A place in a BCS bowl game is what every program hopes for at the start of each season, and a few teams were able to stay in the hunt for one of these spots with their performances this week.
Many quality teams around the country are unfortunate enough to be in the same conference as a perennial powerhouse. This rules out an automatic bid to one the marquee bowl games, but hopes for at-large berth are still alive for several highly-ranked programs.
A team needs to be ranked No. 14 or higher to have a legitimate chance at being selected as an at-large team.
Here are the teams that made sure their chances at playing in a BCS bowl game are still alive.
No. 5 Oregon
No. 8 Stanford beat UCLA easily after upsetting Oregon last week, and this has earned the Cardinal a rematch with the Bruins with the Pac-12 championship on the line.
This leaves the Ducks out of the picture for an automatic bid into the Rose Bowl, and Chip Kelly will have to hope his team is chosen as an at-large team for one of the remaining BCS bowl games.
Oregon has an explosive offense and their lone loss came in overtime and under controversial circumstances. The team responded with a statement win and dismantled Oregon State in the Civil War.
This victory affirmed that Oregon is a powerhouse, and it would be a shame if a team with as much talent as the Ducks did not earn a place in one of the nation’s biggest bowl games.
No. 11 Oklahoma
Despite having a significantly lower rank than Oregon, the Sooners are still in the hunt for an at-large bid.
The Sooners pulled out an overtime victory in the Bedlam rivalry game after a shootout with Oklahoma State. Star quarterback Landry Jones passed for 500 yards in the game and OU prevailed 51-48.
Bob Stoops’s team features an explosive offense and all the history that comes along with the Oklahoma football program, making them an attractive pick for bowl committees.
With a victory over TCU next week, the Sooners will have an excellent chance to be selected for an at-large berth.
Louisville and Rutgers
In the strange and twisted world of the BCS, two teams that suffered upsets this past week and fell out of the rankings kept hope alive to make it to a BCS bowl game.
Louisville managed to lose in three overtimes against Syracuse and suffered their second consecutive defeat. Rutgers failed to take advantage of this opportunity to clinch the Big East and was blown out by Pittsburgh.
Now, these two teams will battle for the Big East title, and the winner will head to a BCS bowl.
College football fans should not fret too much from seeing one of these teams stumble into a marquee bowl game, as the playoff system is just one more season away.
Week 14 BCS Standings
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