Before getting to the links today, I thought I’d answer a couple of questions I’m getting quite a bit about the Pac-12 bowl lineup, and the tiebrearking procedure to decide division winners.
— First, the bowl lineup.
One thing to remember is that it’s the same as last year and is expected to be the same through 2013, as the conference signed four-year deals with every bowl heading into 2010.
As always, the Pac-12 winner will head to the BCS, meaning the Rose if not the BCS title game.
From there, it’s important to remember that the bowls then have their choice of bowl eligible Pac-12 teams, meaning they don’t have to choose in the exact order of standings and there are no tiebreakers that come into play — if UW finishes third and ASU fourth, but a bowl wants ASU instead of UW, it can choose the Devils (except that a bowl can’t drop down and pick a team with a record two games worse in conference play, meaning you can’t take a 5-4 team instead of a 7-2 team).
Hopefully that makes sense.
The rest of the bowl order is as follows
2, Alamo vs. Big 12 #3, Dec. 29, San Antonio
3, Holiday vs. Big 12 #5, Dec. 28, San Diego
4, Sun Bowl vs. ACC #4, Dec. 31, El Paso
5, Las Vegas vs. MWC #1, Dec. 22, Las Vegas
6, Kraft Fight Hunger vs. Army (if bowl eligible), Dec. 31, San Francisco
7, New Mexico vs. MWC, Dec. 17, Albuquerque
Still a lot of games left. But you can see why a lot of the ESPN and other websites have UW headed to the Sun or Holiday, given where the Huskies rest now in the standings. I’d assume the Holiday would probably want to avoid having UW make a repeat appearance (the bowl had no choice last year but to take Nebraska, but in general bowls try to avoid repeats), so you can additionally see why a lot of people have UW headed to the Sun. Lots of time left, though, to sort that all out.
— Now for the conference division tiebreaker — which is the only thing that a tiebreaker is used for as they don’t try to sort out who finished fourth or fifth, etc., just who wins divisions since that is needed to determine who will play in the conference title game.
Here’s a link to the explanation on the conference site.
A couple key points — all conference games count, not just those in divisions; and head-to-head is obviously the most critical tiebreaker. What a lot of people have asked me is what happens in the event of a three-way tie at 8-1. In that scenario it would come down to BCS standing since all the teams would have beaten each other as well as everyone else in the division. UPDATE — As some have pointed out, the three-team tiebreaker is used to eliminate a team and then it reverts to the two-team tiebreaker. So at that point, it would then come down to head-to-head after one team is eliminated.
Now for some links. …
— CoachSark’s site with some pictures of Monday’s practice.
— Keith Price is up to No. 11 on the Rivals.com rating of college QBs this week. And among a few of the other ratings on that site, Chris Polk is No. 11 among TBs, and Saturday’s game will feature three of the top nine tight ends.
— Here’s the report on the Huskies from UW’s official site.
— Polk and Price mentioned on ESPN.com’s Pac-12 Heisman Watch.
— Steve Sarkisian named the mid-season Pac-12 Coach of the Year by CBSSports.com.
— ESPN.com’s Stanford blog says all games are must-win for the Cardinal.
— A few keys to the UW-Stanford game from CBSSports.com.
— Ted Miller takes a quick look at this week’s Pac-12 games.
— The Seahawks yesterday signed Jason Shirley, who is Josh Shirley’s older brother.
— The LA Times with more on why Arik Armstead decided to decommit from USC (he has said he may now visit UW among other schools he will consider anew).
— The Denver Post has a Pac-12 notebook with lots of links around the conference.
— Bruce Feldman offers his 10 MVPs of the college football season (and you’d think a case could be made for Price, as well).
— Mike Leach says he’s had no contact with Arizona.