Utah headlines non-AQ mailbag

My mailbag is bursting this week! So I will try to answer as many as I can. At this rate, I may even start doing a few editions a week, so keep your questions coming!

Kyle from Des Moines, Iowa, writes: What are the chances that, if Boise stays unbeaten and Utah runs the table (including a huge win over TCU in November) that the BCS will once again choose two non -AQ teams? Or will this be like the Utes' Sugar Bowl year of '08-'09 when both Boise and Utah were undefeated and Boise was left out due to a lower (but still qualifying) BCS ranking?

Andrea Adelson: Great question, Kyle. Since it happened last season, I am not sure whether that means it would be more likely to happen or less likely to happen. I think it all depends on the other teams eligible. Say there are a bunch of marquee one-loss teams sitting there waiting for an at-large bid. Those bowls will do what is in their best interest to get fans into the seats and ratings on TV. I will say I do not think it is ever a shoo-in for two non-AQ teams to make it into the BCS.

Sean Harlow of Salt Lake City writes: Hey Andrea. My question for you is this: if Utah gets past Air Force and TCU undefeated, do you think the Utes have a clear shot at going undefeated the rest of the season, and possibly leapfrogging Boise State in the rankings? I honestly think that if Utah finishes the season undefeated, the Utes would have a better shot at getting into the BCS National Championship game than Boise State would. I just want your thoughts on this.

Andrea Adelson: Lots of Utah fans writing in this week! Great to hear from you. First, I think it is going to be exceedingly difficult for Utah to finish the season undefeated. The stretch of games starting Oct. 30 at Air Force is difficult. You forgot to mention road games at Notre Dame and San Diego State. I know Notre Dame is struggling and Utah should win that game, but that has to count as a tough one. The Aztecs are much improved. There is also the rivalry game with BYU. That being said, if it does happen, I am not sure whether Utah will be able to leapfrog Boise State because it has the disadvantage of starting the season ranked so low in the polls. I can see voters dropping Boise State for Oregon or a team like that. I cannot see it happening for Utah. If Pittsburgh and Notre Dame continue to be bad, that is going to hurt, too. At this point, I think it would be hard for the Utes to do it if both teams are undefeated.

Zach from Greenville, N.C., writes: What do you think about the ECU pirates? Do we have a chance to gain any sort of national spotlight? And what are your predictions for the Conference Championship?

Andrea Adelson: East Carolina has a great offense and a bad defense, and that is going to lead to an up and down season I think. The Pirates can score with anybody, and Dominique Davis is really fun to watch. But they have to stop people, too, and that has been a difficult task. My preseason pick for the conference champion was Houston, but that of course has changed. I think it is between SMU, Southern Miss and UCF at this point.

Brennan from Reno writes: What do you think about Nevada beating Boise St.?

Andrea Adelson: Can I get back to you in November?

Al James of Henderson, Nev., writes: Hi Andrea, love your columns! Have you heard anything on Bowling Green QB Matt Schliz, ready to go? Or are they sticking with Pankrantz?

Andrea Adelson: Thanks, Al! Last I heard, coach Dave Clawson was going to make a game-time decision on who starts.

Kyle of Madison, Wis., writes: Andrea, I've been following your bowl projections, and I noticed you had TCU in the Sugar Bowl vs Bama and Ohio state vs. Boise St in the NCG. I believe I read that the Rose Bowl is obligated to take a non-AQ team this year if one qualifies. If TCU qualifies, won't they be headed to Pasadena since, according to your projections, the Rose Bowl will have one slot to fill.

Andrea Adelson: Kyle, according to the rules, if the Rose Bowl loses a team to the national championship game, it would be required to take a non-AQ team that is an automatic qualifier. That would be Boise State in my bowl projections. Since TCU would be an at-large team, I do not believe the Rose Bowl is required to take the Horned Frogs.