2011 BCS Projections: Which Conferences Look Deep Enough to Deserve 2 Berths?
Even though the vast majority of the country is against the Bowl Championship Series, the fanbases of programs still love seeing their teams get a berth in the year-end BCS bowl games in January.
In the BCS era, the Big Ten Conference has had the most berths in the season-ending bowl games with 23 since the 1998-99 season, beating out the SEC by two even with the SEC winning seven of the 13 national championships over that course of time.
With the 2011 season getting closer by the second, which of the six BCS conferences will have enough great teams to fill more spots than just the automatic bid of the league?
Atlantic Coast Conference
2010 Conference Representative: Virginia Tech
With the success of last season and the memory of losing the ACC title to Virginia Tech in Charlotte, the Seminoles will be loaded this coming season, as Florida State will return 17 starters from last season with the exception of E.J. Manuel taking over the quarterback role full-time after Christian Ponder was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in April.
A person shouldn't be surprised to see a rematch of the 2010 ACC Championship Game play out this December, with the win and Orange Bowl berth going to the boys from Tallahassee, FSU's first BCS bowl since the 2006 Orange Bowl loss against Penn State.
Prediction: Florida State Seminoles
Big 12 Conference
2010 Conference Representative: Oklahoma
The path to the BCS in the Big 12 has become less difficult for the loaded rosters of Oklahoma and Texas A&M, as the newly reconstructed conference is a bit top-heavy in 2011 as Texas reloads after its 5-7 2010 season.
Oklahoma State would probably be the biggest threat to the Sooners and Aggies in the league, as the Cowboys return starters Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon to an offense that scored points in bunches last season in Stillwater.
Prediction: Oklahoma Sooners, Texas A&M Aggies
Big East Conference
2010 Conference Representative: Connecticut
Since the raid by the ACC, the Big East has done everything it possibly can to prevent the BCS from revoking the league's automatic berth as the conference attempts to rebuild to past levels of success.
West Virginia and Louisville have both made the Big East look good in previous years, as the Mountaineers upset Oklahoma and Georgia in addition to the Cardinals defeating Wake Forest.
Prediction: West Virginia Mountaineers
Big Ten Conference
2010 Conference Representatives: Wisconsin, Ohio State
The Big Ten pushed the first domino in the conference realignment race in 2010 that set off the chain reaction of events across the country that landed the historic conference Nebraska and a league title game in Indianapolis.
With the cloud of uncertainty over Columbus, the Cornhuskers will make the biggest splash of any new conference member, as the program will win its first league championship as it knocks off last year's champion Wisconsin in December.
Prediction: Nebraska Cornhuskers
2010 Conference Representatives: Oregon, Stanford
Unlike the success of the conferences closer to the Eastern Seaboard, the Pac-12 hasn't been granted as much luck as those teams, as the league has only once sent more than two teams, last season with Oregon and Stanford.
With the high-octane offense still intact in Eugene, the Ducks should make another trip to the BCS this season, while the Cardinal might have some troubles, as the team will be without coach Jim Harbaugh this season as he moves on to the San Francisco 49ers.
Prediction: Oregon Ducks
2010 Conference Representative: Auburn, Arkansas
After the 2010 season, the league have entered two teams in the BCS for five straight seasons, so why would there be any thought that the SEC will fall short this season?
Since the first year of the BCS, the hands down best conference in the nation have only sent one team to the traditional New Year's bowl games only three times: in 1999, 2000 and 2002.
Prediction: Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers