BIRMINGHAM - Sixteen teams remain under consideration to participate in the five games that comprise the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), it was announced today. Ohio State, as Big Ten Champion, and West Virginia, as Big East Champion, have already earned automatic berths in the BCS.
The teams were identified during a teleconference among the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conference commissioners, the Notre Dame athletics director, and representatives from the FedEx Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl, as well as Fox and ABC. The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the final BCS standings will meet in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7 in New Orleans, La.
The champions of the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and Southeastern Conferences automatically qualify for a BCS game. In addition, four at-large berths are available. One conference champion from among Conference USA, the Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Western Athletic Conferences earns a guaranteed berth in one of the BCS games if that champion is ranked 12th or better in the final BCS standings or is ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS standings and its ranking is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth. No conference may place more than two teams in the BCS games.
Other than as set forth above, to be eligible for at-large selection, a team must have nine regular-season victories and be ranked in the top 14 of the final BCS standings, which will be compiled on December 2.
If fewer than ten teams in the top 14 are eligible, the at-large pool will be expanded by four positions in the BCS Standings, while maintaining all other criteria. If the at-large position(s) still cannot be filled, the at-large pool will continue to expand by four positions until 10 or more teams are eligible.
The champions from the four other conferences which receive automatic spots in the BCS games have not been determined. The following is a list of teams still contending for their conferences' championships and automatic berths into the BCS:
ACC: Boston College, Virginia Tech
Big 12: Missouri, Oklahoma
Pac-10: Arizona State, Southern California, UCLA
SEC: LSU, Tennessee
In addition to those nine teams and Ohio State and West Virginia, the pool of teams remaining under consideration also includes (in alphabetical order):
Brigham Young, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas
Following is the schedule of the BCS games (television network in parenthesis):
January 1 - Rose Bowl, 5 p.m., ET (ABC Sports)
January 1 - Allstate Sugar Bowl, 8:30 p.m., ET (Fox Sports)
January 2 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, 8 p.m., ET (Fox Sports)
January 3 - FedEx Orange Bowl, 8 p.m. ET (Fox Sports)
January 7 - Allstate BCS National Championship Game, 8 p.m. ET (Fox Sports)
For more information on the Bowl Championship Series, please log on to www.bcsfootball.org.