An even weirder scenario

I happen to find the situation that the Pac-12 South finds itself in to be downright fascinating, as the circumstances that have led up to this position have been weird enough. First, USC’s postseason ban. Then, the divisional split. Then, Arizona State’s surprise fall from grace.

Last night, I tried to figure out UCLA’s likeliest bowl scenarios – pretty much all signs point to the Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas, if things play out the way they should – and got confirmation that in the *unlikely* event that UCLA advances to the Pac-12 championship game with a 6-6 record – which, though likely for the Bruins, would also mean that both Arizona State and Utah would have to lose one of their next two – a loss in that game would mean a 6-7 season record for the Bruins, and no bowl eligibility.

This is even weirder.

A reader pointed out a very, very unlikely scenario – albeit an actual possible outcome – that is just wild: If UCLA, Utah and Arizona State each go 0-2 the next two weeks, and UCLA “wins” the Pac-12 South title-game appearance by default but somehow wins that game, the Bruins would be 6-7, and STILL ineligible for a bowl, despite being Pac-12 champions.

Here’s what I got from the conference:

“That is correct. While the winner of the Pac-12 Championship Game is the
Rose Bowl participant, unless No. 1 or No. 2 in the BCS poll, in this case
an appeal process would need to be made to the NCAA Leadership Council for
our Champion to play in the Rose Bowl Game.”

In the weirdest college football season since 2010, how fitting: The Pac-12 champion might not have enough wins to play in the Rose Bowl.

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  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Jon: Thanks for yer homework on this one. I smelled this thing getting nasty about the time I heard ASU had lost up in The Palouse.
    So here goes for another strange scenario: ASU and each UCLA go 1-1 (likely) and suddenly streaking Utah goes 2-0 and there’s a 3-way tie for the Pac-12 South crown. Of course, each team is 1-1 in head-to-head.
    Good, old-fashioned Coin flip?

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Maybe 2nd criteria is best overall record, that being Utah at 8-4?


    If UCLA/ASU go 1-1 in last 2 and Utah 2-0, ASU will go to the Pac 12 championship game based on the tie breakers. Pretty crazy.

  • Tien

    So the only way to get to a bowl game is to:

    -win one of the next two (and lose the other one)
    -become 6-6 and “bowl eligible”
    -have ASU or Utah win both of the next two so that we don’t qualify for the championship game

    Then hope a bowl accepts us?

  • Anonymous

    maybe they can reconsider USC’s probation?

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    modevil: Thanks. And just what was that main tie-breaker? (just curious as to how messy this whole this really gets).
    By the way, what the hell happened up in The Palouse?
    As for us, put snow on the ground in Tucson and you can fully picture what happened along the West Slope of Wasatch Saturday night.

  • Coach Thom

    The best possible scenario: No matter who goes to the Pac-12 championship game, U$C, ineligible, offers the team that IS going…maybe us…several of their best players in a magnanimous gesture of good will and Pac-12 South solidarity. With Barkley at QB and Woods at WR, plus about 40 other U$C players, the Pac-12 South champion whips Oregon’s a$$ and wins the Bowl game.

  • Anonymous

    It’s interesting that after the grade of F (Utah game) and everyone bashing Neuheisel, UCLA will most likely beat Colorado while Oregon beats SC resulting in a first place tie between UCLA and SC (5-3 conference records).

  • sandiegobruinfan

    …”pretty much all signs point to the Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas, if things play out the way they should.” Wonder if this would be the 3rd time in the last 4 Bruin Vegas Bowl appearances where we’ll trot out an interim head coach.

    The Vegas Bowl would likely match us against Boise State or TCU out of the MWC… probably TCU. One could make the argument that either of those teams would be the 4th place team in the Pac behind Oregon, Stanford, and SC.

    As for the Pac 12 title game, I’d be shocked if UCLA, ASU, or Utah come within 21 points of Oregon on a cold wet early December night in Eugene.

  • Anon

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for that scenario.

  • spedjones

    Even more compelling, SDFan, is that either one of the guys coaching those teams could be our next HC.

  • Mitchell

    Personally, I’m sick of getting my hopes up and then promptly getting them dashed by poor playing and coaching to mediocre teams (even more mediocre than us). I live and breath for UCLA football every year –but I’m over this abuse. They win 2 games in a row then lose to the likes of Utah without even scoring a freakin’ TD?!

    Please, do us all a favor, lose all of your remaining games and don’t set us fans up for any more disappointment. I just can’t take this abuse any longer. I have to end this codependent relationship now!

  • Anonymous

    Who care? Just beat ‘SC.

  • gilligan

    I am surprised about this scenario b/c I recall a few years back a team from the Sun Belt playing in a bowl game with a losing record not sure if each conference uses the same rules to determine their conference champion. Isn’t the point of being a conference champion is that a team won their conference regardless of non-conference schedule, I mean look at the Big East each team lost a non-conference game and yet their champ will play in a BCS game (Likely Cincy even though they got destroyed by Tenn).

  • Weasel of Westwood

    Never fear my faint hearted Bruin faithful. We win out. Win the Pac 12 title by kicking those little Ducks around, then march back to the Rose Bowl Jan 2. 9-5 isn’t a bad season.

    That should get me that 5 year contract extension out to about 2017.



    Tiebreaker in the 1-1 for ASU/UCLA scenario and 2-0 for Utah would be divisional record. UCLA would have an additional divisional loss (UA/USC or CU/Utah) and would be eliminated. Then it would move to head to head between ASU/Utah.

    Under this scenario, Utah has two divisional losses (USC and ASU), UCLA has 3 (Utah, UA and CU or USC) and ASU has 1 or 2 (UCLA and possibly UA).