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BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME MEDIA CONFERENCE


December 2, 2012


Kevin Ash

Bill Hancock

Paul Houlihan

Eric Poms

Robert Shelton


JOHN PAQUETTE:  Good thank you for joining.  First we will hear from Bill Hancock, executive director of the BCS, who will announce the teams in the BCS National Championship game and make a brief opening statement.  Then each of our BCS Bowl directors will announce the teams they have chosen for their Bowls and make a brief statement.  Following that we will open it up to questions from the media.
With that, here is Bill Hancock.
BILL HANCOCK:  Thank you, John, and thanks everybody for joining this evening.  I'm sure all of you know this but I'm pleased to make it official and announce that the two top ranked teams in the polls, Notre Dame and Alabama, will meet in the BCS Championship game.  Once again, the BCS has delivered exactly what it was designed to do, and that is matching the top two teams in the championship game.  That follows what we believe is the best regular season in sports.
You know, even though this is our next‑to‑last year with this structure, I mention this, because like every year, there's been plenty of commentary this season about chaos and controversy, but at the end the BCS got it right.¬† This will be the 15th year in a row that the top two teams by the BCS measurements have played each other, and the 12th time in 15 years, according to the AP, including the last nine years in a row.¬† So we're proud of this outstanding record, and it's no wonder that the BCS Championship game is America's second most watched sporting event every year.¬† Actually we may even break our own television audience record this year because of the game, it promises to be such a blockbuster, Notre Dame looking for its first title in 24 years and Alabama of course going for back‑to‑back championships.¬† The top two teams, top two National Championship winners of all time, and of course two of the most storied programs.¬† The BCS got it right.
I want to give a quick look at what happened today.¬† We finished the BCS standings compilation in mid‑afternoon, and then the 11 commissioners and the Bowl directors and television folks participated in a teleconference.¬† On the conference call first we identified the nine automatic qualifiers, and we had Notre Dame, of course, then we had the six champions from the conferences that have earned automatic qualification, that being Alabama, Stanford, Florida State, Louisville and Wisconsin.
And then we had Florida, of course, at No.3, and then we had Northern Illinois at No.15, which qualified because it's ranked higher than two of the conference champions who were ranked lower‑‑ conference champions from the AQ conferences.
Those were the nine automatics, and then after that it was time for the Bowls to make their choices.¬† The first thing that happened was the Sugar Bowl took Florida to replace Alabama, which has moved up, of course, and then following the rotation, the Fiesta Bowl chose Oregon, which is the only at‑large team in this year's BCS.¬† And then the Sugar Bowl chose Louisville and the Orange Bowl chose Northern Illinois.
So that's what happened today.  Again, we are very proud of the BCS and we're proud that once again the BCS got it right.  I don't want to take too much time, so I'll stop there and turn it back over to John and you'll hear from the Bowl directors.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Thank you, Bill.  From the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio, Kevin Ash.
KEVIN ASH:  The 99th Rose Bowl Game will feature the University of Wisconsin versus Stanford University.  We're looking forward to a traditional Rose Bowl Game with our conference partners, with two phenomenal and accomplished coaches.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Thank you, Kevin.  Tostitos' Fiesta Bowl, Robert Shelton.
ROBERT SHELTON:¬† Good evening, everyone.¬† Tostitos' Fiesta Bowl is very excited about the match‑up between No.4 Oregon and No.5 Kansas State.¬† Kansas State of course wrapped up the Big 12 title with a very resounding win over Texas just last night.¬† This is the fourth top‑five match‑up in Fiesta Bowl history and the second in a row.¬† That's not counting championship games.¬† The teams are a combined 22 and 2.¬† We of course have great coaches in Bill Snyder and Chip Kelly, and we expect this to be an extraordinary game.¬† Lastly I'll note that the teams average a combined 91 points per game.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Next is Allstate Sugar Bowl, Paul Houlihan.
PAUL HOULIHAN:¬† Thank you, John.¬† On Wednesday, January 2nd, the 79th playing of the Allstate Sugar Bowl will feature two great teams.¬† Certainly the University of Florida is no stranger having been‑‑ this will be the ninth time in our game, but we are happy to welcome for the first time University of Louisville.¬† Coach Strong has done an outstanding job to get those young players in position to play in a BCS game.¬† We are certainly glad to be the host for this first opportunity.¬† There's a lot of rivalry that goes on between these two teams, and I think it's going to be a great match‑up.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  And the Discover Orange Bowl, Eric Poms.
ERIC POMS:¬† Thank you.¬† The Discover Orange Bowl is going to feature ACC champion Florida State, ranked No.12 in the country, and it's their first appearance back here at the Discover Orange Bowl since 2006, which is seven years ago.¬† We've got a great match‑up with Coach Fisher and the great year Florida State had, versus Northern Illinois, the MAC champion ranked No.15, and we want to congratulate Coach Doeren, who moved on to NC State, and also congratulate the new head football coach, Rod Carey.¬† We look forward to the game on January 1st in primetime.¬† It'll be a great showdown.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Thank you, Eric.  Now we have a couple minutes for questions from the media.

Q.  This is for Eric.  The selection for Northern Illinois obviously is going to cause some controversy.  They're being blasted on ESPN.  What do you do to try to sell this game, and what was your reaction when you found out what the standings were going to be?
ERIC POMS:¬† Well, I think all of us know, being part of the BCS since its inception, that this is the framework that we all work through, and it's a great story.¬† I was in Detroit on Friday night, Northern Illinois is a tremendous team.¬† As we saw in 2007 when Boise State played Oklahoma, those kind of match‑ups bring out theatrics.¬† Florida State hasn't been here since 2006.¬† That's seven years.¬† So I think we're going to have quite an enthusiastic following coming from both the northern part of Florida and those that live here in South Florida, having an opportunity to play a team that's had such a tremendous year with a great player like Jordan Lynch.¬† I think we'll be just fine.

Q.  Mr.Hancock, talk about the process of picking Northern Illinois to go to the Orange Bowl against Florida State and knocking out Oklahoma.  What was the whole formula for that, knocking out Oklahoma?
BILL HANCOCK:  Sure.  The highest ranked from one of the conferences without automatic qualification qualifies if it's in the top 16 if it's ranked higher than any champion from an AQ conference, and Northern Illinois was ranked higher than the champion from the Big East and also the champion from the Big Ten.  So they were qualified automatically.
They qualified by a comfortable margin.  They were No.15, and they are No.15 by that comfortable margin?

Q.  So basically is it like the strength of schedule, that's why Northern Illinois moved in or Oklahoma didn't play so well in the Big 12?
BILL HANCOCK:  It was a matter of Northern Illinois meeting the threshold by virtue of their performance all season.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Everyone, we thank you for your time and look forward to seeing everyone at the Bowl games.  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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