College Football Predictions: The 10 Schools That Will Make BCS Games in 2011

Joey HnathCorrespondent IMay 2, 2011

College Football Predictions: The 10 Schools That Will Make BCS Games in 2011

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners and offensive MVP celebrates the Sooners 48-20 victory against the Connecticut Huskies during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 201
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The 2010 college football season saw some familiar faces in BCS bowl games. Some teams, however, were relatively new to the scene.

    For the upcoming season, the participants of the BCS games look to be a lot of the regulars that have played in the top tier bowl games several times.

    After a topsy-turvy 2010 season with several upsets, 2011 looks to be a different type of season.  Several traditional power houses are reloaded and ready to make a run at the national championship.

    Here are the ten schools that will make it to BCS games in 2011.

At-Large: Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers rushes for an 80 yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Washington Huskies on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Cornhuskers defea
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    In their first year in the Big Ten, Nebraska will take care of business and make it to the Big Ten Championship Game.

    Sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez and the blackshirt defense will win the Legends Division and compete for the Big Ten crown.

    However, the Cornhuskers will fall just short of winning the conference and will have to settle for an at-large BCS selection.

At-Large: Stanford Cardinal

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    MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 03:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal throws pass against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Stanford won 40-12. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Stanford capped off an 11-1 regular season with a blowout victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.

    This year, Stanford looks to take the next step and make a run at the national championship.

    Led by Heisman favorite Andrew Luck, the Cardinal offense will be one of the best in the nation, lighting up the scoreboard in a conference traditionally not known for its defense.

    The Stanford-Oregon game will decide who represents the North Division in the Pac-12 championship game.  The winner also has an inside track to the National Championship Game, though the loser will still be likely to make it as an at-large selection.

At-Large: Boise State Broncos

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    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 22:  Quarterback Kellen Moore #11 of the Boise State Broncos warms up before playing against the Utah Utes in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Boise State Won 26-3.  (Photo by Et
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Boise State has somewhat become regulars BCS games, appearing in two in the past five seasons.

    This year, Boise State returns seven starters on both offense and defense, including quarterback and Heisman finalist Kellen Moore.

    The Broncos start off the season yet again with a tough test, this year against the Georgia Bulldogs in Atlanta.

    If Boise State can win, they’ll contend for a national championship.  However, if they lose, they can still make a BCS game by winning out.

At-Large: Georgia Bulldogs

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    My dark horse to make the BCS is the Georgia Bulldogs.

    The Dawgs return quarterback Aaron Murray who was a freshman All-American in 2010.

    Also, their schedule sets up favorably, with Alabama, Arkansas and LSU not playing Georiga in 2010.

    If UGA can make it past Boise State and South Carolina in their first two games, all signs point to the Dawgs making the SEC Championship and a potential BCS selection.

Big East: West Virginia Mountaineers

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    LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 20:  Geno Smith#12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers throws a pass during the Big East Conference game against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Big East has been down for the past couple of season, with no real national champion threat since West Virginia in 2007.  Those same Mountaineers look to get the program back to being one of the nation’s elite and competing for a national title.

    The Big East overall is again down in 2011, but West Virginia has themselves a nice looking football team led by quarterback Geno Smith.

    If the Mountaineers can fill some holes on the defensive side of the ball, they could shake things up nationally.

ACC: Florida State Seminoles

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Jimbo Fisher of the Florida State Seminoles sideline reacts after their 26-17 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo b
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    After a couple years of subpar football by their standards, the Florida State Seminoles are back.

    Under second year coach Jimbo Fisher, the Seminoles look to recapture the ACC crown.

    Their toughest test comes in the third week of the season, with the Oklahoma Sooners coming to Tallahassee for a big September match-up.

    We’ll be able to tell a lot about the Seminoles by how they fair in their game against the Sooners.  Regardless of that game, Florida State is still the class of the ACC in 2011.

Big 12: Oklahoma Sooners

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws the ball against the Connecticut Huskies during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Peters
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Many have labeled the Oklahoma Sooners as the preseason no. 1 team, and they definitely have the talent to support that claim.

    Led by quarterback Landry Jones, the Sooners return 18 starters off of the 2010 squad.  That type of leadership and experience should allow Oklahoma to coast through the Big 12 schedule and reclaim the conference championship for a second straight season.

Pac-12: Oregon Ducks

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks runs down field against the Auburn Tigers during the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jonathan
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    After losing in the National Championship Game in 2010, the Oregon Ducks are back to make another run at the crown.

    Heisman trophy finalist LaMichael James is back to lead the Duck offense with standout quarterback Darron Thomas.

    The new look Pac-12 will be harder to navigate this year, but with the combination of James and Thomas, as well as one of the best home field advantages in college football at Autzen, the Ducks will be back in the BCS in 2011.

Big Ten: Wisconsin Badgers

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    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Running back Montee Ball #28 of the Wisconsin Badgers rushes with the ball against the TCU Horned Frogs during the 97th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    In the new look Big Ten, the Wisconsin Badgers will come out as the first Big Ten Championship game winner.

    Wisconsin has the best running back tandem in the nation, with Montee Ball and James White leading the Badger offense.

    They also benefit from the troubles at Ohio State.  With the Buckeyes in for a season full of turmoil, the Badgers will once again claim the Big Ten’s automatic spot in the BCS.

SEC: Alabama Crimson Tide

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Alabama may be the most talented team in the nation in 2011.

    The Tide returns nine starters on defense as well as running back Trent Richardson, who is poised for a breakout season.

    The Tide doesn’t have an easy schedule, with trips to Penn State, Florida, Mississippi State and Auburn on tap.

    However, the Crimson Tide should handle business and win the SEC in 2011.