Here is how the BCS works and how it worked out.
The BCS Championship Game gets #1 and #2 in the BCS.
Then, the conference champions are slotted into their respective bowl tie in. Pac 10 Champ goes to the Rose (USC), Big 12 Champ goes to Fiesta (Oklahoma), ACC Champ goes to Orange (Virginia Tech).
The next pick goes to the bowl which lost the highest pick and that would be the Rose which lost #1 Ohio Sate. The Rose had the first at-large pick and went with tradition in selecting Illinois from the Big 10. The Rose desperately wants a Big 10-Pac 10 match up. Illinois has 3 losses from the 6th rated conference (according to the Sagarin ratings) and lost to Missouri who did not make it in the BCS, but more on that later.
The Sugar gets the next pick because they lost the SEC Champ to the BCS Championship. They selected Georgia to fill their desire for an SEC team in the Superdome. Georgia kind of has an argument to be in the BCS Championship game, but they did not win their conference (or their division) so there is more of an argument against them. I know it is not in the rules, but if Georgia is in the SECCG and loses then they may have not gotten into the BCS at all (ala Missouri).
The Orange received the next pick in a rotating basis with the other bowls and used their selection on Kansas. Now here is where things got sticky. The Jayhawks are ranked 8th in the latest BCS poll while Missouri, who beat Kansas just one week ago on a neutral field, was passed over. The notion here is that the Orange did not want to select Missouri coming off a loss. Essentially, Missouri got punished for playing that extra game and losing while Kansas sat in the clubhouse and picks up a big BCS check. Missouri got hosed big time in this. I think the Miami restaurants lobbied for Mangino and the Jayhawks.
The Fiesta had the next pick, but only had two teams to choose from- West Virginia, the Big East Champ was and Hawaii who received an automatic bid because of their top 12 BCS finish. The Fiesta went with West Virginia because of fan support from the Mountaineers. Oklahoma also could have an argument for the BCS title game, as both of their losses were on the road to bowl teams, but the SEC is stronger than the Big 12.
That left Hawaii for the Sugar against Georgia.
Winners in the BCS:
Ohio State – backed in after posting an 11-1 record in the clubhouse 3 weeks ago
LSU – Played their way back into it by winning the toughest conference in the nation.
Kansas – backed in after watching Missouri get punished for playing for a national title after losing to the Tigers the previous week.
Losers in the BCS:
Missouri – Went from #1 in the nation to the Cotton Bowl because of 1 loss in a conference championship. They might have done better by just forfeiting and not playing Oklahoma
West Virginia – Only because they had the title game locked up if they could just beat Pitt at home who has 4 TD underdogs. The Mountaineers don’t get too many opportunities to play for a national title and it doesn’t set up much better than this year.