A team is 9-3, ranked 12th in the BCS, and still has strong possibilities for a BCS bowl. No, this is not Notre Dame, this is Virginia Tech.
Despite being an afterthought to most of the country, Virginia Tech is still looking for a handout for a BCS bowl. A Hokies invite would be the first time the ACC had two teams into a BCS bowl.
However, there are major hurdles to clear before Hokie fans can dream. First, let's look at outcomes to games. At this current juncture, Tech would need the following outcomes to take place:
Texas over Nebraska—This limits the Big 12 to one team
Clemson over Georgia Tech—Discussed below
Oregon over Oregon State—Ensures only one Pac-10 school makes the BCS
Alabama over Florida—Discussed below
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati—Allows Pitt to replace Georgia Tech in the top 14, and not allow Miami or USC in.
From the current BCS rankings, the outcomes listed above would give the following list of BCS-eligible teams:
Florida, Alabama, Texas, TCU, Boise State, Cincinnati, Oregon, Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, Virginia Tech, LSU, BYU, Pittsburgh, and Clemson.
First, these teams would already be chosen for their spots:
Championship Game: Alabama vs. Texas
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl: first pick (Florida) vs. fifth pick
Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. third pick
Fiesta Bowl: second pick vs. fourth pick
With Florida chosen first by the Sugar, LSU would be eliminated due to the "no more than two teams from a conference" rule. This would leave the following teams to be selected (teams that have to be taken ): TCU , Boise State, Cincinnati, Iowa, Penn State, Virginia Tech, BYU, and Pittsburgh .
Fiesta would be up next. The thinking is that they need people who will travel to fill up hotels and seats, since there is not a big-time name from the list. Fiesta decides on Iowa. This eliminates Penn State from the BCS-eligible list.
The Orange gets the next pick. The problem here is if Cincinnati wins the Big East, the Orange would probably overlook them. However, this would then include either Miami or USC into the mix and could create more problems for the Hokies.
The Orange is a possibility for the Hokies. The Orange may bypass TCU due to them setting up a rematch with Clemson. Pittsburgh could be taken, unless the Orange looks at them like Cincinnati; a school with little draw or fanbase. If the Hokies are taken, TCU goes to the Fiesta and Pitt goes to the Sugar. Not having Georgia Tech allows VA Tech to be mentioned, due to Clemson and Tech not meeting this season.
If the Orange goes with Pittsburgh, the Fiesta would take TCU. The Sugar would then be looking at the following list to play the Gators: Boise, Cincy, Virginia Tech, and BYU.
Boise may have been a stronger pick if the Sugar didn't have to take two non-BCS teams in the past two seasons. Cincy and BYU are not big draws. This would leave Tech possibly getting the nod over Boise.
The outcomes listed above allow Tech to have two shots at a BCS bowl. This discussion becomes worthless if Nebraska wins or USC sneaks into the top 14. However, anything could happen with college football on any given weekend.