BCS Standings: Top 25 Schools Headed for Upsets in Their Bowl Games

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2012

EVANSTON IL- OCTOBER 27: The Northwestern Wildcats leave the field victorious against the Iowa Hawkeyes on October 27, 2012 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois. The Northwestern Wildcats defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 28-17. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

Bowl games get a bad rap.

When sports fans think of postseason upsets, the first thing they think of is March Madness. Bowl season in college football is almost equally as good at guaranteeing good upsets.

The highlight of this year's bowl season in terms of David vs. Goliath is the Orange Bowl, which pits the Northern Illinois Huskies against the Florida State Seminoles.

It's unlikely that NIU will be able to defy the odds, but here are three Top 25 teams that you can bank on ending their season in defeat.


Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia came within a hair of facing off against Notre Dame in the national championship. The Bulldogs' 32-28 loss to Alabama in the SEC championship saw them drop behind Florida in the polls, thus losing out on a BCS bowl.

The Bulldogs fell to the Capital One Bowl against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who were last seen losing, 70-31, in the Big Ten title game. Georgia is going to be heavy favored, and rightfully so when looking at the matchup on paper.

However, Mark Richt should have his players on upset alert.

Nebraska is most likely smarting from its huge defeat at the hands of Wisconsin. It will have a massive chip on their shoulders. Georgia, on the other hand, has to deal with the deflation of coming so close to playing for a national title, only to fall to the Capital One Bowl.

The Bulldogs also have an average defense against the run, where the majority of the Cornhuskers' offense will come from.

Nebraska has averaged 254.5 yards on the ground whereas Georgia has given up 177.8 yards, good for 79th in the nation. If Nebraska can get the running game going, it will be able to set the tone and pull off a huge upset.


Kent State Golden Flashes

Much like Georgia, Kent State came as close as possible to a BCS game without actually playing in one. Had the Golden Flashes beaten Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game, they would have met Florida State in the Orange Bowl.

Instead, they face Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

Kent State's barely hanging in the Top 25. Both its ranking and record (11-2) cover up the fact that this is just an average football team. It has relied on turnovers to get the team to where it is.

Aside from their ability to force turnovers, the Golden Flashes' defense has been a little suspect all season. That's a problem when going against a quarterback like Ryan Aplin.

The senior has thrown for 3,129 yards and 23 touchdowns on the season. More importantly, he's limited the turnovers, with only four interceptions on the season.

It's that ability to manage the game that will get Kent State in serious trouble.


Northwestern Wildcats

The No. 20 Wildcats face off against Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, which is one of the more intriguing non-BCS matchups this season. Northwestern will be playing for the Big Ten as a whole, as the conference is looking for some legitimacy across the country.

The Bulldogs' 8-4 record is a bit deceiving. Mississippi State started the season 7-0 before losing back-to-back-to-back games against Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU. Nobody can argue that any of those three losses is embarrassing.

Mississippi State was hurt by the overall quality of the SEC, while the Wildcats benefited from the lack of an elite team outside of undefeated Ohio State, which isn't eligible for a bowl.

Both teams failed to pick up a real signature win, so you can't make the case that one team proved themselves head and shoulders above the other.

The Bulldogs' toughest games of the season were defeats, with the fourth coming against Ole Miss, while the Wildcats lost to Penn State, Nebraska and Michigan.

Unfortunately for the Big Ten, Northwestern won't do anything to prove the SEC is not warranted as Mississippi State will get the job done.