Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

December 3, 2013

Oh Good Greif: Auburn win upsets BCS standings

CROSSVILLE — The BCS, which is in its final campaign this year, is in shambles after Auburn defeated Alabama 34-28 on that amazing missed field goal return for a touchdown. That also scrambled the bowl game match-ups, which will be announced after all of the games this weekend.

Auburn (11-1) faces Missouri (11-1) in the SEC championship game Saturday afternoon at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Whichever set of Tigers wins will have to wait and see how the other championship games and other games end to determine their fate in the post-season.

The SEC can send representatives to the following bowls — Music City vs. ACC; Advocare Bowl vs. ACC; Liberty Bowl vs. C-USA; Chick-Fil-A vs. ACC; Gator Bowl vs. Big Ten; Capital One vs. Big Ten; Outback Bowl vs. Big Ten; Cotton vs. Big 12 and Compass vs. AAC (formerly Big East); however, there is a spot in one of the BCS bowls — Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls — for an SEC team.

There are 35 total bowls, including the BCS title game Jan. 6 in Pasadena.

Bowl eligible teams from the SEC are Auburn (11-1), Missouri (11-1), Alabama (11-1), South Carolina (10-2), L.S.U. (9-3), Texas A&M (8-4), Vanderbilt (8-4), Georgia (8-4), Mississippi (7-5) and Mississippi (6-6). Alabama is a lock for BCS bowl bid.

Besides the BCS championship game, there are 34 other bowls, which need 68 teams with six or more wins to be filled.

Going into this weekend's contests, there are a total of 79 bowl eligilble teams — AAC (4), ACC (11), Big 12 (6), Big 10 (8), C-USA (8), MAC (7), Mountain West (7), PAC- 12 (9), SEC (10), Sun Belt (6) and Independents (3, which include Notre Dame, BYU and Navy.

There are more bowl eligible teams than spots available, which makes Saturday's games more important.

Here are the remaining games which will determine bowl pairings:

AAC - Louisville at Cincinnati, UCF at SMU, Memphis at UConn, South Florida at Rutgers: UCF gets a BCS berth with a win over SMU, but a loss puts them in a tie with the Louisville/Cincinnati winner at 7-1.

ACC -  Duke vs. Florida St. (championship): A Florida State win puts the Seminoles in the BCS title game, but a Blue Devil win shakes things up a bit.

Big 12 - Oklahoma at Oklahoma St.; Texas at Baylor: The Big 12 championship and automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl is up for grabs here, as Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas are all 7-1 in the conference, while Oklahoma is 6-2. If OSU wins, they get the bid, but the Baylor-Texas winner gets the nob if OU beats OSU, according to  AP.

Big 10- Ohio St. vs. Michigan St. (championship): A Ohio State win sends the Buckeyes to the BCS title game, while Michigan St. goes to the Rose Bowl. The Spartans will most likely will go to Pasadena win or lose. A Buckeye loss, along with a Seminole loss, really puts the BCS in a topsy-turfy mood.

C-USA - Marshall vs. Rice (championship): Both will get bowl bids.

MAC - Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois (championship): Northern Illinois is the highest-ranked unbeaten team at 12-0 and could get a BCS bid with a win over Bowling Green in the MAC championship game. They can get an automatic bid with a top 12 finish in the final BCS poll or finish in the top 16 ahead of an automatic qualifying conference champion, according to AP.

Mountain West - Utah St. at Fresno State (championship): Both will get bowl bids.

PAC-12 - Stanford at Arizona St. (championship): The winner will get a bid to the Rose Bowl, with the runner-up as a BCS pick.

SEC - Auburn vs. Missouri (championship): The winner goes to the Sugar Bowl, with the runner-up going to one of the other SEC affliated bowls.

Sun Belt - Lousiana-Lafayette at South Alabama: Louisiana-Lafayette is in the New Orleans Bowl against a C-USA representative.

Independent - Army vs. Navy: Navy is in the Armed Forces Bowl against a Mountain West opponent, but the Midshipmen have a date with Army on Dec. 14.

With the potential for upsets in the conference championship games and those regular season finales in conferences who aren't having title games, it may take Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj of Big Bang Theory fame to sort all of this out.

••••

This is for the elementary basketball coaches.

There were only three scores turned in from Monday night's action by the 9 a.m. deadline to make a total report worthwhile. There are just five dates remaining in the first half of the season, but nothing shows on the master schedule for January. Coaches are reminded to notify me with those games.

••••

(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears periodically.)

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