The Unabashed Blogorrhea stirring and shaking and feeling reasonably confident that there will soon be good news for Houston and the University of Houston when it comes to having a potential seat at the elite college gridworld table.
Advance warning - the connect the dots requires a fully charged and operable BMOC GPS to navigate to the final destination. Lots of roundabouts. Stock up on Pringles Sour Cream and Onion.
Reports that the soon-to-be overhauled BCS format will now include seven bowl sites within the semifinal rotation, and not six, and also include a backdoor entry for the beleaguered Big East conference is what should have the city optimistic. But we're already swerving off course getting ahead of ourselves. Stay patient.
First, the background. Starting in December 2014 we thankfully and finally wave bye-bye to the BCS mess. The original plan called for a four-team playoff at the top with four other marquee matchups spread among the most deserving (read: ticket-buying/ratings-friendly) programs on the market.
Already in are the Rose and Orange Bowls. Houston of course bid to be among the next four (and reportedly impressed with an extremely strong presentation) but The Unabashed is betting those slots ultimately go to the Greater Phoenix/Fiesta, the NOLA/Sugar, the JerryWorld/Cotton and Atlanta.
But Houston is perhaps set for a reprieve. Stay patient.
The Big Kahuna national title tilt is a year-to-year stand-alone negotiation.
The feeding process figures to go something like this ...
When the Rose is not serving as a national semifinal, it remains the traditional Big 10/Pac-12 rodeo.
When the Orange is not serving as a national semifinal, it's pairing the ACC champ against the best available from the Big 10/SEC/Notre Dame.
When the newly created JerryWorld/Champions Bowl is not serving as a national semifinal, it's pairing the winners or best available from the Big 12 and SEC.
When the Sugar and Fiesta and Atlanta are not serving as national semifinals, they are all free of obligation to stage whomever from wherever. No more conference automatics. No more two-max per conference.
And that's where the bowlarama would stop swirling. Despite ambitious efforts for a first-class upgrade, Houston still saddled with an event hardly the equal to the facility, the market, the muscle behind their showman/gamesmanship. And UH again in a conference unable to command any weight or respect to buckle up with the big boys at seasons' end even when deserving on merit, denied due to lack of drawing power and national brand.
But here's the latest development that hits home. A tentative plan within the new gridworld order calling for seven bowls, not six, in the playoff rotation. And a Pac-12 or Big 12 entry annually facing the best from a group of five conferences, including the Big East.
And here's Houston with all that Reliant houses and all other necesary wherewhithal needed to secure that seventh site. Unless of course the resident pooh bahs become queasy about anchoring two elite bowls (all right, one elite and one subprime) in one state.
OK, it would be the lowest ranking of highest tier. Yes, the city and the bowl-running arm of the Texans deserve better. But it's an opportunity to move into the newly crafted college postseason upper echelon. Better here than San Antonio, without question. Or San Diego.
OK, it's sounds like a steady stream of Rutgers vs. Oregon St. and not near the sexy parade that is Texas against Florida, Oklahoma against Georgia, Oklahoma St. against Auburn et al jetting yearly through Jerry's Taj.
No, no it's not.
But it's certainly preferable to the current steady diet of leftovers from the 6-6 smorgasbord. And for Houston to be showcased in the ultra visible new bowl season model is a priceless opportunity and commodity. AND it means at least one national semifinal within the initial 12-year window.
And for UH, no, there's nothing the least bit glamorous for their new playpen to be clustered with the vagabond collection of what they once thought they were leaving behind, the Conference USA, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Mid-Americans of the world.
But better that than to go dark from the postseason klieg lights and exposure explode, left aiming even before each and every year's opening kick for a Liberty Bowl-like destination.
Two examples of how this would kind of sort of play out right now using the current Top 25 poll as a barometer.
Fiesta Semifinal: Oregon vs. LSU
Orange Semifinal: Alabama vs. Florida St.
Big Kahuna: JerryWorld (if it can be bought, rather than won, Jones usually cashes)
Champions: Kansas St. vs. Georgia
Sugar: Texas vs. South Carolina
Rose: USC vs. Nebraska
Atlanta: West Virginia vs. Clemson
Houston: Louisville vs. Stanford (or a TCU or an Oklahoma or a UCLA)
Rose Semifinal: Oregon vs. LSU
Sugar Semifinal: Alabama vs. FLorida St.
Big Kahuna: JerryWorld
Champions: Kansas St. vs. Georgia
Fiesta: Texas vs. USC
Orange: Notre Dame vs. Clemson
Atlanta: West Virginia vs. South Carolina
Houston: Louisville vs. Stanford (or, when warranted, Houston vs. TBA. At Reliant. Sold out. Coast-to-coast network cameras.)
Bottom line for Houston and the University of Houston, it's always better to be included or have a meaningful chance to be included, even when not front-row reserved, rather than be shutout altogether.
For Houston, hosting from the top-15 outfits annually with at least one (if not two) Alabama-Florida St.-type semifinal stare-downs cannot be overstated. A gargantuan lead forward. A local boom into the national bowl bonanza business.
For UH, always a possible gateway (albeit backdoor) to the elite-related level postseason.
Cannot. Be. Overstated.
Then, the only thing is for the city to support and embrace like we all know the city can.
Pass the Pringles.