Usually this time of year, our Team Selection committee has narrowed the pool of teams to roughly two per conference. While this past weekend helped sort out the possibilities a little, the Valero Alamo Bowl still has 11 teams in the mix with less than a week before Selection Sunday (Dec. 4).
The Pac-12 Championship game this Friday (Dec. 2) against No. 9 Oregon and UCLA will be a major factor in the bowl selection process. The winner will go to the Rose Bowl and the other team might be heading to San Antonio. The Pac-12 is well positioned to get two teams in the BCS again this year as No. 4 Stanford is 11-1. By virtue of being ranked No. 4 in the BCS as a non-conference champion, Stanford would be guaranteed a BCS bid as of today, but is also a contender for the Dec. 29th game. Washington, Cal and Utah all ended with 7-5 records and have the potential to be selected for the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl.
Without a championship game in the Big 12, the scenarios for the Valero Alamo Bowl get more complicated. The Big 12 has the potential to place two teams in the BCS but they are no longer a lock at this point in time.
If No. 3 Oklahoma State beats No. 10 Oklahoma on Saturday, they will most likely go to the Fiesta Bowl or even the BCS Championship game. However, if Oklahoma comes out on top, they could be the ones traveling to Phoenix and the Cowboys have the Cotton Bowl and the Valero Alamo Bowl as possibilities.
The No. 17 Baylor vs. No. 22 Texas matchup also has an impact on who is chosen to play at the Alamodome this winter. The Longhorns need to beat the Bears in order to make the cut. But if Baylor wins they could play in the Valero Alamo Bowl, if they aren’t picked by the Cotton Bowl first.
The No. 11 Kansas State and Iowa State matchup will also be factored into bowl selection discussions this week. If Kansas State tops the Cyclones, they have three possibilities; a BCS bid, the Cotton Bowl or the Valero Alamo Bowl. On the other hand, if Iowa State pulls off another upset, it is unlikely Kansas State will receive an invitation to a BCS Bowl.
The Valero Alamo Bowl will feature the No. 2 team in the Big 12 Conference and the No. 1 team in the Pac-12 Conference after BCS selections. Team Selection for the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl will be held this Sunday, December 4th.