BCS Rankings: Next Season's Conference Contenders That Won't Make BCS Bowls
Conference officials are meeting in New Orleans to discuss changes to the BCS, and one proposal would allow more than two teams from a single conference into a BCS Bowl.
But should that idea come to fruition, it won’t happen until at least 2014, which means there will be a handful of teams that will be competing for a conference championship but fail to reach the BCS.
Here are four of those teams.
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The Gamecocks lost their Heisman candidate at running back as well as a home game to Auburn and still finished the season ranked in the Top 10. With Marcus Lattimore and Devin Taylor returning, this team shouldn’t have much trouble competing in a top heavy SEC East.
Still, Georgia has the potential to be one of the best teams in the country, and Tennessee, Florida and even Vanderbilt should continue to improve. And don’t forget about a game against Clemson to end the regular season. Another two-loss season is most likely which would put them just outside the BCS again, especially when LSU is nearly a lock to be in some type of BCS Bowl.
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The Tigers spent a boat load of cash in order to keep offensive coordinator Chad Morris around, but they won’t be getting back to the BCS in 2012. The team will lose six of nine linemen including likely first round NFL draft picks Andre Branch and Brandon Thompson.
Clemson was already giving up more sacks than it got, and the rush defense ranked 82nd in the country in yards allowed per game. It doesn’t matter if Sammy Watkins plays every position on the field when teams like Florida State and Virginia Tech are on the schedule with ferocious defensive lines. Expect them to be no better than third best in the ACC and that obviously won’t get them into the BCS.
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With Ohio State receiving a postseason ban and the return of Montee Ball, the Badgers should be the heavy favorites to win the Big Ten Leaders Division. But the Legends Division will be the one that produces all of the BCS teams.
Considering how dramatically Michigan improved in one year, another appearance in a BCS Bowl is well within reason. Nebraska and Michigan State should both be better than they were this year also. With Wisconsin losing three offensive linemen, an elite quarterback and genius offensive coordinator in the same offseason, the most likely destination for the team will be a New Year’s Day bowl against the SEC.
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If there is one thing we have learned about Texas football the past two years it’s that Mack Brown needs great quarterback play in order to have a successful team. The competition between David Ash and Case McCoy will extend well into the offseason. And while the team should continue to improve from 8-5, there are simply too many pieces missing to get the Longhorns to the BCS.
Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson will both be gone at linebacker, and they were two of the biggest playmakers on defense and safety Blake Gideon was no slouch either. With TCU joining the conference and West Virginia possibly coming in, the Big 12 figures to be one of the deeper conferences in the country. With Oklahoma looking strong, stealing that second spot from the Horned Frogs, Mountaineers or even Kansas State seems unlikely.