FanPost

DBD 11.25.08 - Cal's Bowl Possibilities

Man, I sleep at the wrong times to do one of these.  I'm almost always in bed before the Daily Show, and by the time I get up in the morning, someone else (Twist) has already done one of these.  I'm only doing this now because I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep.

Anyway, today's DBD will feature less "Gossip Girl" references and obsessing about my facial hair, and more actual information.  Don't get used to it.

With the win over Stanford, Cal can now finish no lower than in a tie for 4th place in the conference, so the Bears can safely ignore the Hawai'i and Poinsettia Bowls, the latter of which will definitely be shopping for an at-large team, while the former only might be.  Cal will fall no lower than the Emerald Bowl, that much I am sure of.  In fact, it seems our bowl destination will hinge almost entirely on the outcome of the Civil War; if the Beavers win, Cal goes to San Diego, whereas if the Ducks win, the Bears stay home in San Francisco.

This conclusion rests on a couple of assumptions, and for a while now I've been looking for some sort of confirmation of them; tonight, I've finally found it.  First, from Okanes' story on bowl possibilities:

Cal, which begins the week tied for fourth place, can't finish second, but the Bears could tie Oregon for third if Oregon State wins the conference and goes to the Rose Bowl and USC places second and is picked for a Bowl Championship Series game. In that event, the Holiday Bowl would get its choice between the Bears and Ducks.

Holiday Bowl executive director Bruce Binkowski said Monday that Cal likely would get the bid because it won the head-to-head matchup against Oregon.

"Historically, what we do in the case of a tie is look at who had the edge head-to-head," Binkowski said. "It's pretty difficult to not take the team that won."

When asked if there was any reason to believe the Holiday Bowl would change that criteria this season, Binkowski said: "No. It's the right thing to do."

Secondly, I wondered if, should the Ducks win and the Bears finish all alone in 4th, whether the Emerald Bowl could reach up from their 5th place selection spot and snap the Bears.  Well, they can, and based on everything I've heard, they almost certainly would.  From the Emerald Bowl's Executive Director:

Q: What are the tiebreakers used to figure out which Pac-10 team goes to which bowl?

Example - two teams have the same record for 4th in the Pac-10. Is it simply head to head? If more than two teams--say three teams--are tied for 4th, what determines who goes to the Emerald Bowl?

Thanks,

Derek

A: Thanks for the question, Derek. The Pacific-10 Conference has a very elaborate tie-breaker formula for the conference championship, but when there are ties for other spots in the conference standings, there are no tie-breaker procedures in place and the bowl partners have flexibility in making their selections.

This year, the Pac-10 bowl lineup is as follows: 

No. 1 - Rose

No. 2 - Holiday

No. 3 - Sun

No. 4/5 - Las Vegas

No. 4/5 - Emerald

No. 6 - Hawaii

No. 7 - Poinsettia

If two teams are tied for second place, the Holiday can take either of the tied teams, and so on. Our case is unique in that the Emerald Bowl shares No. 4 and 5 with the Las Vegas Bowl. Each year, one of us has "priority." Las Vegas has the priority this year; we had it last year and will have it again in '09. 

So, to use your example, if two or more teams are tied for fourth in the league this year, there is no tie-breaker procedure to determine who goes where. We will consult with the Las Vegas Bowl and hopefully decide which team is the best fit for each bowl. If we want the same team, Las Vegas will get the first pick and we will take the other team (or, in the case of a three-way tie, whichever of the teams remain).

There are a couple of other wrinkles in the Pac-10 bowl arrangements. The Sun Bowl, at No. 3, can exercise a "no repeat" clause and bypass the third place team. This happened last year when the Sun passed on Oregon State and we were fortunate enough to be able to select the Beavers.

And if there is one team in fourth place and one or more teams in fifth, either Las Vegas or Emerald can choose a fifth place team, but then the other bowl must take the fourth place team. In other words, the two bowls cannot choose two teams tied for fifth and leave No. 4 behind.

So, really, it's pretty simple, and it pretty much all comes down to the Civil War, Saturday at 4PM.  However, neither the Sun nor the Las Vegas Bowls are completely eliminated.  Here are a couple highly unlikely scenarios that land the Bears in either Bowl:

Sun - Oregon State beats Oregon, but USC loses one of its last two games, fails to earn an at-large BCS bid, and goes to the Holiday Bowl instead.  The Bears are tied with Oregon for third, and since the Ducks went to El Paso last year, the Sun Bowl selects the Bears.

Las Vegas - USC and Oregon State win out, but the Bears lose to Washington, and Arizona State fails to win out and become bowl-eligible.  With 2 teams in the BCS but only 5 bowl-eligible teams, only the Holiday, Sun, and Las Vegas Bowls get Pac-10 teams this year, and the Bears end up in a 4th-place tie with Arizona.  The Sun Bowl takes the Wildcats, and the Vegas Bowl takes the only Pac-10 team left, the Bears.

Neither of these scenarios are likely (UW will be heavy underdogs against the Bears, as will both Notre Dame and UCLA vs. USC), and I very much doubt either will happen, but they're worth being aware of.  Anyway, here's a few more linky-links:

Men's Basketball destroys North Carolina A&T:

Jerome Randle scored 20 points and Omondi Amoke added 11 points and four rebounds off the bench to lead California to an 82-47 win over North Carolina A&T on Monday night.

Patrick Christopher had 10 points and Jamal Boykin had nine points and seven rebounds for the Bears, who committed only nine turnovers while remaining unbeaten under first-year coach Mike Montgomery. Cal (4-0) had 12 different players score, led by as much as 37 and dominated on both ends of the floor while registering its most lopsided win since beating Long Beach State 102-65 on Dec. 28, 2007.

Robert Johnson had 14 points and six rebounds for North Carolina A&T (2-3). Unlike on Saturday when they gave UNLV a scare before losing 71-58, the Aggies weren't much of a threat and trailed nearly the entire game while shooting 33.3 percent from the floor.

The Bears, on the other hand, went into the game ranked second in the country in shooting percentage, a good portion of that due to Randle, who did nothing to hurt his numbers against the Aggies.

Also re: MBB, the article from the Chron:

Cal is four games into the tenure of coach Mike Montgomery, and about the only thing we know for sure about the Bears is that the starters are good cheerleaders.

Cal's starting five were once again in towel-waving mode for the final 7 1/2 minutes of Monday night's 82-47 blowout of North Carolina A&T at Haas Pavilion. They joined the crowd of 6,689 in cheering the three blocks of redshirt freshman center Max Zhang in garbage time.

"The games we've won are games we should have won," Montgomery said. "That's not to say that those teams couldn't beat us, but I would expect us to win."

And from the Cal Bears Examiner:

Montgomery has been preaching defense since before the start of the season and his team seems to be responding.  NC A&T came into the game averaging nearly 40 rebounds, five blocks, and 10 steals per game, but weren't able to come close to that level of play at Haas Pavilion.  It was Cal that looked like the defensive team while grabbing 38 rebounds, six steals, five blocked shots, and forced 19 turnovers.  NC A&T was able to get 28 rebounds, but only one steal and four blocks, well below their season average.

For the game, Cal held the Aggies to 33.3% shooting (19-57) and only 11.8% from beyond the three-point line (2-17).  Jamal Boykin led the Bears with seven rebounds and Jordan Wilkes (2 blocks) combined with Max Zhang (3 blocks) for all of the Bears' shot-blocking.

OK, that's it for my first attempt at a DBD.  How did I do?  At least better than HydroTech?  Wait, wait, don't tell me, I don't want to know.  I'm much to insecure to handle that kind of information.  Just bring me some more links.  Freshmen, more links!

The opinions expressed in a FanPost are, in every way, reflective of the opinions of every California Golden Blogs Marshawnthusiast. Moreover, they are reflective of every employee of SBNation, including Tyler "Blez" Bleszinski.

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