Not a Bearcats fan, but I'm intrigued at their potential match-ups. I do have an incredible amount of respect for the coaching job of Brian Kelly. If he sticks around (which I keep hearing he'll be on the first flight out of town if a national program comes calling), the sky is the limit for UC. Certainly they're on the verge of dominating the conference, and while I don't expect them in the near future to compete toe-to-toe in the state with OSU for recruits, I think regionally, Kelly could really be a nuisance to the Buckeyes in the Southwest portion.
In fact, on a side note, I'm hearing Maty Mauk, the sensational sophomore QB from Kenton (and younger brother of Ben), might be a strong early lean to Kelly - even if the Buckeyes were to go after him (and even if Kelly went somewhere else).
That aside, Cincinnati might get a real true test of their program this January.
Here are how things would look if things ended today (rough estimate, of course)...
Big East (Cincinnati)
ACC (Georgia Tech)
Big Ten (Iowa)
SEC (Florida or Alabama)
Big 12 (Texas)
That leaves three at-large bids to come from a pool of:
Penn State or Ohio State
Alabama or Florida
Boise State or Utah
LSU could not be a possibility as a conference can have no more than two bids.
Iowa and Oregon go to the Rose Bowl. Georgia Tech goes to the Orange Bowl. Florida goes to the Sugar Bowl and Texas goes to the Fiesta Bowl.
Then, the BCS Championship game selects. They get No. 1 vs. No. 2, obviously. That would be (as of today) Florida vs. Texas (I'm assuming Texas passes Alabama and we know one of Florida or Alabama will lose anyhow).
So those bowls then replace their teams by order of ranking.
The Sugar would replace Florida. This is easy. They'd pick Alabama in this scenario. The Fiesta replaces Texas. This is not as obvious, but I believe it's a decent bet they go with USC, taking one of the at-large spots away.
Then, the rotation this year goes: Orange - Fiesta - Sugar.
The Orange Bowl has left to choose from: TCU, Cincinnati or an at-large selection. Because of the ACC, we can rule out Virginia Tech. Pittsburgh would not likely be an attractive option. Oklahoma State, without Dez Bryant and getting whacked tonight, probably is out. Of these teams, the Orange likely goes with Penn State or Cincinnati. The Nittany Lions travel pretty well and have a good Orange Bowl history. Cincinnati would obviously be attractive as an undefeated team. I could see this going either way, but I think the Orange goes with the money draw here and picks the Nitt's.
This leaves the Fiesta with two options: Cincinnati or TCU to play USC. My guess: if the Bearcats keep winning, an undefeated BCS team is more attractive, despite TCU's closer proximity. I might be misreading what the Fiesta Bowl would do here, but I believe it would be the 'Cats.
This leaves TCU for Sugar Bowl/SEC fodder.
Florida vs. Texas
Oregon vs. Iowa
USC vs. Cincinnati
Alabama vs. TCU
Ga. Tech vs. Penn State
Should Ohio State beat Penn State, Iowa and Michigan, the Buckeyes would slide into the Rose Bowl with Iowa likely grabbing the Orange Bowl bid. If Penn State beats Ohio State and Ohio State beats Iowa, it's Penn State that goes to the Rose, with Iowa to the Orange.
I'm actually hoping this is how it plays out. Though it's possible Cincinnati would face the ACC winner (presumed to be Tech), I would rather see them against USC in the Fiesta.