Should BYU fail to win the WAC it may be invited to the Florida Citrus Bowl.
A representative from that bowl will be at Cougar Stadium Saturday for the BYU-New Mexico game.Ideally, the Orlando-based bowl would like to pair No. 1 Virginia against a top-ranked team like Notre Dame in a national championship contest.
If that doesn't pan out, the Jan. 1 bowl would like to pair BYU against the Atlantic Coast Conference champion or against an at-large team if the ACC champion goes elsewhere, said Carol Monroe, the bowl's associate executive director.
The contract between the ACC and Citrus Bowl has some interesting clauses:
If the ACC champ is ranked second, third or fourth in the UPI coaches poll as of the second Tuesday in November (Nov. 13 this year) and has a chance to play for the national title in the Sugar, Cotton or Orange bowls, it can leave the Citrus Bowl; if it's No. 1 it can also be released to the Sugar, Cotton or Orange bowls if the Citrus Bowl cannot match the payments of those bowls - that might be a problem if that interpretation means the Citrus Bowl has to match the $4.2 million payout per team the Orange Bowl offers. The Citrus Bowl will pay out about $1.2 million per team otherwise. Orange Bowl representatives are hopeful of matching an undefeated Virginia against an undefeated Nebraska for the national championship in Miami.
It doesn't appear the second-through-fourth ranking provision will be in effect. Should the Cavaliers lose to say Georgia Tech on Nov. 3, they would likely drop below No. 4 in the rankings and therefore still be obligated to the Citrus Bowl if they win the conference.
Citrus Bowl representatives feel the BYU-Wyoming game will be the one that determines the WAC champion. If the Cowboys win, they'll likely get the WAC's automatic berth in the Sea World Holiday Bowl, freeing the Cougars for another bowl.
A 10-1 Virginia against a 10-2 BYU would be an intriguing matchup, Monroe said, since it would feature the two leading Heisman Trophy candidates - Shawn Moore of Virginia and Ty Detmer of BYU. "It would be fun. They're two great guys from two classy teams," Monroe said.
BYU appeared in the Citrus Bowl in 1985, bowing to Ohio State, 10-7.