BCS Bowl Predictions 2012: Undeserving Teams That Will Get Invites
Always a sore spot among fans, the most asinine part of the NCAA's bowl system is not the lack of playoff or even the BCS rankings themselves—it's automatic qualifying procedures.
It seems that every January deserving teams get left out in the cold because of deals (all money-related) that guarantee a lesser conference automatic qualifying status. While it's commendable in theory to give these young men a chance at BCS glory, it nullifies the point of the system, which is to create the best matchups with the top teams in the country.
Most importantly for fans out there, the procedures siphon the excitement out of once hallowed bowl games. I mean, truth be told, you'll probably see more people at your family reunion this year than folks that are excited about the 2013 Orange Bowl.
With that in mind, here is a look at a few undeserving squads that will unfortunately dampen our BCS excitement.
After squeaking by with a 20-17 victory over Rutgers on Thursday, the Cardinals locked up a BCS bowl berth and will most likely be headed to the Orange Bowl.
Louisville is led by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who played despite a broken arm and bum ankle to help win the Big East crown. A sophomore, Bridgewater came to the Cardinals with five-star hype and hasn't disappointed, throwing for 3,452 yards and 25 touchdowns against seven interceptions.
With a strong stable of running backs and solid defense, the Cardinals are by no means a bad team. They're simply an above-average squad that has not played a single good team all season and lacks a BCS-worthy resume.
To put it another way, you can count on exactly zero fingers how many ranked opponents Louisville has played this season. Had the Cardinals run the table against those opponents, it would have been impossible to deny their resume.
However, both of Louisville's losses (to Syracuse and Connecticut) would have been seen as fatal blows for other squads.
Florida State Seminoles
Though Florida State's resume is superior to its likely Orange Bowl counterpart, it's not by all that much. The Seminoles have played two ranked teams in 2012, winning one against a Clemson squad that had a rather flimsy schedule itself.
In its only true test of the season, Florida State allowed a very mediocre Florida offense to come storming back in the fourth quarter for a 37-26 victory.
Obviously, Florida State being a BCS team is far less egregious than Louisville. The talent cupboard is mighty full, with EJ Manuel at quarterback and the seventh-best defense in the nation in terms of points allowed.
In a vacuum, the Seminoles are relatively defensible. But when a two-loss team like Texas A&M, whose two losses came by a total of eight points and who beat Alabama, winds up out in the cold, something is wrong with the picture.
I'll spare you the redundancies about schedule strength: Oklahoma had two wins against ranked opponents in 2012, neither of which is particularly impressive coming into Week 14. In their two other games against ranked opponents, the Sooners lost to Kansas State and were taken to the woodshed by Notre Dame.
What's more, this certainly isn't the most talented team Bob Stoops has ever had in Norman. Landry Jones has gone from preseason Heisman hopeful to "very nice quarterback" and the once-vaunted Oklahoma defense has given up 43.6 points per game over its last three contests.
Like Florida State, the Sooners certainly wouldn't be the worst possible selection. That distinction would go to Kent State, which would almost certainly get the Sooners' spot if it can capture the MAC championship.
Nevertheless, it's hard to argue that there aren't better teams with better resumes than Oklahoma this season.
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