As the college football season winds to an inevitable conclusion, the BCS bowl schedule is going to draw more and more interest. There are five main games that make up the 2012 BCS bowl schedule, finishing up with the National Championship Game to decide which school goes home with the title this year.
Conference winners from the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12, ACC, Big East and ACC each get an automatic qualifier into the BCS games. If the champion in Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt Conference or the Western Athletic Conference gets ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS standings, that team will also earn an automatic berth in a BCS bowl game. After that, at-large bids are given out to the schools considered the best of the rest. Each conference is limited to just two teams in BCS games per year.
Bowl games losing the host team to the title game will get to choose a replacement team that does not have a bowl affiliation already. The bowl game losing the No. 1 team gets first choice and the bowl losing the No. 2 team gets second choice. Order of choice to find teams after that is Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange in 2012.
Official start times will get announced as the bowls find out which teams will play there, but every game other than the Rose Bowl is in the evening.
2012 BCS Bowl Game Schedule
Monday, Jan. 2 - Rose Bowl
The Rose Bowl will get played in Pasadena again this year, and typically tries to have the winners of the Big Ten and Pac-12 if those teams are not in the National Championship Game. The Rose Bowl is typically played in the afternoon as well. If one or both of the teams are in the title game, the Rose Bowl gets to select replacements first.
Tuesday, Jan. 3 - Sugar Bowl
The Sugar Bowl gets played in New Orleans , and will have the winner of the Southeastern Conference if that team is not in the title game. If another SEC team makes it into the 10 BCS qualifying schools, it is likely that team will get an invite to the Sugar Bowl if the SEC winner is in the title game.
Wednesday, Jan. 4 - Orange Bowl
The Orange Bowl will have the winner of the Atlantic Coast Conference going up against one of the other BCS qualifying teams. It takes place in Miami, FL., typically with a primetime start time at night.
Thursday, Jan. 5 - Fiesta Bowl
The Fiesta Bowl is in Glendale, Ariz., and will have the Big 12 champion if that team is not selected to play in the title game. The other opponent will get selected from the other BCS bowl qualifying teams that are not obligated to another bowl. The Fiesta Bowl was moved this year, so that it didn't interfere with an NFL game on the first Monday night of January.
Monday, Jan. 9 - National Championship Game
The top two teams in the final 2011 BCS standings will play in the National Championship Game. That will take place in New Orleans in 2012, and will decide which school wins the college football title.