1) Alabama wins out with wins over LSU, Auburn, and thumps South Carolina in the SEC Championship game.
2) Oregon wins out with wins over Stanford on the road, Oregon State, and thumps UCLA again in the PAC-12 championship game. It is perceived more impressive than FSU wins over Miami x2, and a four-loss Florida.
3) ND wins out including a close victory over Stanford on the road.
4) OSU wins out with victory over MSU in B1G championship game.
5) Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl lose AQ teams to NCG. Sugar Bowl ecstatic to get LSU.
6) Rose Bowl/ESPN looks for biggest bang for 100th Rose Bowl game. Someone suggests two of the most iconic names in the sport. They weigh that against loyalty to PAC-12 with a two-loss Stanford or UCLA. Someone pulls out the ratings for the 2006 Fiesta Bowl and the decision is made.