Breaking down the bowl picture

With the chaos that was college football on Saturday, it appears as though Indiana is practically a lock to be locked into one of the Big Ten bowl tie-in games.

That’s because Illinois has a very good chance of jumping into the top 14 of the BCS (the Illini were 15th; No. 14 Tennessee, No. 11 Boston College both lost Saturday) which would make it possible for the Rose Bowl to select it as an at-large team (because Ohio State is pretty much assured a spot in the BCS title game.)

And, according to Herb Gould at the Chicago Sun-Times, Big Ten officials have been assured that the Rose Bowl will take Illinois — thus honoring its long tie with the Big Ten conference — instead of another available, higher-ranked team such as Georgia.

Got that? If not, here’s all you need to know: The Champs Sports Bowl, played Dec. 28 in Orlando, Fla, will have the first pick between Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue.

Then the Insight.com Bowl, played Dec. 31 in Tempe, Ariz., will pick from the remaining two teams.

And the Motor City Bowl, played Dec. 26 in Detroit, Mich., will get whoever is left.

OK.

According to a report from Joe Rexrode of the Lansing State journal, the Champs bowl has said it will pick either Michigan State or Indiana and will make an announcement at 5 p.m. tonight.

But if it does that, some of the mystery would be taken out of the BCS Selection Show set to air at 8 p.m. tonight on Fox because it would reveal that Illinois was in fact picked by the Rose bowl.

We do know this much: at 8:45 tonight Indiana coach Bill Lynch and a few players will be available on a conference call to discuss wherever they’re going.

Check back here for updates throughout the day as we try to figure out what’s happening.