College Football Preview: The 11 Best 11s of the Non-BCS Schools
Did you ever notice how the BCS schools dominate much of the information given in preseason publications and on the web, as well as in recruiting guides?
It is a vexing situation because, outside of the supposed Top 10 teams in the country, non-BCS schools can compete with any team from any league during any year.
From the vantage point of 11 years into the BCS system, we see an ever-growing number of teams from conferences outside the so-called "Big Six" of the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12, and Big East heading to the "major" bowls as at-large selections.
Party crashers, right?
The teams in question earned it.
They earned the right by achieving the status of selection not from an automatic berth as conference champion, but from performing so well on the field that they could not be overlooked.
Need we remind fans of Alabama and Oklahoma how well the non-BCS teams can perform when given the opportunity?
The identical power-package rating system, used during the weekly "11 Best 11s" Bleacher Report series in the fall, is adjusted to provide information on the teams considered in this review.
The same rating of less favorable to most favorable is used during this projection.
With such perceptions in mind, shall we preview the Non-BCS "11 Best 11s" for 2009?
Rank Team Conference Package Points Probable Bowl
11. Houston Conference USA 31.0 Hawaii
10. Nevada WAC 31.1 Hawaii
9. Central Michigan MAC 31.2 Motor City
8. Fresno State WAC 35.0 New Mexico
7. East Carolina Conference USA 36.0 St. Petersburg
6. Utah Mountain West 36.1 New Mexico
5. Troy Sun Belt 36.2 New Orleans
4. Southern Mississippi Conference USA 36.3 Liberty
3. Texas Christian Mountain West 37.6 Poinsettia
2. Brigham Young Mountain West 37.7 Las Vegas
1. Boise State WAC 39.0 Sugar
On The Porch: Louisiana Tech, The Air Force, Tulsa, Florida Atlantic, The Navy
Based upon this data, the Mountain West Conference will present three of the top six Non-BCS teams, Conference USA and the WAC will provide three teams each to the listing, and Boise State will qualify for a major BCS Bowl.
Champions of the Sun Belt and Mid-American Conferences generate enough strength to be listed in the "11 Best 11s" of the non-BCS schools.
Now, if we could just find a way to get a Non-BCS team into the Rose Bowl.
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