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December 4, 2011

Bill Flinn

Bill Hancock

Paul Hoolahan

Eric Poms

Robert Shelton

JOHN PAQUETTE:  Thanks, everyone, for joining us on our BCS media teleconference.  We'll have some opening remarks from Executive Director Bill Hancock, then we'll move on to the bowl games and have them make their team selections for this year's games.
I will now introduce the Executive Director of the BCS, Mr. Bill Hancock.
BILL HANCOCK:  Greetings, everyone.  Welcome to the call.  We appreciate your participating.
Once again the BCS has delivered a regular season that was thrilling from opening kickoff to the final whistle.  Now we've provided another great championship matchup.
I'm pleased to make it official and announce tonight that the top‑ranked teams in all the polls, LSU and Alabama, are going to meet in the national championship game.  Of course, there are four other outstanding BCS pairings, which the bowl directors will announce in just a minute.
Obviously it's been an exceptional year for the SEC.  We congratulate all the folks down there.  LSU has become the first team to establish a perfect mark in the BCS standings, that is No.1 by all 174 people and by all six computer rankings.
It goes without saying that No.3 Oklahoma State made a real run at the top this weekend.  This year the difference between No. 2 and No.3 was the closest ever under our existing rankings formula.  That's a real tribute to Mike Gundy and the Cowboys.
I want to congratulate all the student‑athletes and their coaches for an exciting and memorable bowl experience awaiting all of them.  I join most of you, I just can't wait to watch it.
Here is a quick look at what happened today.  We finished the BCS standing compilation, the group did, mid afternoon.  Then the 11 conference commissioners and the bowl directors and the television representatives participated in a teleconference.
What happened on the teleconference was, first of all we identified that LSU and Alabama would meet in the championship game.  Then the conference champions were slotted into their slots, their host bowl slots.  Then the Sugar Bowl had the opportunity to select a replacement team for LSU.  The bowls then filled the open slots from among the automatic qualifiers and the at‑large teams in a predetermined order, that was Fiesta, Sugar, then Orange.
I don't want to take too much of the time so I'll turn it back over to John.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Thank you, Bill.
Now we'll go to the executive directors of the bowls to announce their selections for this year's games.
We'll start with the Discover Orange Bowl and Eric Poms.
ERIC POMS:  Thank you.
The Discover Orange Bowl is proud to host two conference champions in Clemson from our host conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, and West Virginia.
Clemson will come into the game with a 10‑3 overall record, and a 6‑2 ACC record, winning last night against Virginia Tech in a convincing fashion, while West Virginia is 9‑3 overall and in a three‑way tie in the Big East Conference with a 5‑2 record.  But by virtue of the BCS rankings got the representation in our game.
This year's game will be played on Wednesday, January 4th at Sun Life Stadium and be televise by ESPN at 8:30.
Clemson will be playing its fourth Orange Bowl but first in 30 years since they captured the 1981 national championship in the 1982 Orange Bowl.
West Virginia is making its first appearance in the Orange Bowl and third in a BCS bowl game.  Lastly this brings a sentimental tone to South Florida with Sammy Watkins coming back to South Florida from Fort Myers High School.  West Virginia has 12 South Florida players, six starters, including Geno Smith and Stedman Bailey.
We look forward to a great game and look forward to hosting Clemson and West Virginia.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  From the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Paul Hoolahan.
PAUL HOOLAHAN:  January 3rd at the Mercedes‑Benz Superdome, we're proud to host two teams from two outstanding conferences.  Certainly from the Big Ten Michigan, 10‑2 Michigan, coached by first‑year Coach Brady Hoke, who was named Big Ten Coach of the Year as a result of his outstanding effort, and legendary Coach Frank Beamer who will be coaching his Virginia Tech team, who has had at least three different appearances in our bowl, has been a very good friend throughout the years.
We're excited about this matchup.  We think the two teams are going to provide extraordinary competition.  We're looking forward to this opportunity to host those great teams.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Thank you.
From the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Robert Shelton.
ROBERT SHELTON:  Thank you very much.
The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is extremely pleased to be hosting the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the No.3 ranked team in the latest poll, and the Stanford Cardinal, ranked No.4.  You know the Cowboys are the conference champions of the Big 12.  Their record is 11‑1.  They've had an outstanding year.
The Stanford Cardinal will be in a BCS bowl for the second straight year.  They are also 11‑1.  So this really matches the highest ranked non‑championship Fiesta Bowl in the BCS era.
This is the first game between Oklahoma State and Stanford.  If you look at their record throughout the year, we expect a lot of offensive fireworks.  These teams have combined for an average of 92 points and over a thousand yards per game.  We are thrilled by the opportunity to host these two fine institutions and their teams.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Thank you.
From the Rose Bowl game presented by VIZIO, Bill Flinn.
BILL FLINN:  As host of the Big Ten and PAC‑12s conference champions, the Rose Bowl is thrilled to announce the 7‑2 Wisconsin Badgers and the 11‑2 Oregon Ducks as participants in our 98th game.  This will be the first time these two teams have ever matched up in the Rose Bowl game, which certainly promises to be full of high‑powered offense on January 2nd in Pasadena.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Thank you.
Now we'll be ready for some questions from the media.

Q.  Paul, looking at the available teams that you would have had a chance to take, there were two top‑10 teams up there in Kansas State and Boise State.  These two teams are just outside the top 10.  Can you explain why you made that decision?
PAUL HOOLAHAN:  Well, obviously it was a difficult decision because we thought that every team that we had the opportunity to select presented us with certainly unique credentials and presented us with an opportunity to get a fine team.
In the final analysis, we just felt that the two teams that we had chosen really give us in the long run the best opportunity to put together a matchup that I think will provide a very exciting football game and give not only the fans a great opportunity but also the student‑athletes.  I think we really ended up with a great matchup in that regard.

Q.  Any concern over Virginia Tech, the fact they did not beat a team ranked in the current top 25?
PAUL HOOLAHAN:  Not necessarily.  I think Virginia Tech has proven over the years the caliber of football team that they are.  Frank Beamer is obviously one of the winningest active coaches in the FBS right now.  He's got, what, how many 10‑win seasons going for him now?  Just a remarkable record.  I think he's going to perform extremely well.  I think that team will be a great performer for us.

Q.  Paul, how much did Virginia Tech's fan base, the fact that they have traveled well to three previous Sugar Bowls, play into your decision?
PAUL HOOLAHAN:  Extremely important in the whole decision‑making process.  We obviously had firsthand experience with them.  It's always been a very effective experience.  We really didn't think we had any problems selecting them.

Q.  Bill, can you discuss what your thoughts are having two teams from the same conference playing in the championship game?  Paul, you being in SEC country, can you talk about having that particular game in your venue.
PAUL HOOLAHAN:  Well, I can tell you this:  Anytime we have LSU come into the game, it magnifies the challenges about tenfold.  Add to that bringing Alabama into the mix and it's going to be an extremely challenging situation to meet the needs of both those schools.
But it's an exciting opportunity and we certainly look forward to it.
BILL HANCOCK:  We are excited for the SEC.  Obviously it's been an exceptional year for them.  I get asked a lot about whether two teams from the same conference should be in the championship game.  And the answer is:  Absolutely.  If they are No.1 and No. 2, they should be in the championship game.  Clearly they are in all of the polls that were released today.
I think about the rematch matter.  I saw a rematch last night in Indianapolis.  It was a fabulous football game.  I don't expect this game to be a rerun of the first game.  Of course, that first one was terrific and it drew a tremendous amount of interest from around the country and fabulous TV ratings.
It's a matchup of two of the best coaches in college football.  Everybody knows that.  We'll be down there in New Orleans in SEC City and all be part of the excitement.  It will just be over the top.
It's the best match.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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