loses to
    Arizona: USC, Arizona State, and UCLA split the Pac-10 title (possibly
    with Oregon State, if they beat Washington State).
    If Oregon State loses to Washington State, the tie between the three teams would be broken by their collective record against Oregon, Oregon State, and Arizona (and Cal, if they win their last two). If Oregon State beats Washington State, the four tied teams would be broken by their collective record against Oregon and Arizona (and Cal, if they win their last two).

If the Trojans lose to UCLA and Arizona State …

  • If you thought the last scenario was complicated, this one gets
    even worse. Depending on who wins and how the tiebreakers shake out,
    USC would finish 4th, 5th, or 6th in the Pac 10. That means Emerald
    Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, or the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort
    Worth.

The tie-scenarios (written above in bold )involve further Pac-10 tiebreakers. Here’s the rule:

Multiple-Team Ties.
(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.

Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s