More information can be found at the BCS Bowls page.
The BCS was created (by its own admission) to facilitate the meeting of the No. 1 and No. 2 team in the country in the BCS national title game. As we’ve figured out in the years since its creation, it does much, much more than that. The system also pairs the teams in its four bowls — the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta. But how exactly does that happen?
In the 2013 season as in past years, there is a specific selection process for the five games with slight changes year-to-year.
On Sunday, Dec. 8, representatives from the conferences, bowl games and schools meet to decide the matchups in the five bowl games in the following fashion. (We’ve added some context for this season):
Creating the BCS Selection Pool
- The champions of the six automatically qualifying BCS conferences — the ACC, AAC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — all receive guaranteed bids to BCS games.
- The highest-ranking conference champion among the four non-AQ conferences — the C-USA, MAC, MWC and Sun Belt — in the final BCS rankings will be assured of a bid to a BCS bowl if they rank within the top 12 or within the top 16 and rank higher than any AQ conference champion.
- Northern Illinois is in play here
- Notre Dame will automatically qualify for a BCS bowl if it finishes among the top eight in the final BCS standings.
- Any team to win nine games and finish within the top 14 of the final BCS standings will be BCS bowl-eligible. Teams in the top 18 with nine wins may also be eligible if there are not enough eligible teams in the top 14.
- Though more than two teams from a single conference can be BCS bowl eligible, no more than two teams from a single conference can be selected to play in the five BCS bowls.
BCS National Championship Game Participants
- The teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS standings — regardless of conference affiliation or own-conference finish — will be placed in the BCS National Championship Game to be held in Pasadena, California in January 2014 as the selection committee’s first measure.
Filling Conference Affiliation
- After the BCS title game is filled, the remaining BCS bowls will fill their bowls with their traditional “anchor host” conference champions as follows:
- Rose Bowl: Big Ten and Pac-12
- Fiesta Bowl: Big 12
- Orange Bowl: ACC
- Sugar Bowl: SEC
- If any of the bowls’ traditional anchor hosts have been lost to the BCS National Championship Game, that bowl will be allowed to select a replacement team from the eligible pool before other picks are made.
- If more than one bowl loses a host conference champion, the bowl which lost the BCS No. 1 will choose its replacement from the pool first, followed by the bowl that lost the BCS No. 2.
Filling the Rest of the Bowls
- Once all the affiliation and replacement selections have been made, the Sugar, Fiesta and Orange will select from among the remaining members of the eligibility pool in the following order:
- One of these three bowls will be required to select the AAC champion and the automatically qualifying non-AQ champion if one exists.
- If not selected previously, a team which finishes third in the final BCS standings will automatically be awarded a spot in a BCS bowl if they are an at-large team and not an AQ BCS conference champion. If the third team is a conference champion, the fourth-place team will also be given this automatic eligibility if not selected previously.
- The three bowls will then select among the rest of the pool if no other teams automatically qualify for inclusion among the five bowls.