BCS Rankings: 5 Surprising BCS Top 25 Teams This Season
Every year, there's going to be some Cinderella teams as well as those who spoil BCS hopes. There's also those who are just plain surprising.
Some may have high preseason hopes, struggle early and then bounce back. Either way, here are five teams who have become surprising Top 25 BCS teams for the 2011 season.
Houston Courgars, Conference USA
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Not until Week 7 of the Coaches' Poll were the Houston Cougars a ranked team. And they've just kept dominating regardless of the opponent.
Sure they're in the Conference USA, but they have a win against UCLA, who's playing in the Pac-12 title game, so can you imagine if the Bruins win their conference outright? Yes, it's a stretch, but we've seen some pretty crazy things this season.
Such as Texas Tech beating Oklahoma, Iowa State of Oklahoma State, and TCU defeating Boise State.
Also, no Conference USA school has ever represented in the BCS, so the fact that Houston is ranked No. 8 right now is pretty impressive—especially since they've walloped almost every opponent.
TCU Horned Frogs, Mountain West Conference
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You'd be correct to say when the preseason polls were released that TCU was overrated. In Week 1 the Horned Frogs were outscored by Baylor 50-48 and fell significantly in the rankings.
Thereafter, TCU fell to 3-2 with a loss to SMU 40-33 in OT, and fell completely out of the rankings.
And not until the Week 12 BCS rankings were the Horned Frogs able to get back into the rankings. Of course, the sole reason was their 36-35 road win against Boise State.
Also, coach Gary Patterson's crew is undefeated in conference play and is currently No. 20 in the BCS.
For a team that finished 2010 ranked No. 2 and then was just 3-2 through five weeks in 2011, it was surprising to see TCU bounce back. Then again, they do have a coach who knows how to win big games.
Baylor Bears, Big 12
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After their 3-0 start, the Baylor Bears were the talk of the town. Quarterback Robert Griffin had not thrown one interception. But, then they fell in a nail-biter to Kansas State 36-35, Griffin threw his first pick, and the Bears were all of a sudden 4-3 after seven games.
Since then, Baylor has ran off three straight, including their first ever win against Oklahoma, climbing to No. 18 in the BCS prior to they're matchup with Texas Tech.
Also, Griffin has made his way back into the Heisman discussion, so with that exposure, the Bears are getting some solid recognition.
And with a shot to finish the year with nine or 10 wins, that's pretty impressive since Baylor has never really been known as a consistent legit Big 12 football team.
Clemson Tigers, ACC
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Not until after the Clemson Tigers ended Auburn's losing streak were they ranked in 2011. Perhaps the Cinderella story until their road loss at Georgia Tech was Clemson. Nonetheless, they've built a solid foundation.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, they lost a second game when they played North Carolina State and dropped once again, but the ACC outright title is still alive.
That being said, not much was expected from Clemson this season, especially when starting young players such as quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins are succeeding. With a BCS bid on the line next week, the Tigers can't be disappointed about their 9-2 record.
2012 will definitely bring much higher expectations, but it won't be nearly as surprising as 2011 when Clemson was ranked as high as No. 5.
Georgia Bulldogs, SEC
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When the season began, Georgia was ranked No. 22, but lost to Boise State 35-21 in Week 1. After that loss, the Dawgs dropped out of the rankings, but even worse, they fell the following week to SEC East rival South Carolina.
After starting 0-2, Georgia had to fight like hell for a shot at the SEC title. Mark Richt proved why he's one of the nation's better coaches as the Bulldogs ran off nine straight heading into their rivalry game with Georgia Tech.
And they won the SEC East title, are ranked No. 13 in the BCS. For a team that began 0-2, then hadn't beaten a ranked team until their 45-7 thrashing of Auburn, Georgia has come a long way.
They could have easily just packed in the 2011 season, but in knowing there was still pride to play for, the Dawgs have a shot to knock off the No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers next week.
That said, here's to hoping the Bulldogs can pull off the upset win and cause some BCS chaos.