The most immediate chance for a BCS Bowl comes with 2-losses to Central Florida or in a 3-way tie where there are no natural tie-breakers and Louisville gets the American Athletic Conference Automatic Bid into the BCS by virtue of the highest BCS ranking (which they currently own at #20.
There is a possibility of an at-large bid. BCS rules dictate that there may only be 2-teams granted bids from a given conference & those teams must be at least a 9-game winner and in the Top 14. In extreme circumstances the process may go to the Top 18.
Right now, Louisville is severely damaged in the Computer Polls where only the Billingsley Poll ranks the Cards in the Top 25. The way the BCS works is they count the number of points in the human polls (Coaches & Harris), and gives the computer rankings of the teams 1-25 a numerical value. Louisville being outside of the A&H, Colley, Massey, Sagarin, and Wolfe computer rankings greatly reduces their BCS Value. Getting just to #25 in all of these computer rankings would help immensely.
Now instead of cheering for CHAOS From 1-25….now Louisville fans are cheering for Chaos from 5-25. The top part of the polls really do need to remain intact for the Cards to have a chance at an at-large spot in the BCS. Having the Top 4 teams in the nation lose only provides upward trajectory and increases the possibility of conferences getting multiple BCS bids per league.
The non-AQ schools, right now Fresno St & Northern Illinois can also throw a wrench into Louisville’s chances and those teams losing do serve a particular importance to the Cardinals getting a BCS bid.
|1||Alabama||Alabama||Alabama||Florida State||Alabama||Missouri||Alabama||Florida State||Alabama|
|2||Florida State||Oregon||Oregon||Alabama||Oregon||Florida State||Oregon||Alabama||Florida State|
|3||Oregon||Florida State||Florida State||Missouri||Ohio State||Alabama||Florida St||Missouri||Missouri|
|4||Ohio State||Oregon||Ohio State||Oregon||Stanford||Oregon||Missouri||Bethune-Cookman||Oregon|
|5||Missouri||Baylor||Baylor||Ohio State||Florida State||Ohio St||Baylor||Oregon||Virginia Tech|
|6||Stanford||Miami (FL)||Missouri||Stanford||Missouri||Stanford||Stanford||Northern Illinois||Auburn|
|7||Miami||Missouri||Miami (FL)||Auburn||Clemson||Auburn||LSU||Fordham||Ohio State|
|8||Baylor||Stanford||Stanford||Miami (FL)||Oklahoma||Clemson||Ohio St||Oregon St||Miami (FL)|
|9||Clemson||Texas Tech||Texas Tech||Baylor||LSU||Virginia Tech||UCLA||Virginia Tech||Clemson|
|10||Texas Tech||Clemson||Clemson||Clemson||Northern Illinois||Texas Tech||Clemson||Coastal Carolina||Stanford|
|11||Auburn||UCLA||UCLA||Texas Tech||Baylor||Baylor||Miami (FL)||Ohio St||Texas Tech|
|12||UCLA||Oklahoma||LSU||Oklahoma||Notre Dame||Miami (FL)||Auburn||North Dakota State||UCLA|
|13||LSU||Oklahoma St||Texas A&M||Virginia Tech||UCF||Northern Illinois||Texas A&M||Auburn||Baylor|
|14||Virginia Tech||LSU||Oklahoma||LSU||Texas Tech||Fresno St||Arizona State||Texas Tech||Fresno State|
|15||Oklahoma||Texas A&M||Auburn||UCLA||Louisville||Oklahoma||Wisconsin||UCLA||Northern Illinois|
|16||Texas A&M||Louisville||Louisville||Fresno State||UCLA||Michigan||Georgia||Miami (FL)||LSU|
|17||Fresno State||Auburn||Oklahoma St||Michigan||Auburn||LSU||Virginia Tech||Clemson||Texas A&M|
|18||Northern Illinois||Fresno State||Fresno State||Arizona State||Texas A&M||Arizona State||Ole Miss||Baylor||UCF|
|19||Oklahoma St||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Northern Illinois||South Carolina||UCLA||Florida||Stanford||Oklahoma|
|20||Louisville||South Carolina||South Carolina||Georgia||Michigan||Notre Dame||Texas Tech||Fresno State||Ole Miss|
|21||South Carolina||Nebraska||Northern Illinois||Notre Dame||Miami (FL)||Michigan St||South Carolina||Lehigh||Oregon St|
|22||Michigan||Northern Illinois||Michigan||Texas A&M||Oregon State||Texas A&M||Washington||Tennessee State||Georgia|
|23||UCF||Michigan||Nebraska||UCF||BYU||UCF||Oregon State||UCF||South Carolina|
|24||Nebraska||Wisconsin||Wisconsin||South Carolina||Texas||Oregon St||Utah||Eastern Illinois||Michigan St|
|25||Oregon St||UCF||UCF||Oklahoma State||Georgia||Georgia||BYU||Ole Miss||Michigan|
|26||Oregon State||Louisville||UCF||LSU||Notre Dame|
|28||BYU||Oklahoma St||Michigan State||Arizona State|
|29||Michigan State||Arizona||Texas A&M||Florida|
Kentucky @ Mississippi State: Kentucky is finally out of the gauntlet and while the UK vs. MSU game is really a pillow fight between basement dwellers in opposite divisions of the SEC the Cards need UK to start winning games to help their computer rankings.
Boise State @ BYU: The Broncos will visit the BYU Cougars and the Cards will be hoping Boise State can help out the Cards in 3 of the 6 computer polls by beating BYU.
UConn @ #23 Central Florida: The 0-6 Huskies are perhaps the most improbable team to take down the UCF Knights, but they had Michigan on the ropes. UCF is probably poised for a ‘bounce’ but a better opponent would make Card fans feel better.
Eastern Michigan @ #18 Northern Illinois: Louisville’s biggest obstacle to an at-large berth are the non-AQ schools. NIU isn’t losing to Eastern Michigan, but I’m putting it here anyway.
San Diego State vs. #17 Fresno State: The Bulldogs are knocking on the door of qualification for a bid into the BCS as a non-AQ. That makes it hard for Louisville to move their way into qualification. You want the Aztecs to win.
#25 Oregon State vs. #6 Stanford: If we are choosing Oregon, we have to hope that Stanford tanks. Oregon State winning would hurt the Cards initially, but there is plenty of time & the ultimate goal is getting Stanford far enough away for BCS qualification.
#21 South Carolina vs. #5 Missouri: Missouri is a SURPRISING 7-0 and at the beginning of the season Card fans probably thought that they would need the Tigers. Instead, UofL is ahead of the Gamecocks in most polls. Missouri’s winning streak continuing would be a boost to the SEC getting two teams in the BCS. So hope for a lot of attrition in the SEC and get started with Mizzou going down.
#3 Oregon vs. #12 UCLA: It is in Louisville’s best interest for the Top Tier to clean-up the rest of the way. UCLA is a very good team and suffered loss #1 last week. Getting loss #2 here and then a likely loss again in the PAC-12 championship would help.
#4 Ohio State vs. Penn St: Penn State beating Ohio State would be bad for the Cards. The Nittany Lions would jump in all polls and would own a tie-breaker with Ohio State in Leaders Division, which would more than likely result in Ohio State receiving an at-large BCS bid. I can’t believe I am saying this, but, Go Buckeyes. (Seriously how funny would it be for Ohio State to 25-0 and not sniff the title?)
Wake Forest @ #7 Miami (FL): The Demon Deacons have solid wins over NC State & Maryland and the Hurricanes are fresh off a scare against a pretty subpar North Carolina Team. Miami will start losing, might as well be now.
Maryland vs. #9 Clemson: Clemson suffered a BAD loss to Florida State last weekend and traveling to College Park may catch the Tigers down. I don’t expect the Terrapins to take down Clemson, but it would go a long way towards stopping the ACC from getting two BCS bids.
Duke @ #14 Virginia Tech: The Blue Devils are on a 3-game winning streak and have been solid all season. I wouldn’t expect VT to go down in Blacksburg, but the Hokies have been very good this season as well. I expect this to be a good football game and it shouldn’t hurt any Cards’ fans feelings if Duke wins this one.
Vanderbilt @ #16 Texas A&M: A&M suffered their 2nd loss of the season to Auburn last week and now get a tough Vanderbilt team riding high off a win over Georgia. The Aggies give up points, and lots of them. James Franklin coaches a tough brand of football, and I think A&M has a real shot at losing two in a row this week.
Iowa State vs. #19 Oklahoma State: The Cyclones are 1-5, and normally I wouldn’t even list this game. But Iowa State has had an extremely difficult schedule and has played several good football teams close (not Baylor). Ames is no picnic, and is vulnerable. Getting the Pokes behind the Cards in the Human & Computers would be huge.
#15 Oklahoma vs. #10 Texas Tech: It doesn’t matter who wins or loses as both schools frequently are ranked in front of Louisville. But given that Oklahoma has a loss and Texas Tech is currently unbeaten, maybe it is time to get the Red Raiders in the loss column.
Florida Atlantic @ #11 Auburn: Isn’t going to happen.
Illinois vs. Michigan State: The Spartans have ridden a top-flight defense to a 6-1 record & are now entering the tougher part of their schedule. It would be great if the Illini could get things going early, but MSU will be lucky to finish the season with less than 3 losses. Right now the Spartans are ahead of the Cards in four of six computer polls.
Air Force vs. Notre Dame: The Irish lead the Cards in 5 of 6 computer polls and now must travel to Colorado Springs to face an unlikely winner in the Air Force Falcons.
USC vs. Utah: The Utes lead the Cards in two computer polls, go USC.
Navy vs. Pitt: I can’t believe Louisville needs Navy to win in Annapolis over Pitt to help the Cards cause. But they do thanks to the Wolfe Computer Rankings. Go Midshipmen.
Idaho @ Ole Miss: Another insulting game to track, but maybe Paul Petrino can correct some of the computer rankings that have the Cards behind the Rebels.
TCU vs. Texas: Two teams fighting for .500 will affect the CPU rankings. Go Horned Frogs.
Colorado vs. Arizona: Yep, getting ridiculous that these games matter to Louisville……but go Buffaloes.
Cal @ Washington: The Bears have little chance in Seattle, but the Huskies still have a few CPU ratings better than the Cards even despite being blown out last week.
#1 Alabama vs. Tennessee: The Vols have been exciting this season, but Card fans really don’t need any earth-shattering wins at the top that bring new unranked teams in the equation. Roll Tide.
#2 Florida State vs. NC State: Louisville doesn’t need any program behind them getting a quality win. It is now in the Cards’ best interest for the teams 1-4 to remain unbeaten.
#8 Baylor vs. Kansas: I could go either way on this one, but I think I am going to side with Baylor winning the Big XII as an undefeated and securing the Big XII’s only BCS berth. We’ll see how it plays out, but the Big 12 is going to be nuts.