The final set of BCS rankings are out, and a few teams that truly deserved to be in one of this year’s marquee bowl games will have to settle for less this year.
The rules were in place long before this season, and Northern Illinois, Louisville and Wisconsin simply played by them. These teams should not be blamed for their good fortune, but they are certainly not the most deserving participants this year.
Putting the best teams in the biggest games should be the BCS’ primary goal, and judging by that standard, the system is a hopeless failure.
Here are the teams that got the short end of the stick due to college football’s broken bowl selection practices.
Note: full bowl schedule is available via ESPN.com.
No. 7 Georgia
The SEC Championship Game was the highest level of football that has been displayed this season. This game was Ali vs. Frazier, and it was massively entertaining to watch Alabama and Georgia go back and forth.
The Bulldogs put up an incredible fight and their performance proved conclusively that they can go toe-to-toe with any team in the country. But fans will not get to see Mark Richt’s team in one of this year’s BCS bowls.
Florida missed out on the SEC title game, and therefore ended the year with one loss and earned the No. 3 rank in the final standings. This gave the Gators an automatic bid, and only two teams from each conference are allowed in the BCS bowls, leaving Georgia out in the cold.
There is no doubt that Georgia should be competing on one of the biggest stages the sport has to offer, and the BCS has failed the Bulldogs more than any other program. A Capital One Bowl victory over No. 16 Nebraska will likely be little consolation to this team.
No. 8 LSU
There is a cluster of SEC teams with two losses that round out the Top 10 in this season’s final set of rankings, and next to Georgia, LSU is the best team in that bunch.
Texas A&M and South Carolina are 9th and 10th in the standings respectively, and the Tigers have beaten both of these teams. LSU’s only losses this season came to Alabama and Florida, and both were competitive games.
When a team’s only two losses throughout the season came to No. 2 and No. 3 programs in the final standings, it should not be in a bowl named after a fast food restaurant.
LSU will play against No. 14 Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, but if the best teams were put into the marquee games, the Tigers would be in a BCS bowl.
No. 11 Oklahoma
The Sooners will play the Aggies in the Cotton Bowl, and this game will be far more entertaining than the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl.
Which of these teams most deserves to be in a BCS bowl?
If not for Northern Illinois being ranked No. 15, the Sooners likely would be in a BCS bowl. But the Huskies earned an automatic bid because they placed in the Top 16 and ranked higher than the champion of an automatic qualifying conference (No. 21 Louisville and Wisconsin).
Bob Stoops’ team has had a fantastic season, and although they are also a two-loss team, their only defeats came against Notre Dame and Kansas State. The argument in favor of LSU works for Oklahoma as well, and because the Sooners’ only losses this season came to the No. 1 and No. 5 teams in the BCS, they also deserve better.
These three teams show how misguided the BCS’ selection procedures truly are, and fans can only hope that the impending playoff will help fix a few of the problems that have occurred this season.
Week 15 BCS Standings
|24||San Jose State|