We begin the process by turning to the 10 lowest-paying bowls.
Because some conferences will not produce enough teams to be available for selection, several tie-ins may need to be filled with qualifying schools from other leagues.
An example would be the Texas Bowl, in which the Big 10 appears unlikely to produce a candidate to face the much improved Baylor Bears of the Big 12.
If this dilemma comes about, word may be sent to the Big East. Louisville could qualify for a postseason invitation by accumulating six victories, but it could be squeezed out of the selection process.
The Armed Forces Bowl is slated to have a Mountain West Conference representative. The signal may go out to send in a qualified squad from West Point to face powerful Tulsa of Conference USA.
The New Orleans Bowl features the Sun Belt champion against a Conference USA representative. The Florida International Panthers appear to be in the best position to capture the Sun Belt title.
In the C-USA pecking order, the Hawaii Bowl has a high priority and could choose former Warriors head coach June Jones, now leader of the SMU Mustangs.
The C-USA opening in the Crescent City game could be filled by Texas El Paso, which has already qualified with six wins.
Bowl Name Date Venue Payout Conf. Tie-Ins Projected Matchup
No.35: New Orleans Dec. 18 New Orleans $325,000 Sun Belt, CUSA Fla. Int'l vs. UTEP
No.34: Texas Dec. 29 Houston $612,500 Big Ten, Big 12 Louisville* vs. Baylor
No.33: New Mexico Dec. 18 Albuquerque $750,000 MWC, WAC BYU vs. Fresno State
No.32: Armed Forces Dec. 30 Dallas $750,000 CUSA, MWC Tulsa vs. Army**
No.31: Hawaii Dec. 24 Honolulu $750,000 CUSA, WAC SMU vs. Hawaii
No.30: Poinsettia Dec. 23 San Diego $750,000 MWC, Navy San Diego St. vs. Navy
No.29: Kraft Jan. 9 San Fran. $750,000 WAC, Pac-10 Nevada vs. BC***
No.28: GoDaddy.Com Jan. 6 Mobile $750,000 MAC, Sun Belt Ohio vs. Troy
No.27: Humanitarian Dec. 18 Boise $750,000 WAC, MAC Idaho. vs. Temple
No.26: Little Caesars Dec. 26 Detroit $750,000 MAC, Big Ten N. Illinois vs. N'western
The selection process is unclear concerning the Kraft Bowl, in which Nevada of the WAC is anxious to travel over to San Francisco to face a Pac-10 foe.
This is the first year of the WAC tie-in, which had previously belonged to the ACC.
Without an eligible Pac-10 opponent to face the Wolfpack, a return adventure to San Francisco could be offered to Boston College as a replacement selection, even though the ACC no longer has a conference contract with the bowl game.
The Poinsettia appears set with San Diego State and Navy.
The New Mexico Bowl has the opportunity to match Fresno State against BYU in the opening event of the postseason.
The Humanitarian should extend an invitation to Idaho of the WAC if the Vandals can secure one more victory to reach the qualification of six wins. The MAC selection may go to the Temple Owls.
The Little Caesar's Bowl invites the MAC champion, and that should be Northern Illinois. The apparent Big Ten opponent appears to be Northwestern, creating a Chicago-area showdown in Detroit.
The GoDaddy.com (old GMAC bowl) needs Troy to continue to win in order to qualify as the Sun Belt entry, simply from the fan attendance angle.
Coach Frank Solich and Ohio U. seems headed for the MAC invitation to the southern Alabama event.
It would make for a curious circle of events for the former Nebraska Cornhusker great, who lost his final game as a player to the University of Alabama during the battle for the 1965 national championship.