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USF bowl chart: breaking it down

South Florida completed its season 9-2 and is looking to go to a bowl. Here are five possibilities, in order of likelihood USF could get a bid, with details on what the Bulls need to happen to get in. (Many bowls and conferences have flexible tie-in rules, so some scenarios are subject to change.)

By PETE YOUNG, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 28, 2002


1. MOTOR CITY BOWL, DEC. 26, DETROIT

STATUS: At-large berth is available because of Big Ten shortfall of bowl-eligible teams (as long as Iowa is selected to a BCS bowl).

USF WOULD PLAY: A Mid-American Conference team, either Toledo, Bowling Green or Northern Illinois. The GMAC Bowl already has chosen Marshall from the MAC.

THE SKINNY: Since USF has defeated Bowling Green (9-2) and Northern Illinois (8-4), Motor City Bowl executive director Ken Hoffman said the Bulls' chances of getting a berth improve if host Toledo (8-3) beats Bowling Green on Saturday to advance to the MAC title game. Hoffman said USF is competing against two or three schools for a bid: the leftover bowl-eligible team from the Big 12 (likely Texas A&M, Oklahoma State or Iowa State) and ACC (Wake Forest, Clemson or Georgia Tech), and possibly the Big East, which would have a surplus if Notre Dame is bypassed by the BCS.

* * *

2. INDEPENDENCE BOWL, DEC. 27, SHREVEPORT, LA.

STATUS: At-large berth available if Mississippi (5-6) loses to Mississippi State today.

USF WOULD PLAY: A Big 12 team, possibly Texas Tech or Nebraska.

THE SKINNY: If Ole Miss loses in the Egg Bowl, USF jumps into at-large contention against the ACC and possibly Big East, leftovers from the MAC (possibly Bowling Green, Northern Illinois or Toledo) and New Mexico State (7-5).

* * *

3. HAWAII BOWL (DEC. 25) OR NEW ORLEANS BOWL (DEC. 17)

STATUS: At-large berth is available because of Conference USA shortfall of bowl-eligible teams if three things happen -- Cincinnati (5-6) beats UAB (5-6) and Southern Miss beats East Carolina (4-6) on Saturday, and East Carolina beats Cincinnati on Dec. 6.

USF WOULD PLAY: Hawaii or North Texas.

THE SKINNY: If those three games break the right way, C-USA has said it will endorse USF as the substitute at-large team. Hawaii is USF's more likely destination since the Bulls have beaten North Texas and it would allow Tulane to play in New Orleans.

* * *

4. SAN FRANCISCO BOWL, DEC. 31

STATUS: At-large berth available if Wyoming beats New Mexico (6-6) on Saturday.

USF WOULD PLAY: The Big East No.5 team, likely Boston College.

THE SKINNY: The tenuous status of Silicon Valley Classic (Dec. 31 in San Jose) could have a ripple effect. If that game falls through, it frees up a Pac-10 and Western Athletic Conference team, one of which likely would get a bid here.

* * *

5. SEATTLE BOWL, DEC. 30

STATUS: At-large berth is available because of Mountain West Conference shortfall of bowl-eligible teams.

THE SKINNY: Bowl representatives have said they want a Pac-10 team. No indications they are interested in USF.

-- Compiled by Pete Young.

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