Jon Wilner over at Mercury News had an interesting article on 2009 bowl winners and losers. Here are some notes from his writeup.
How important was Texas beating Nebraska on Saturday night in the Big 12 Championship game? Wilner suggests if the Huskers had locked up the Big 12’s automatic bid it would have forced Boise State out of the BCS picture, giving that at-large bid to the Longhorns instead. Critics would have seen an undefeated Boise squad who has a win over Oregon on their resume being locked out in favor of the Iowa Hawkeyes, who had two losses, were four spots below the Broncos in the final BCS Standings, and played in a down Big Ten this season.
Winners: Rose Bowl for getting a solid matchup in Ohio State v. Oregon and then a great title game between Texas and Alabama.
Loser: Big 12. No at-large entries means no at-large paycheck.
Winner: Fiesta Bowl. First BCS game to match two non-AQ teams, plus a battle of undefeateds.
Loser: Orange Bowl. Iowa and GaTech is not a dream matchup.
Winner: WAC schools. With Boise getting that last at-large berth, all members will receive big payday.
Winner: Emerald Bowl. For getting that USC Trojans team.
Loser: Insight Bowl. 6-6 Minnesota against 6-6 Iowa State.
Winner: Hawaii Bowl. Return of June Jones.
Winner: Stanford. They get to play Oklahoma on New Year’s Eve.
Loser: Pac-10. No at-large invitation and a bowl lineup that is much less than the league deserves, including Cal in the Poinsettia against Utah. USC’s rough year also was rough. Next year will be better with the Alamo filling the No. 2 slot as a second January bowl and the Holiday dropping to No. 3, the Sun to No. 4, etc.
Winner: Capital One Bowl. With Penn State and LSU, it’ll get big ratings, even if it packs little significance.
Loser: Alamo Bowl. Stuck with Michigan State (6-6) under their agreement with the Big Ten, it’s easy to see why the bowl opted for the Pac-10’s No. 2 starting next year.
Winner: Arizona. The Cats beat USC to jump into the Holiday against Nebraska.