Could Missouri (or Others) Go to the Rose Bowl? By Jeff Anderson

(November 6, 2007)

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A friend of mine who went to Missouri asked me the following question: "Can Mizzou end up in the Rose Bowl? How does that work if the Rose Bowl loses either the Big 10 or Pac 10 champ to the title game? Could they lose BOTH conference champs to the title game?"

If the Rose Bowl loses both teams, presumably Ohio St. and Oregon (and, yes, it can), then the Granddaddy Of 'Em All will get its pick (before any other bowl) of all teams that aren't BCS conference champions. (The Big 12 champ automatic goes to the Fiesta Bowl if not to the National Championship Game (NCG).) While I don't have any inside information, in that scenario the Rose Bowl will presumably take the Arizona St.-USC winner vs. Michigan or another very highly ranked team (most likely a 2-loss LSU or 2-loss Oklahoma, or possibly a 1-loss Kansas that loses in the Big 12 Championship Game). Same thing (for the non-Pac-10 entry) if Oregon doesn't go to the National Championship Game but Ohio St. does: the Rose will then take Michigan or another highly ranked team to play Oregon. If Michigan beats Ohio St., then the Wolverines will go to Pasadena as the Big Ten champs, and the Rose will presumably have the Pac-10 champ (if not in the NCG) or runner-up play them. The same thing will likely transpire (on the Pac-10 side) if Ohio St. loses to Illinois and then beats Michigan.

In light of all that, it will be very hard for Mizzou to get to the Rose Bowl but not impossible. The Tigers would likely have to (1) beat Kansas, (2) lose to Oklahoma, (3) have Ohio St. beat Illinois and Michigan, or else lose to Illinois, beat Michigan, and still manage to finish in the BCS top-2, (4) either have Michigan fall out of the top-14 in the BCS Standings (in which case the Rose couldn't pick them), which is possible, or else have the Rose decide a 3-loss Michigan is not as attractive as a less-than-3-loss, non-Big-Ten team, and (5) have the Rose decide that a 2-loss Mizzou is the most attractive team on the board (meaning among all teams that aren't BCS conference champions), which, at the least, would probably require that LSU either win the SEC or lose two more times.

If all of these conditions fall into place, then I think Mizzou will go to Pasadena.

So, in sum, I wouldn't book a flight to L.A. just yet.

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