In college football, the rankings don't always tell the entire story.
Playing tough schedules or in prestigious conferences can inflate a team's reputation and cause them to become over-hyped. From the West Coast to the Midwest, no team is immune to becoming overrated.
Let's take a look at a trio of overrated teams heading into the 2012 bowl season.
No. 13. Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State's surprising 6-0 start captured the imaginations of Beavers fans everywhere. But the team's 3-3 finish down the stretch proved it was overrated, killing its national championship hopes and even preventing the Beavers from playing for the Pac-12 title.
At 9-3, No. 13 Oregon State's high ranking is the product of a fast start, but doesn't reflect the team it actually is heading into its Valero Alamo Bowl matchup with Texas this December.
The Beavers' blowout loss at home to rival Oregon in their second-to-last game of the regular season, 48-24, proves just how far Oregon State truly is from being considering an elite college football program.
If Oregon State really was the 13th best team in the country, it wouldn't be playing in the Alamo Bowl against a four-loss Longhorns squad on Dec. 29. After all, No. 11 Oklahoma is playing in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4.
No. 16. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska may have won the Big Ten Legends division and won 10 games in 2012, but that doesn't mean they are deserving of the No. 16 spot in the current BCS standings.
The Cornhuskers came up small in their biggest game of the year, losing by 39 points to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game. Nebraska surrendered 640 total yards and 70 points to the Badgers in that loss. If that doesn't spell out "overrated," then I'm not sure what does.
Nebraska gave up a combined 169 points in its three losses in 2012, equating to roughly 56 points per defeat.
The Cornhuskers will host Georgia in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day, and based on what we saw from the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game, it's safe to say that the 'Huskers are in for another long day to bring in 2013.
No. 18. Michigan Wolverines
Another overrated Big Ten team coming into the bowl season is Michigan. At 8-4, the Wolverines aren't even close to being worthy of the No. 18 spot in the BCS. The Wolverines have won just two games away from Ann Arbor all year long.
Michigan's losses, though not as ugly as Nebraska's margins of defeat, came against Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State. Aside from the Michigan State game, the Wolverines lost every big game they played in this season, and that speaks to just how overrated they are coming into the bowl season.
Brady Hoke's Wolverines will take on 10-2 South Carolina in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, in a game which Michigan seems lucky to be playing in given its struggles in 2012.
Big Blue hasn't beaten a quality team all year, so why start now?
BCS Standings 2012 - Week 15
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