Posted by Tom Fornelli
There's a little known rule in the agreement between the Rose Bowl and BCS that could end up meaning a trip to Pasadena for Boise State this year should they miss out on a chance to play for a national title. You see, when the Rose Bowl entered into a partnership with the BCS, it did so under the grounds that should one of their traditional choices -- the champions of the Pac-10 and Big 10 -- be chosen to play in the BCS Championship Game, the Rose Bowl would get the first choice of BCS-eligible teams to replace them.
A choice that has never included a non-BCS conference school.
In fact, the six times that a non-BCS team has played in a BCS bowl over the last few years, all six teams have played in the Fiesta or Sugar Bowls, with the Fiesta hosting four of them -- including both TCU and Boise State last January.
So as part of a new deal, the other BCS bowls approached the Rose Bowl and asked them to take a non-BCS school once during the next four years should one of its traditional choices not be available.
Which is a situation that looks very possible this year, with Oregon on top both voter polls and second in the BCS. Should Oregon win out, odds are they'll be playing for a title, not in the Rose Bowl. So the Rose Bowl would be looking for a team to replace them.
Now, they could take Stanford, and keep the traditional matchup against the Big Ten champion. Or they could go TCU, but there's also a chance that TCU will qualify for the title game should Auburn drop a game before then.
Considering all the Cam Newton drama, and the fact that the Tigers have three games left against Georgia, Alabama and whoever wins the SEC East, this isn't exactly a longshot.
Still, if TCU went to the title game, the Rose Bowl wouldn't be obligated to take Boise this season because only one non-BCS conference school needs to be selected each season. That being said, it may make more sense for the Rose Bowl to take Boise this year, and the Rose Bowl's director of media, Gina Chappin, says it's something the bowl has been considering.
“We have discussed it because of the situation that we’re in and the current landscape of the season so far,” said Gina Chappin.
“We entered this year with the reality that this was going to happen sooner or later. I don’t think any of us expected to get through this four-year cycle and not have this be something that would be a reality.”
If you think about it, it would make a lot of sense for the Rose Bowl to take Boise State over Stanford. First of all, if you are required to do so at some point in the next four years, why not do it quickly and get the obligation out of the way?
There's also the fact that Boise State is a really good football team right now, and there's no guarantee that three years from now, should the Rose Bowl find itself in the same situation, that a non-AQ school will be available that is as good as this Boise State team.
Also, Boise State has already shown that it can compete and win BCS bowl games, and that it has a fan base that will travel and scoop up tickets in droves to the games.
It's possible that more Boise State fans would make the trip to Pasadena than Stanford fans would. The Broncos are also a television draw, not that the Rose Bowl needs any real help there, but plenty of college football fans would be interested in seeing Boise State take on the Big Ten champion.