Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday Night Dessert: Sun, Insight, or Alamo Bowls?

With Nebraska's 45-35 victory over Kansas, Nebraska is now bowl eligible, so now it's not a question of "if", but rather "where". So let's start laying the groundwork. First, with undefeated Texas Tech and 1-loss Oklahoma and Texas, it seems like a good bet the Big XII will also nab one of the BCS's wildcard spots. The odd man out of that battle will likely end up in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl. I'd expect the Holiday Bowl to take either Oklahoma State or Missouri. (Interesting aside: Nebraska still has a chance to make it to the Big XII championship game in Kansas City. All it takes is 2 Nebraska victories to give the Huskers a 5-3 conference record and two Missouri losses to give the Tigers a 4-4 conference record. Of course, that means that Kansas and Iowa State would have to beat Missouri. You may stop laughing now.)

But then comes the interesting wrinkle. After the Holiday Bowl, the Gator Bowl then gets a choice between a Big XII team and a Big East team. So that's either Missouri or Oklahoma State over the woeful Big East and the second best team between Pitt, West Virginia, and Cincinatti. So that's an easy choice for the Gator, correct? Not so fast. Seems that for the purposes of bowl selections, Notre Dame is considered part of the Big East. And the Gator was very interested in the Irish until they lost 17-0 to Boston College yesterday. Now, they are under "discussion". Notre Dame might be the selection this season as I'm sure the Gator would likely want to get their obligation to the Big East completed, grab Notre Dame as a bonus, and still be able to choose a Big XII team next season. After the Gator's selection, then the Alamo Bowl would choose, which would be Nebraska's first opportunity if (a) Nebraska wins out and (b) the Gator chose a Big XII team. If the Gator Bowl chooses Notre Dame or another Big East team, then the Sun Bowl would choose next.

Got that? The Journal-Star did their own prognostications last week, but they don't assume two BCS bids for the Big XII. Not sure who WOULD get those BCS bids otherwise, but that's another discussion entirely.

UNO hockey is quietly off to their best start ever after taking four points against Western Michigan this weekend. Some fans will look at the meager competition and point out UNO should be 6-1-1. Perhaps. But anyone who assumes that anybody would win three of four on the road is probably foolish at best. UNO finds themselves in 7th place in the conference, which doesn't sound so good until you realize that UNO has played two or four fewer games than everybody above UNO in the standings. The points from those games would put UNO at or near the top of the CCHA.

There are some major rumors flowing out there about a realignment of college hockey. The Denver Post reports that in order to disband College Hockey America (and eliminate their automatic tournament bid), the WCHA might expand to 12 teams. And to make it work, the proposal is for UNO to move to the WCHA, which rejected UNO's bid ten years ago. UNO in the WCHA is a mixed bag for UNO. It's closer travel, meaning shorter road trips against teams like Colorado College, Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. It also would mean the end of annual battles with Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. Offhand, I don't see a lot of value to UNO in this switch, but it might be forced upon UNO for the betterment of college hockey.

Just when KMTV in Omaha decides to stop force-feeding Omaha Kansas City Chiefs games, suddenly the Chiefs start showing some signs of life. Hard to argue with televising the Colts/Steelers game today, though. I did find it curious today to turn on my radio and instead of hearing Mitch Holthus describing the Chiefs/Chargers game, I heard Jim Rome-wannabe Matt Perrault doing a postgame talkshow after a Creighton exhibition basketball game. So not only could Chiefs fans not watch the game, they couldn't listen to it either. Pre-empted for a game that didn't matter and doesn't count. Mmmmkay.

I listened to Perrault for about five minutes, and once I got over the shock of hearing him "analyzing" a basketball scrimmage (instead of the Chiefs game), I noticed that Perrault referred to "tonight's game" (which ended some time before 4:30 in the afternoon). Then he said it again. And again. And again. I counted four uses of "tonight" in the past tense this afternoon in just a few minutes once I started counting. Then I turned the radio off; who knows how many more times he did it before or after I listened.

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