With Notre Dame's win over USC -- giving them a final record of 7 wins and 5 losses the Irish are still not a "given" to any of the Bowl Games potentially available to them. Believe it or not -- Notre Dame's bowl destination could be riding on the outcomes of the Washington vs. Washington State game and the Oregon vs. Oregon State games this week. Here's why:
- Notre Dame has only one deal in place with a Bowl Game and that's the Champs Bowl. The Champs Bowl has the option of selecting the Irish over a Big East team -- once, every four years.
- Beyond that deal -- the Irish are left to choose from any Bowl Game that doesn't have "qualifiers" from its conference affiliations. This year -- the most options reside with the PAC 10 Conference -- where they have only 3 qualifiers (Oregon, Stanford and Arizona) for the six Bowl Games they have deals in place with. Oregon and Stanford are locks for BCS Championship Bowl Games (one of the two will end up in the Rose Bowl) -- meaning the PAC 10 has one team currently qualified for their five other Bowl deals: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, Valero Alamo Bowl, Hyundai Sun Bowl, MAACO Las Vegas Bowl and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
So, if we assume this to be true -- here's the remaining bowl options for the Irish. Please note: I've already taken the Valero Alamo Bowl out of play for Notre Dame -- most expect them to select the third place team in the PAC 10 Arizona. Here's what's potentially left for the Irish -- depending on whether Oregon State and Washington become bowl eligible this weekend:
- Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl -- December 30th -- San Diego, CA
- Hyundai Sun Bowl -- December 31st -- El Paso, TX
- MAACO Las Vegas Bowl -- December 22nd -- Las Vegas, NV
- Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl -- January 9th -- San Francisco, CA