Bowl Predictions: Top Ranked Teams Most Likely to Tank in a Bowl Game

Carl StineCorrespondent INovember 20, 2011

Bowl Predictions: Top Ranked Teams Most Likely to Tank in a Bowl Game

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    Yep, the season has officially descended into chaos.

    So which ranked teams are looking as if they will take a dive in their bowl game?

    If you answered: "the entire Big Ten contingent," you might be correct, but this list is a little more specific.

    Some of these teams have rolled along against sub-par opposition and are just waiting to be exposed, while others disappear when they play away from home.

    Whatever their issue—however efficient and talented they have looked at times this season—this is your list of teams that are most likely to tank come bowl season.

9. Michigan State Spartans

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    We all know what happened last season to the Spartans in their bowl game.

    They got mugged by Alabama.

    This season, the team may end up winning the Big Ten, and find themselves facing a tough Oregon unit in the Rose Bowl.

    Much like their Big Ten brethren, Wisconsin, this team is not the same away from home that they are in East Lansing.

    A game against Oregon, or even one of the top five or six teams in the SEC would likely expose the Spartans as a pretender yet again.

8. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    It's been a rough season, and who can tell where the Gamecocks would end up if Marcus Lattimore remained healthy and Stephen Garcia could stay out of trouble.

    Even so, they end up right behind Georgia in the SEC East.

    However, their offensive inconsistencies and tendency to make mistakes would be a killer in a bowl game.

    Against a high-powered offense and a consistent defense, the Gamecocks would struggle.

    Steve Spurrier might win the war of words, but his team is going to struggle on the field.

7. Michigan Wolverines

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    The Brady Hoke era at Michigan state is off to a great start.

    Chances are, with a win over Ohio State and a few teams ahead of them faltering, the Wolverines could receive an at large bid to a BCS game.

    That could be a bad thing.

    The Wolverines have not been overly consistent, and against a more disciplined team with a stout defense, they would struggle.

    As a matter of fact, this could be the second season in a row that Alabama exposes a team from Michigan in a bowl game...

6. Georgia Bulldogs

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    Why the Bulldogs?

    Think about it.

    The Dawgs lost their first two games to ranked opponents.

    Since then, they have not faced a single team that is currently in the BCS top 25.

    Sure, they are going to play in the SEC Championship game, but even if they somehow win that, its tough to see Mark Richt's squad hanging with some of their potential foes.

    Their propensity to struggle against solid teams would reassert itself, and could result in a blow-out.

5. Houston Cougars

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    Houston quarterback, Case Keenum, is leaving his mark on college football.

    The man has a ridiculous 41 total touchdowns on the season, and is completing over 74 percent of his passes.

    The Cougars are tearing through their competition, throwing up huge numbers, and are currently ranked 11th in the BCS rankings, and likely to move up into the top ten this week.

    However, they have only faced one BCS opponent.

    UCLA, who is not even bowl eligible at this point, and beat them 38-34.

    While this team has been solid all around, should they get a BCS invite, they could be seriously exposed by nearly any team they might possibly face.

4. Stanford Cardinal

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    I'm sorry, who has Stanford beaten?

    (crickets...)

    That's right, other than a suspect USC team, the Cardinal have beaten exactly nobody.

    Forgive me if I'm not exactly sold on this team against another top-flight BCS foe.

    The Cardinal have shown some serious cracks in their defensive scheme against teams with solid passing games, which would mean trouble against foes such as they will face in an upper tier bowl game.

3. Wisconsin Badgers

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    The Badgers are not the same team away from home.

    They lost to both Michigan State and Ohio State on the road, and struggled to put away Illinois in Champaign in their most recent contest.

    They have not beaten a ranked team on the road all season, and have only beaten one ranked foe, period.

    While Montee Ball is a monster, scoring 30 touchdowns already this season, this team has some significant issues on defense and special teams, and might find themselves outmatched in a significant bowl game.

2. Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    The Cowboys finally folded.

    In the unforgiving world of college football, a late season loss such as theirs pretty much kills their hopes of a BCS title shot.

    That said, it's not out of the realm of possibility, and should the 'Pokes get the right match-up, they could have a field day.

    Should the Cowboys make it to a BCS game, or find themselves facing a team with a particularly stout defense in a bowl contest, mistakes such as the ones offered up by Brandon Weeden in Ames this week will be costly.

1. Oregon Ducks

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    The Ducks have been wowing fans with their frenetic offensive pace and high-flying attack for several seasons now.

    And their is no doubt, the Ducks have ruled the Pac-12 roost the past few seasons.

    However, they cannot beat good teams from other conferences.

    Ohio State, LSU, Auburn, Boise State; each of these beat the Ducks in a big game.

    While LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and Darron Thomas produce fireworks within the conference, they struggle consistently against top-flight foes outside the Pac-12.

    While they aren't likely to be blown away by anybody, limiting this offense to fewer than 30 points can be considered a huge victory...