The big news revealed tonight at eight o'clock will be that Alabama and Texas will face off against each other this January in Pasadena for the National Championship.
We already know this.
The questions still in our minds are: Which teams will be paired in the other four BCS bowls? The only facts known for certain are that Ohio State and Oregon will play in the Rose Bowl, while Georgia Tech will play in the Orange Bowl.
Two other teams, TCU and Cincinnati, are virtually guaranteed a spot by winning their conferences. Florida, Boise State, and either Iowa or Penn State are expected to be the three remaining BCS teams; but this is not certain, and the bowl to which they go is unknown.
Let us, therefore, examine the selection procedure. Remember, money is often a larger concern than "fairness."
Pick One (Sugar): By virtue of losing the top ranked team (Alabama), the Sugar Bowl gets the first at large choice. The obvious choice is the selection of Florida, another SEC team. While the large fan base of the Big Ten teams is appealing, Florida will attract more money here than elsewhere.
Pick Two (Fiesta): The Fiesta Bowl has no Big Twelve team to replace Texas, so they will be trying to get the most eyeballs on their game. A Big Ten team is a no-brainer and, rather than risk another bowl taking that team, will be selected first by the Fiesta Bowl. Because of the larger Iowa fan-base in Phoenix, the Hawkeyes will be selected.
Pick Three (Orange): The Orange Bowl already has one team, Georgia Tech, headed to Miami and now must select an opponent. The Nittany Lions would be a stellar choice, however with Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, no more than two teams from the Big Ten can head to the BCS. Undefeated Cincinnati is the next choice.
Pick Four (Fiesta): To pair with Iowa, the Fiesta has what amounts to a choice between TCU and Boise State. Boise State had an unforgettable 2007 Fiesta Bowl victory. Both teams are now undefeated and the last time either lost was when TCU defeated Boise State in the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl. Only TCU is guaranteed a BCS bid, so it is they who will be chosen.
Pick Five (Sugar): While undefeated Boise State is the only team remaining in the FBS with less than two losses, the Sugar Bowl also has the choice of other teams in the BCS Top 14. Not looking forward to another SEC team being busted, the Sugar Bowl will eagerly look toward teams in BCS conferences and select the Miami Hurricanes.
The Sugar Bowl Matchup
Earlier this season, the Hurricanes were the talk of the nation. A dormant national-powerhouse was re-emerging. Nationally televised victories over Florida State, Oklahoma, and Georgia Tech accelerated the Hurricanes to No. 8 in the nation.
An overtime loss to division champ Clemson combined with more ACC cannibalism soon dropped the Hurricanes and other ACC teams from the title picture (Virginia Tech was ranked No. 4, already with a loss).
The Heisman hype of Jacory Harris will be revisited as he faces off against Heisman champion Tim Tebow. The last two ACC opponents the Gators faced(2009 Florida State, 2008 Miami) were both held to 10 points or less.
This year's Hurricane team, however, has scored at least 21 points in every game this year—a feat the Gators barely halved (13 points) in their only two games against ranked opponents.
This matchup will also serve as a state championship as the teams both beat Florida State this year and will compete for the Florida Cup, of which Miami has won three of the last four.
If fans are afraid that Florida will give a performance reminiscent of last year's uninspired effort of Alabama against Utah; then expect the Sugar Bowl to give the Gators something to play for, an in-state rival from a respected conference.