All fans who are ready to see the SEC knocked off as "king of the hill" are eager for the 2012 season to begin.
While that feat may or may not be accomplished, USC's return to the postseason could not have come at a better time, since Stanford and Oregon are taking some major hits in the 2012 NFL draft.
Starting with the major conferences, and peppering in some perennial contenders, here are the odds for each of my top 25 making a BCS bowl.
With the return of Heisman hopeful Matt Barkley and a two-loss season its rear-view mirror, USC projects well as the Pac-12 champion.
If USC does run the table, there's no reason why the Trojans can't play in the national championship le game. Even losing the Pac-12 title game wouldn't knock them out of a bowl game.
USC either makes the Rose Bowl or the BCS title game in 2012.
USC's odds: 1-1 (Even money)
USC is a lock to represent the Pac-12 South in the Pac-12 championship game in December. Behind USC comes the Pac-12 North contenders.
Oregon and Stanford will be battling for the right to play for the conference title. Whichever team wins the Pac-12 North will be sitting pretty for an at-large BCS berth.
Oregon holds a slight edge over Stanford and should take the North.
Oregon's odds: 1-1 (Even money)
David Shaw will be battling for respect in 2012. This will be the first year he's the head coach without Andrew Luck under center.
Shaw was the offensive coordinator before being promoted to head coach. I'm sure he'll have a great year, but I expect him to come in second to the Oregon Ducks in 2012.
That said, he can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game by taking down Oregon in 2012, and you can bet he will hit the Ducks with every weapon he has.
Stanford's odds: 3-2 against
LSU's toughest game comes against Alabama on Nov 3. LSU comes off a bye week to host the Tide in Death Valley.
With two weeks to prepare for what would otherwise be an even match, LSU should enter this game as a six-point favorite.
LSU should finish the season as either SEC champion or second in its division. Either way, LSU is likely headed to BCS game.
LSU's odds: 1-1 (Even money)
Reigning national champion Alabama has a rough trip from season opener to the SEC championship game in Atlanta.
With Michigan (neutral field) and Arkansas (road game) in September, Missouri (road game) in October and LSU (road game) in November, Alabama's road to a BCS bowl is rockier than most.
Alabama could easily lose three games in 2012, but also could shock the nation and run the table almost as easily.
The road won't be easy, and no team has ever repeated as national champion in the BCS era. However, even falling short of the title game, 'Bama has a great chance of landing a BCS berth in the Sugar Bowl.
Alabama's odds: 3-2 against
Arkansas must beat either Alabama or LSU, and be unbeaten against everyone else to earn a trip to a BCS bowl game.
Of course, if the Razorbacks win both of those games, they'll advance to the SEC championship game in Atlanta on the way to the national championship game.
However, the Razorbacks aren't likely to do that against their two most-talented SEC West opponents. So the odds are against them for a BCS bowl.
Arkansas's odds: 3-2 against
The Georgia Bulldogs have a chance to run the table in the SEC East and miss playing Alabama, LSU and Arkansas until the SEC championship game in December, when one of those three will be waiting for them.
If Georgia enters Atlanta with a perfect record, the Dawgs would likely get the SEC's spot in the Sugar Bowl, even if they lost the conference championship game.
Georgia's odds: 3-2 against
Barring injury during the offseason, Connor Shaw and Marcus Lattimore will be heading the South Carolina offense in 2012.
As a team, South Carolina seemed to rally around Shaw as soon as Stephen Garcia was ousted from the program. You could see it in the faces of the offensive line.
After a month of practice, the Gamecocks laid waste to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. A month of practice with their new quarterback yielded astonishing results.
In 2012, South Carolina will face LSU and Arkansas, two teams that Georgia doesn't have to play. This puts South Carolina at a two-game disadvantage entering the season.
South Carolina has a shot at a BCS bowl, but it's a long shot, even if they take down the Dawgs.
South Carolina's odds: 3-1 against
Missouri enters the SEC in 2012 and will endure growing pains before contending for the top of the conference.
With Georgia and South Carolina already at the top of the pecking order, it's going to be a couple of years before Missouri is crowned in the East.
However, Missouri does have the skill to be a middle-of-the-pack team, based on its bowl victory over North Carolina.
That is not a bad place to start. With a couple of upsets, Missouri could shock us all and make it to Atlanta.
Missouri's odds: 5-2 against
Ole Miss has a good shot at landing in the top 25. The reasons are Hugh Freeze and the element of surprise.
Nobody expects the Rebels to jump from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the heap in one season. But the new head coach has a bonus structure in place for every conference win.
Every game that Ole Miss plays will be a trap game for the opposition. Add Freeze's record at Arkansas State (10-2) to that mix, and that's a recipe for a shocking top-25 finish in 2012.
Since the target for Freeze will be the top 25, a BCS bowl is almost out of the question. His odds are almost laughable. You don't go from 2-10 to a BCS bowl in one season.
Ole Miss's odds: 30-1 against
As the favorites to win the Leaders Division of the Big Ten, the Badgers are sitting pretty for the conference's slot in the Rose Bowl opposite the Pac-12 selection.
Wisconsin's only real threat in the division is Ohio State, and the Badgers should still come out on top for another year or so.
In the conference championship, however, the Badgers will face off against either Michigan, Nebraska or Michigan State.
Montee Ball will need to shoulder a heavy load in that game, whoever the opponent is.
Wisconsin's odds: 3-2 against
Michigan will open the season against Alabama, a test the Wolverines will not likely see again until the postseason.
That's not to say that the Big Ten is weak. It's just a testament to how strong the top three teams are in the SEC.
Michigan will face conference tests against Nebraska, Michigan State and Ohio State, but will dodge the Wisconsin bullet until the Big Ten championship game.
The Wolverines stand a good chance of making it to a BCS bowl, but there are plenty of teams that will make sure they earn it along the way.
Michigan's odds: 4-3 against
Michigan State will be one of the harder tests for Michigan in the regular season. This is a very winnable game for Michigan State, especially with almost an entire season to iron out wrinkles in execution.
After the season opener against Boise State, the road is pretty smooth until the end of October. The huge conference matches come at the end of October, with road games against Michigan and Wisconsin followed by a home game against Nebraska.
Winning the first game of the gauntlet (against Michigan) will be key to the Spartan season. After those three games, the Spartans get a much-needed bye week to heal.
After that, it's smooth sailing into the conference championship.
Michigan State's odds: 4-1 against (that late October stretch with no break is going to be brutal)
Coming off a brutal loss to South Carolina in the 2011 postseason, Nebraska enters 2012 with a lot to prove.
Nebraska gets Wisconsin and Ohio State back to back. Three weeks later, the Cornhuskers get Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State in a three-week stretch.
Nebraska will be in a heated three-way battle for the Legends Division with Michigan and Michigan State.
Whichever team comes out of this stretch standing tall will cruise to the conference title game.
Just based on the schedule, Michigan looks to be the favorite to represent the Legends.
Nebraska's odds: 5-1 against (schedule is not in Nebraska's favor...unless the Cornhuskers are undefeated)
Ohio State fits in the "we're coming to get ya" category. Urban Meyer is now at the helm, and the Buckeyes are dreaming of a future that looks like Florida's most recent heyday.
Buckeye fans, it's coming. It's just going to take more than a year to get into the BCS picture.
That said, the Buckeyes face two back-to-back challenges in 2012:
1) Michigan State and Nebraska in late September/early October;
2) Wisconsin and Michigan at the end of the regular season.
Of course, as long as they do better than Nebraska, the Buckeyes can get a second chance at one of the other teams when they meet in the conference championship.
If the Buckeyes can buy into Meyer's system quickly, there is an outside shot at the Big Ten title in Meyer's first year.
Ohio State's odds: 5-1 against (same as Nebraska, different reasons)
Oklahoma is looking to improve on last year's performance, especially the performance in the Bedlam Game.
Oklahoma will be fighting to put its "little brother" (Oklahoma State) back in its place.
Landry Jones returns to make his final run at a national championship, and Oklahoma will be a fireworks display throughout the regular season in the Big 12.
Will the Sooners make an appearance in the BCS national championship Game? We will see.
In any event, the Big 12's berth in the Fiesta Bowl is Oklahoma's to lose.
Oklahoma's odds: 1-1 (Even money)
Oklahoma State is entering a rebuilding year. The Cowboys have to replace not just a star quarterback (Brandon Weeden), they must replace their biggest playmaker (Justin Blackmon).
In a year marked by huge losses to graduation and the NFL, the Cowboys will have more than an uphill battle to be conference champion.
Oklahoma State has a great shot at the top 25, but the shot at the BCS bowl is much longer.
Oklahoma State's odds: 25-1 against (slightly better than Ole Miss)
Kansas State is coming off an amazing year that landed it in the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas.
If K-State can improve upon that, the next step is a BCS bowl. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were the only losses the Wildcats suffered in 2011, and Oklahoma State doesn't look to be as fierce in 2012.
Landry Jones and the Sooners still look to be trouble, but the Wildcats could very well win that game and put themselves in position to take the Big 12's slot in the Fiesta Bowl.
Kansas State's odds: 3-2 against
After a disappointing 7-5 regular season in 2011, the Longhorns look to improve and reassert themselves as a powerhouse.
With four of their five losses coming against Top 25 teams, the Longhorns' chances look good to finish with better results in the 2012 regular season. They can put away teams they are supposed to beat, and it's a safe bet they'll get back to their old winning ways against stiffer competition too. Expect only two losses in 2012.
Will that be enough to be selected at-large? The results on the field will make that decision for the gurus.
Texas is a stadium-filling football team, and that may help it land an at-large bid.
Texas's odds: 2-1 against
After West Virginia hung 70 points on the Clemson Tigers in the 2012 Orange Bowl, the nation is anxiously awaiting the Mountaineers' inaugural year in the Big 12.
West Virginia has a lot to prove. This is the Mountaineers' first year in a power conference.
WVU looks good for the top 25, but will have its work cut out to earn a BCS berth.
West Virginia's odds: 10-1 against
Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins return to make another run at an ACC crown and a berth in the Orange Bowl.
Clemson will be trying to prove that the 8-0 start in 2011 was not a fluke, and that they can do better with a team that does not rely on so many freshmen.
Clemson is my favorite to win the ACC again and head to the 2013 Orange Bowl.
Clemson's odds: 3-2 against (Watch out for the Seminoles)
FSU will be fighting Clemson for the Atlantic Division title in 2012, and FSU's beastly 2012 recruiting class (second place, according to ESPN) could help tip the scales in the Seminoles' favor.
FSU will not be sitting idly by as the Tigers assert their dominance over the rest of the league. FSU will be making a run for the national championship in the coming years, and they may get close in 2012.
Florida State's odds: 3-2 against (Watch out for the Tigers)
Georgia Tech hails from the ACC Coastal and will be looking to top Virginia Tech as the divisional representative in the ACC championship game in 2012.
Georgia Tech will option its way to stardom, but will likely be defeated by the Atlantic Division's representative in the conference title game.
The Yellow Jackets will be fighting a losing battle all year against the Hokies and will likely finish as runners-up in their division.
Georgia Tech's odds: 5-1 against
The Hokies will likely end up representing the ACC Coastal in the conference championship game in December.
Once again, they will be pitted against either Clemson or Florida State for the ACC's berth in the Orange Bowl.
With the plethora of powerhouses hailing from other conferences, don't look for the BCS title game to be between two conference rivals again.
Therefore, don't look for anyone but the ACC champion in the BCS bowls.
Virginia Tech's odds: 4-1 against
Boise State plays the role of BCS buster every year. Last year, they opened the season with a monster win over Georgia Bulldogs and didn't make a big bowl.
In 2012, the Broncos open against the Michigan State Spartans. Even with a win, the Broncos would need the Spartans to go on and become Big Ten champions to make a run at a BCS bowl.
The Broncos will be trying to capitalize on their last season in the Mountain West before they move to the Big East.
This is a good move (not great) for the Broncos, and they will likely have much better BCS odds in the future.
However, if a win over the SEC East champion in 2011 didn't get them a BCS bid, a win over the Big Ten Legends champion will not likely land them one, either.
Boise State's odds: 25-1 against