College football: Bowl assignment winners & losers
Winners and losers from the bowl assignments:
Loser: Florida State. The Seminoles weren’t in a fabulous showdown to begin with when it looked like Louisville was headed to the Orange Bowl. But they weren’t in a no-win situation. Louisville is at least a representative program, plus a future ACC foe of Florida State. But now Florida State gets Northern Illinois, a totally no-win situation for FSU.
Winner: The MAC. The Mountain West and the Western Athletic Conference have had their turn at being a BCS buster. Now the Mid-American Conference gets its shake. The MAC has a long history of upsetting middling Big Ten teams. Wins over Michigan and Ohio State aren’t so prevalent. Northern Illinois can change that in the Orange Bowl.
Loser: Oklahoma State. When the Cowboys had an 11-point lead in the second half of Bedlam, the BCS remained a possibility, and the Cotton Bowl looked at least probable. Now OSU is headed for the Heart of Dallas Bowl, playing a bad Purdue team on ESPNU. Ouch.
Winner: Texas. The Longhorns avoided a Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M. Nothing else matters. Get rolled in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon State, and UT won’t care. The ‘Horns keep the Cold War alive.
Loser: Louisiana Tech. Only two bowl-eligible teams didn’t make a bowl. Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech. The latter was 9-3, spent some time in the top 25 and beat both Illinois and Virginia. But Louisiana Tech was a victim of the Northern Illinois fallout. When Northern Illinois made the Orange Bowl, it created a ripple effect that ended up knocking Iowa State out of Big 12 slot. The Liberty Bowl scooped up the Cyclones. On Saturday, the Independence Bowl offered a bid to Louisiana Tech, but athletic director Bruce Van de Velde asked for more time, thinking the Liberty was a likely option. The Independence then invited Ohio to play Louisiana-Monroe. Louisiana Tech was left out in the cold.
Winner: The MAC again. Seven Mid-American teams are in bowls. Same as the Big Ten.
Loser: Sugar Bowl. New Orleans went from Florida-OU to Florida-Louisville. Quite a comedown.
Winner: Pinstripe Bowl. On Oct. 12, what do you think were the chances of the Yankee Stadium bowl getting a West Virginia-Syracuse matchup. A revival of an old Big East rivalry.
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