Note: This article is not meant to be an indictment of the BCS. Several articles between now and January 1 will be. For this article, we will attempt to avoid any negative or bitter sentiments about how the Broncos are being screwed out of what is fair and just. But just for the record, they are getting screwed. Royally.
Up until, oh, about a week ago, we could not have cared less about the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. Seriously, a bowl sponsored by a credit union? Can it get any more lame than that? (ed's note: Roady's)
Now look at us. We are mere days away from begging and extorting our way into the sucker. The Poinsettia Bowl is our new Orange Bowl. It is the last, decent shot that the Broncos have of playing a postseason game that matters, and we are holding onto its tenuous tie-in like an engaged man holding onto his all-guy's poker night.
It's all we have left. And with one game remaining for the Broncos in the regular season, it is anybody's guess who's going to be playing in it.
One thing's for sure: the Poinsettia Bowl will feature a WAC team. According to the Idaho Statesman, the following arrangement was made between the bowl and the conference:
The bowl's primary agreement with the Pac-10 calls for the San Diego bowl to receive the league's seventh-place team. The WAC agreement is activated only if that seventh-place Pac-10 team fails to reach the required six wins.
And a quick look at the Pac-10 standings shows us that the league will only have, at most, six bowl-eligible teams. With five already gaining eligibility (USC, Oregon State, Oregon, Cal, and Arizona), only UCLA and Arizona State have a chance to make it to six wins. With both currently at 4-6 and the two teams set to face off on Saturday, the loser will be eliminated from bowl contention. Thanks, Pac-10!
So the real question remains: Which WAC school will get the call to San Diego? Well, being the responsible quasi-journalists that we are, we've broken it down by team to see who stands the best chance.
Boise State. Odds: 5:1
A lot of people are picking the Broncos to end up in the H-Bowl (which is an entirely different story for an entirely different time), but their candidacy for San Diego is just as strong. With the No. 2 team in the MWC being the opponent, there has been a lot of lobbying for a WAC - MWC showdown between the WAC's strongest team (Boise State) and one of the MWC's powerhouses (TCU, probably). The only problem with this is that the H-Bowl is greedy, travel costs are expensive, and we do not live in a fair and just world.
Louisiana Tech. Odds: 1,000:1
With seven wins and a chance for an eighth versus Nevada, the Bulldogs could find themselves as a very attractive bowl team. But San Diego? Please. That doesn't even make sense. The farthest west these Bulldogs would travel is to the New Mexico Bowl, and even that would be a stretch. They'll probably wind up in some Inde-Liberty Bowl that no one except Taylor Bennett's immediate family will watch.
Fresno State. Odds: 8:1
If the Bulldogs beat the Broncos, Fresno will have eight wins, too, and they would probably be a perfect fit for the SDCCUPB. It's just that they probably won't beat the Broncos on Friday. Don't count on them winding up here.
Nevada. Odds: 5:2
Here is the Broncos' main Poinsettia competition. For the WAC, it might come down to either sending Nevada or Boise State to the Poinsettia Bowl or the H-Bowl. Think they'll put much thought into that decision? The Pack played the New Mexico Bowl last year, so that option is most likely out.
Of course, Nevada isn't even bowl eligible yet, and with a loss to LaTech on Saturday, they could very well be spending the holidays at home. Not that we needed to tell you, but you should probably root against Nevada this weekend.
Hawaii. Odds: one billion to one
If the Warriors beat either Washington State or Cincinnati in the next two weeks, they will be going to the Hawaii Bowl.
Confusing enough? There is a lot left to be decided when it comes to the WAC and the Poinsettia Bowl, but it is never too early to start wishing and hoping and praying for a miracle.
The first step is beating Fresno State on Friday afternoon.
The second step is probably going to be signing up for San Diego County Credit Union accounts en masse to show our level of support and commitment.
Read more: WAC signs agreement with Poinsettia Bowl [Statesman]