3-point stance: Bama's bowl outlook

1. No. 4 Alabama becomes the prettiest debutante at the BCS at-large ball, which could include No. 9 Baylor, No. 14 Northern Illinois and either No. 12 Oregon or No. 13 Clemson. But who takes the Crimson Tide? Would the Orange Bowl risk asking Alabama fans who had their hopes set on the BCS title game to come to Miami for a second straight year? Would the Rose Bowl, picking second, take the Crimson Tide over an 11-2 Michigan State team that’s eligible (top 14) for Pasadena? Probably not. But if the Spartans aren’t eligible, Alabama may play in its first Rose Bowl since 1946.

2. Michigan coach Brady Hoke and Alabama coach Nick Saban both made end-game decisions Saturday that blew up on them. Hoke risked the game on a two-point play, and it’s good to keep in mind the saying that the longer the game, the greater the advantage to the better team. Saban had much greater percentages in his favor. Being struck by lightning, no matter how great the odds, hurts just as much.

3. Syracuse’s last-second victory over Boston College made the Orange (6-6) the 11th ACC team to qualify for a bowl game, which makes the week to come very interesting. One of those 11 teams is Maryland (7-5), which is leaving for the Big Ten next summer. If a team is going to be left out, human nature points to the Terrapins. But ACC associate commissioner Mike Finn says it won’t happen that way. “They are ours until July 1. We are trying to take care of them,” Finn said. “It wouldn’t be fair to their student-athletes.”