BCS Rankings: Underrated Teams That Proved Their Worth in Bowl Games
While many people discredit the amount of bowl games as excessive, each of the 35 games tell us something with the outcome. For a number of teams, impressive wins showed that they were truly underrated all year.
The college football season is often too short to truly get an understanding of how good teams really are. This is especially true when the non-conference schedule is not filled with elite competition.
There are no final BCS Rankings, but these teams would have shot up the list after the final round of bowl games.
Going into the bowl season, many looked at the Sugar Bowl as the biggest potential blowout on the schedule. Louisville was not considered to be anywhere near Florida in talent level and the SEC team would make the game ugly quickly.
Well one team did get out to a big advantage quickly, but it was Louisville that was doing the scoring.
Teddy Bridgewater and company got out to a 24-3 lead in the first half and spread it to 33-10 before a late comeback attempt made the final score closer than it should have been.
The Cardinals started the year 9-0 before consecutive losses to Syracuse and Connecticut, but the team was not getting any respect even when undefeated.
Although the Big East has not done much to earn a better reputation, Louisville showed that it is important not to rule out teams without giving them a chance.
Like the Big East, the ACC gets very little respect in the national media. However, the conference had some very good teams this season.
Florida State only lost two close games this year and put together a very impressive performance in the Orange Bowl, Georgia Tech easily defeated USC in the Sun Bowl after a poor year and Clemson pulled an upset over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
The Tigers had one of the best offenses in the nation this year with an average of 41 points per game. They had an early-season loss to Florida State that took them out of BCS contention, and then a loss to rival South Carolina on the last day of the regular season.
Neither of these defeats are anything to be ashamed about.
Clemson should once again have a good team next year, and hopefully it will not take until the bowl game to win a big game.
Oklahoma has not put together the best season, but the Sooners were still considered a very good team with only losses to Kansas State and Notre Dame.
That makes it all the more impressive that Texas A&M was able to completely dominate them in the second half and leave with a 41-13 victory.
Johnny Manziel continues to impress with 229 rushing yards, a record for a quarterback in a bowl game. He also had 287 passing yards and was responsible for four touchdowns.
Texas A&M lost two games this year by a combined eight points. The loss to Florida was the first game of the season, which is difficult with a freshman quarterback.
However, they also were able to defeat eventual national champions Alabama and showed throughout the year that they deserved to be ranked higher in the polls.
There is not much that voters could have done by the end of the season with Oregon having one loss and Notre Dame being undefeated, but it would have been interesting to see the Ducks in the title game.
Oregon once again showed off its offensive firepower by putting up 35 points on Kansas State. It was the 12th time that the Ducks scored this many points in 13 games.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame was unable to do anything on either side of the ball against Alabama and lost by a score of 42-14.
While we will never know whether Oregon would have fared better, it is tough to imagine the squad doing any worse. Plus, the overall speed could have been the one thing that could have beaten the Tide's defense.
In the final Coaches' Poll, Oregon finished ranked No. 2. This is likely where it should have been at the end of the regular season.
Final BCS Standings (Prior to Bowl Season)
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