From the diaries - this analysis is now on SIonCampus centerpage. Great job UB. Also on the same note here is a post on setting up the table for next 3 games (including the bowl game) - Nestor
I like to think I'm fairly well-versed in Pac-10 rules, so I'll break down UCLA's possible postseason scenarios from best to worst:
- Best: The Bruins win their last two games, finishing 10-1 (7-1). In this case, UCLA would go to a BCS bowl as the automatic qualifier from the Pac-10 -- even if Oregon also finished 7-1, Pac-10 rules stipulate that if a team has a victory over a non-D I-A opponent it counts less. UCLA has played only D I-A teams. Oregon played D I-AA Montana. In this instance, UCLA would probably end up at the Fiesta Bowl, as it is the only reasonably-close geographic bowl, and has a tie to the Big-XII. Assuming Texas goes to the Rose Bowl (likely), the Bruins would be headed to Sun Devil Stadium.
Note from Underbruin: Looking at blueandgold's comments, supposedly the tiebreaker rules have changed, and that Montana game doesn't matter. The Bruins would probably end up going to the Sun Bowl if all three teams finished 7-1: Oregon goes to the BCS game, and UCLA and $C are tied for the slot in the Holiday Bowl - the Trojies are probably considered a bigger draw. So for this scenario to play out (UCLA in BCS) Oregon must lose one of the last two games. The information with which I was working is available here, and I guess is outdated?
- 2nd Best: There is one (highly-unlikely but still possible) situation in which a two-loss Bruin team still goes to a BCS bowl. If the Trojies lose this upcoming weekend at Cal, the Bruins drop the game to ASU, and then lightning strikes and UCLA wins in the Coliseum... AND Oregon loses at least of their last two games, then UCLA would still be the Pac-10 champion. The above situations would then still apply -- Fiesta Bowl.
Note: The same caveat as in #1 still applies, that the rules I was using are not outdated.If I am correct, this situation becomes impossible.
- 3rd Best: The Bruins go 1-1 over the last two games, with a victory over ASU and a loss to U$C. Meanwhile, Oregon loses at least one of the final two games of the season. The tiebreaker rules listed above still apply as the two never played during the season - thus, UCLA finishes ahead of Oregon as the 2nd-place team in the Pac, going to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Note: As the non-BCS Pac-10 bowls are allowed to choose between tied teams, UCLA would likely indeed go to the Holiday Bowl because it's held so close to L.A.
- 4th Best: The Bruins go the same 1-1 over the last two games, but Oregon ends the season at 7-1 in Pac-10 play. The Ducks, however, continue to rise in the rankings and manage to snag a BCS at large invite after several more SEC, ACC, and Big-10 teams beat each other out of contention. The Bruins would go to the Holiday Bowl, but would feel kind of silly in the process.
- 5th Best: The Bruins collapse over the end of the season, losing both of their final games. However, Arizona State loses to U of A, and the Ducks also implode, meaning that after the undefeated Trojans the next two top Pac-10 teams are 5-3 Oregon and 5-3 UCLA. The Bruins take the tiebreaker again, but feel even more silly.
- 6th Best: Same as #4 minus a miracle Oregon BCS invite - UCLA ends the season 9-2 (6-2), and is El Paso-bound, for the Sun Bowl.
- 7th Best: Like in #5, the Bruins fall apart and finish 8-3 (5-3). Oregon wins at least one of its last two games, while Arizona State then loses to the University of Arizona to finish 4-4 in Pac-10 play. The Bruins go to the Sun Bowl completely out of the top 25.
- 8th Best: Like #5 and #7, UCLA loses its last two games. Arizona State rolls through the UofA, while one out of the three other remaining 3-loss teams finishes 5-3 as well (Stanford, Cal, and Oregon State - Stanford plays both of the other two, Cal then also gets $C while Oregon State's other game is the Ducks). In the tiebreaker - and this is the only part about which I'm unsure - I *believe* the Bruins actually would have a victory if it's Stanford.
- Worst possible: As in #s 5, and 8, UCLA drops its last two. Arizona State continues to recollect its season from the depths to which it had sunk, beating UofA, while no other teams aside from $C, Oregon, UCLA and ASU finish better than 4-4 in the Pac-10. The Bruins, having lost to ASU head-to-head, lose the tiebreaker. The Sun Devils go to the Sun Bowl, while the Bruins play in the Insight Bowl in Phoenix.