There were a couple interesting articles in the Chicago Tribune today. One discussed Ball State's chances of making the BCS, and the other related to Northern Illinois' plight in 2003. For a refresher, NIU actually beat some quality teams that year in Maryland and Alabama, reaching No. 10 in the BCS and No. 12 in the AP poll before losing to Bowling Green and Toledo.
Granted, the Huskies were beset by injuries, but it should serve as a reminder how quickly dreams can fade.
Here are the two scenarios in which Ball State can make the BCS
• They would earn an automatic berth in a BCS game if they win the MAC and are ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS rankings.
• Or they can earn a berth if they win the MAC, rank in the top 16 and that ranking is higher than that of a champion from a conference that has an automatic berth in a BCS bowl.
Fingers are crossed because the Cardinals will likely need the latter scenario to get in. I'm not sure Boise State is going to lose for starters. Not to mention that TCU, Utah and BYU are still ahead of us in the BCS. Here's how loyal reader Andy Roberts explained to me.
Andy: TCU/Utah play on Thursday night so one of them will fall behind us. Then whoever wins has to lose - Utah still has BYU on the schedule so that might be our best shot.So in other words, a clusterf*ck. And that's just to get us into the No. 2 non-BCS slot. Andy goes on to say that Ohio State would need to lose again to give us a legit shot. And if Boise could lose to Fresno, that'd be great.
Needless to say, we need a lot to happen. And that's the beauty of it.
But right now, I don't see a scenario in which the Mighty Bird can earn a BCS bid. I've been championing this team forever, but for right now I will remain pessimistic. The last thing we need to do is get our hopes up, only for the crushing realization we won't make it, even if the Cards go 12-0. Maybe our best bet is to prepare for the inevitable. But at the same time, we still have to win our games. Win out, and things might take care of themselves.