Every year there is at least one of them: a team that comes from major conference obscurity and finds itself in the thick of a conference championship and a BCS bowl.
It may be hard to remember or imagine that just three years ago, Georgia Tech played in the Orange Bowl (against Iowa), and that four years ago, Kansas and Illinois found themselves in major bowls.
Beating out the traditional powers of a conference is no easy task. It takes a unique combination of skill and luck to amass a strong enough record to attract the eyes of the BCS committee.
Every year, experts are on the hunt to find the year's sleeper, yet we are all ultimately surprised when it turns out to be the team that it is.
This article should serve as a forecast that one of the year's surprise teams will be the Illinois Fighting Illini. Surprised by this pick? Read on and see if you agree.