BCS out: USF in position for Sun Bowl
Bulls fans, kiss your computers.
Another strong showing in the six BCS computer ratings kept USF ahead of Cincinnati in the official BCS standings, which means the Bulls are likely headed to the Sun Bowl on New Year's Eve in El Paso, Texas.
USF is No. 21, two spots ahead of Cincinnati, despite losing ground to the Bearcats in both polls used by the BCS. The Bulls moved up four spots to No. 15 in the aggregate computer ratings, while Cincinnati stayed put at 21st.
Sun Bowl officials said last week their selection committee was divided enough between USF, Cincinnati and Connecticut that the bowl would choose the team ranked highest in the BCS standings. The Big East payout for the Sun Bowl is $1.5-million, which is $500,000 more than the league's three lower bowls.
USF lost ground to Cincinnati in both polls used in the BCS, with the Bearcats increasing their points lead on the Bulls in both, especially in the Harris poll. USF had trailed in both polls but was one spot ahead in last week's BCS standings, largely because of a large advantage in the six computer ratings.
The new rankings suggest that USF will be chosen ahead of Cincinnati, despite the fact that the two schools had the same overall and conference record and the Bearcats beat the Bulls in Tampa. It's a credit to USF's two huge September victories at Auburn and against Big East champ West Virginia, which helped elevate the Bulls to No. 2 in the national rankings before USF went through a three-game losing streak.
The Sun Bowl will be played at noon on Dec. 31, with the Big East representative playing against a team from the Pac-10, most likely Oregon, Oregon State or Arizona State. The game has a national network broadcast on CBS, giving the Bulls their largest TV audience ever. The Sun Bowl selection committee is expected to meet Monday and should be able to extend a formal invitation on Tuesday.