Well, this is almost all over and done with, but there's still a few questions left. Actually, this is mostly a long look at the different possibilities for the BCS at-large spots, so don't say I didn't warn you.
I'll do the quick part first. Here's all the teams that can still become bowl-eligible:
Louisville - vs. Rutgers. Doesn't matter, they have nowhere to go.
Arizona - vs. Arizona State. Although, ironically, winning this game probably deprives the Pac-10 of a bowl spot, so it may not matter. Much more on this below.
Nevada, Louisiana Tech. Playing each other, so there can be only one. The winner gets the New Mexico Bowl bid unless Hawaii gacks it against Washington.
Miami (Ohio). If they win the MAC Championship, they're in. If they lose, they drop to 6-7 and presumably are left out, even though MAC division winners are supposed to be assured of a bid. (I saw one report saying that the MAC was asking the NCAA for a waiver, but everything else is saying they have to win.)
The teams that are eligible, but not playing anywhere because they are 6-6: Northwestern, Ohio, Iowa, Louisiana-Monroe.
Teams that need something to happen in order to get a bid:
Ball State (need Miami to lose to get the 3rd MAC bid)
South Carolina (need to be picked over Alabama for the last SEC bowl)
Florida Atlantic (need to beat Troy to win the Sun Belt)
There are going to be 1 or 2 at-larges (unless something odd happens with the BCS teams). The Texas Bowl is a definite, the Armed Forces Bowl needs Arizona to lose. The last Big 10 team will get one of the bids. The other will go to a team that is at least 7-5, with the options being: New Mexico (8-4), assuming the Mountain West bids play out as expected, Ball State (7-5) if Miami wins, and Troy (8-4) if they lose to FAU. I would assume New Mexico is the pick.
Having said all of that, that is based on the default BCS results, with the SEC, Big 12, Pac-10 and Hawaii getting the at-large spots. But there are other possibilities.
First, to simplify. I'm not dealing with the scenarios where Missouri and West Virginia both lose, because even this year, there is no way Pitt is beating the Mountaineers. I've seen them both play Rutgers, and Pitt is just atrocious on offense. It isn't happening. Also, the Big East can't get a second team in the BCS, so a West Virginia loss doesn't affect anything.
The SEC will get an at-large, with Georgia at #4 in the BCS standings, and no real possibility of being passed.
The Big 12 really should be in good shape, with a very attractive Kansas team available. It won't be mandated, but I have a very, very hard time coming up with a scenario that leaves them out.
So that leaves 2 at-large spots and 4 conferences. Hawaii is locked in if they stay in the top 12, and I can't see them dropping out if they win. (Maybe if Tennessee wins the SEC and Boston College the ACC, but even then I'm not sure.)
The Pac-10 is iffier. They need Arizona State to win, and even then they met get bumped if the Rose Bowl messes with things, or somebody finds Virginia Tech more attractive.
The ACC would probably only be in play if Boston College beats Virginia Tech. B.C. might still be in the top 14 with a loss, but they'd probably be behind Illinois, and with the Eagles' bad reputation for traveling, they might well be passed over.
The Big 10 is tricky. First, they need one of B.C., Hawaii, Arizona State or Tennessee to lose to get Illinois in the top 14. If Ohio State makes the championship game, the Rose Bowl might decided to go for the traditional matchup. Or, if 2 from the ACC/Hawaii/Pac-10 don't have a team in the top 14, they would also be there.
So, there's 6 different possible combinations. If Hawaii is one of them, it doesn't change things. The ACC means the at-large moves from the Armed Forces to the Humanitarian. The Big 10 means there's no at-large, but also no available 7-5 Big 10 team to take the Texas Bowl spot.
If Hawaii isn't in, that bumps the Nevada/Louisiana Tech winner out of a game, unless the WAC decides to try and sell Boise State off as an at-large (although I don't see a lot of enthusiasm to go to Houston to play Houston, or Fort Worth, where they were 4 years ago, to play Air Force).
In that case, any of the combinations will lead to an extra at-large berth being available, which could mean that the 6-6 teams could be back in play (although if Miami or Florida Atlantic wins, that would block that.)
Now, if Arizona beats Arizona State, that changes things a little. It certainly means that the Pac-10 doesn't get a 2nd BCS team, unless USC loses (which I'll get to later), and the Armed Forces spot is definitely gone. The Pac-10 would then be over their limit, and one of the 6-6 teams would be left out. That would be Arizona, UCLA, and Cal if they lose to Stanford.
Another odd scenario is if Arizona State, Hawaii, and Boston College all lose. I'm really not sure who would be in the top 14 at that point. After the top 10, you'd have Illinois, Tennessee (even if they lose, I think), and probably either still B.C., or Clemson, so the ACC would be there. Maybe Oregon moves up if they win? That would be a complete mess.
OK, so if Arizona State and USC both lose, then UCLA goes to the Rose Bowl. USC would still be in the top 14, I think, and probably an attractive at-large bid (if Virginia Tech isn't an issue). If they did get picked, that would mean the Armed Forces spot is filled by Arizona, and all the Pac-10 teams get to go to a game. If Hawaii wins, they're in, the Texas Bowl is the only open spot and the extra Big 10 team gets it.
And if Hawaii loses, we come to the wackiest scenario of them all. UCLA isn't currently on the top 25 of any of the computers, got no votes in the coaches' poll and 5 points on the Harris. If they beat the Trojans, I assume that will change somewhat, but they'll still be 7-5 and likely to make the bottom of the polls at best. So then the rule for qualification for non-BCS conferences comes into play. In addition to making the top 12, they can also qualify if they're in the top 16 and higher than a conference champion, which UCLA would be. And while a Hawaii loss would presumably drop them out of the top 16, there's another team that might be in position to take advantage of it: BYU, which is sitting at 19 right now.
First of all, BYU would have to beat San Diego State this week (in a game that was postponed from October due to the fires), and then have to pass 3 teams. Oregon is at number 17 but in disarray - if they lose this week, BYU will pass them. Arizona State at 13 and Hawaii at 12 both have to lose in this scenario, but will they drop far enough? I'm not really sure (although I did just presume Hawaii dropping from the top 16, so probably on their part). Wisconsin at 18 isn't too far ahead of BYU, although the Cougars already have an edge on the computers, so they might need poll help to jump them, and I don't know that an SDSU win is going to get you much. Personally, I think the odds for that part of it look fairly good (especially compared to the UCLA-goes-to-the-Rose Bowl part)
What that would mean for the at-larges is that New Mexico would have a spot, and the Armed Forces Bowl wouldn't be available. If the 4th BCS at-large goes to the ACC or Big 10, it opens a potential spot for a 6-6 team; the Pac-10 means that the last Big 10 teams takes the Texas Bowl spot as mentioned above.
Crazy? Yes. But the BCS hasn't released the Mountain West teams to the other bowls yet, so they're taking it seriously on some level.
ACC (8 bids)
IN: Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland
OUT: Duke, North Carolina, Miami, N.C. State
Big East (5 bids)
IN: USF, UConn, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Rutgers
OUT: Syracuse, Pitt
Big 10 (7 bids)
IN: Ohio State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern,
Big 12 (8 bids)
IN: Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Colorado
OUT: Iowa State, Baylor, Nebraska, Kansas State
Pac-10 (6 bids)
IN: Arizona State, USC, Oregon, Cal, Oregon State, UCLA
OUT: Stanford, Washington, Washington St.
BUBBLE: Arizona - Do they have another upset in them? They can't count on injuring the quarterback again.
SEC (8 bids)
IN: LSU, Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi State
OUT: Mississippi, Vanderbilt
C-USA (6 bids)
IN: East Carolina, UCF, Houston, Tulsa, Southern Miss, Memphis
OUT: Marshall, Rice, SMU, UAB, Tulane, UTEP
Independents (1 bid)
OUT: Notre Dame, Army
MAC (3 bids)
IN: Central Michigan, Ball State, Bowling Green, Ohio
OUT: Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Temple, Kent State, Akron, Buffalo
MWC (4 bids)
IN: Air Force, New Mexico, Utah, BYU, TCU
OUT: Colorado State, UNLV, Wyoming, San Diego State
Sun Belt (1 bid)
IN: Troy, ULM, Florida Atlantic
OUT: Louisiana-Laffayette, FIU, North Texas, MTSU, Arkansas State
WAC (3 bids)
IN: Hawaii, Boise State, Fresno State
OUT: Utah State, Idaho, New Mexico State, San Jose State
BUBBLE: Nevada, Louisiana Tech
And the list of games for this week:
Louisiana Tech at Nevada: Albuquerque ho!
UCLA at USC: Injuries, I know, but they lost to Stanford! It could happen!
Pitt at West Virginia: Important in theory, don't bother watching it unless you like seeing Wannstedt embarrassed.
Arizona at Arizona State: All sorts of implications.
Washington at Hawaii: The Huskies already upset one WAC team this year
BYU at San Diego State: For the sheer hilarity of it all.
Florida Atlantic at Troy: New Orleans or bust!
Central Michigan vs. Miami: In Detroit, for the right to go to....Detroit?
Virginia Tech vs. Boston College: What league are we in again?
LSU vs. Tennessee: New Orleans or, um, we'll get back to you on that.
Oklahoma vs. Missouri: As somebody pointed out, for all the noise, we're very close to having the BCS conference champs being Ohio State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, LSU, USC and Oklahoma. This is probably the best shot at relieving the tedium.