Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Champs Sports or Alamo?

With Purdue's win over Indiana on Saturday, the bowl picture is starting to take shape. Thankfully for many Purdue fans, the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas no longer has a tie-in to the Big Ten. Here are the following non-BCS bowls with ties to the Big Ten listed in order of selection.

Capital One -- Big Ten #2 vs. SEC #2
Outback -- Big Ten #3 vs. SEC #3
Champs Sports -- Big Ten #4 vs. ACC #4
Alamo -- Big Ten #5 vs. Big 12 #4
Insight -- Big Ten #6 vs. Big 12 #6
Motor City -- Big Ten #7 vs. MAC

There was a scenario many thought possible where a Michigan Ohio State rematch in the BCS Championship game would allow Wisconsin to go to the Rose Bowl. However, BCS rules state that no more than two teams from a conference can play in BCS bowl games. So if Michigan and Ohio State play in the BCS Championship game, no other Big Ten team could play in another BCS game including the Rose Bowl.

At this point it seems as though Purdue's likely destination is either the Alamo Bowl or Champs Sports Bowl. The Alamo Bowl is played closer to January 1st and has a higher payout, but the Champs Sports Bowl actually selects their team first. Penn State is likely headed to the Outback Bowl, a place where Purdue would most likely get waxed by a better SEC team. It's probably a good thing that the Boilers aren't headed there this year. They aren't ready to compete with the likes of an Arkansas, Tennessee, or LSU. Before this weekend, it looked like Iowa was Purdue's main competition to get a bid to the next best bowl in the lineup. Minnesota did Purdue a favor and knocked off the Hawkeyes, sending them to the land of 6-6. Its hard to imagine the Champs Sports Bowl people selecting a 6-6 team over an 8-4 team, yet they did select Champs Sports as their corporate sponsor so anything is possible. Purdue's likely opponent in Orlando is Wake Forest. I like that match up much better.