In 2004, the California Golden Bears were screwed by the BCS despite finishing with the fourth best record in the BCS and didn’t get to go to the Rose Bowl (that honor went to Mack Brown and his Texas Longhorns instead). Jeff Tedford’s 2004 squad is the highest ever ranked team to be snubbed from a BCS bowl.
The BCS has these rules in place.
5. If any of the 10 slots remain open after application of provisions 1 through 4, and an at-large team from a conference with an annual automatic berth for its champion is ranked No. 3 in the final BCS Standings, that team will become an automatic qualifier, provided that no at-large team from the same conference qualifies for the national championship game.
6. If any of the 10 slots remain open after application of provisions 1 through 5, and if no team qualifies under paragraph No. 5 and an at-large team from a conference with an annual automatic berth for its champion is ranked No. 4 in the final BCS Standings, that team will become an automatic qualifier provided that no at-large team from the same conference qualifies for the national championship game.
Currently, the Stanford Cardinal are sitting at sixth in the BCS standings and are sure to rise up with Boise’s defeat to Nevada. If Stanford can hold serve they are guaranteed to finish in the top five in the BCS, which would leave them one bid short.
So they need someone ahead of them to lose. Oregon, Auburn and TCU are all likely to be heavy favorites in their remaining games, which leaves Les Miles and his LSU Tigers standing in the way between Stanford and the top four. And LSU has a tough road date in Fayetteville against Ryan Mallett and the Arkansas Razorbacks this afternoon; a loss puts Stanford in the driver’s seat to a BCS bowl of some sort.
I’m sure Cal fans are choking on the irony. Literally. Bring the respirators out. They can’t breathe right now.