Today whilst reading some tasty nuggets from Washington Post blogger Patrick Stevens' musings on D1SCOURSE I stumbled upon his idea of the "bowl-pocalypse." Stevens is keeping watch over the possibility of utter chaos breaking out as the number of possible bowl teams slowly dwindles. There are 34 bowls, thus 68 teams are required to make the field and as it stands now the number of possible teams is 114.
That's right folks through week eight of the 2009 season there are already six teams who can pack it up and pack it in kissing the post season goodbye. No BCS teams are here yet as Western Kentucky, New Mexico, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Rice are already eliminated from bowling this year.
As the season moves forward there are teams on the proverbial "bowl bubble" as conference seasons test resolve, injuries mount up and the cream rises to the top. While there are 22 teams that are already bowl eligible there are also four teams in BCS leagues teetering on the verge of elimination; Illinois, Maryland, Washington State and Vanderbilt.
Of this quartet only the Terrapins are sure to avoid the guillotine this week; they've got a bye. The other three members of the "6 Loss Club" all face opponents heavily favored to send the Illini, Cougars and Commodores home with plenty of time to make holiday travel plans.
Read more for the rest of The Eliminator
Maryland is safe for this first edition of The Eliminator so with three contestants let's dive right in.
The Terps Escape The Eliminator
Illinois (+7.5), Vandy (+12), Washington State (28.5)
The Eliminator swipes you Washington State
Illinois against an unranked Michigan, Vandy against BCS #11 Georgia Tech, Washington State against BCS #23 Notre Dame
The Eliminator has chosen and Vandy is the choice
Illinois in Champaign, Vanderbilt in Nashville and Washington State in San Antonio?
The Eliminator travels to odd neutral site to take Washington State
Illinois has underachieved all season including benching once phenomenal Juice Williams. They are hosting an unranked Michigan team coming off a beat down. Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson are angry and Illinois hasn't played like winning is an option.
Vanderbilt fought hard against the Gamecocks; or did South Carolina do their patented Vandy flop? As it stands the Yellow Jackets are smelling BCS blood in the water and look to claim their second bottom tier SEC win of the season. Plus Paul Johnson has got that flexbone offense ready to sting all over the 'Dores.
Washington State gets to travel over 2,000 miles to the lovely town of San Antonio to take on the Irish. Not sure which team is losing a home game but I hope they enjoy the River Walk and some of the best Tex-Mex they'll have in their lives. Also enjoy Jimmy Clausen's frantic hand waves, weird gesticulations and angry faces for four quarters of the Golden Tate show.
The Eliminator sniffs out the Cougs here.
Clearly Washington State is at the biggest disadvantage here. Thousands of miles from home with even worse fan support than they get on a rainy Pullman day; aside from the Gameday Sign that is always there.
While Vandy and Illinois have a shot playing at home in front of fellow Commodores and Illini respectively; at least in theory, the Cougars are alone to face the Fighting Irish who enter off the latest in a string of thrillers.
Would it be nice to see Charlie's face following a stunning Cougar win? Yes
But The Eliminator doesn't do nice; The Eliminator see's Washington State as the most likely team to be bounced from the ranks of possible holiday fun.
*consolation prize to both Vanderbilt and Illinois; you get eliminated too but not in such tremendously fantastic fashion.
If the likes of Maryland, Illinois, Washington State and Vandy are blankly staring up as the grave digger slowly shovels dirt on to them; then teams in the 5 Loss Club have about four feet of grave dug with blisters on their hands and sweat on their brow. Louisville, Colorado, Purdue, Mississippi State and Washington are the next in line for a round with The Eliminator.
Join us next week as we see who The Eliminator will claim next.