BCS Bowl Predictions: 5 Teams That Should Get In, but Won't
Outside of the BCS National Championship Game, there are four prestigious BCS bowl games that help its participants gain money and respect.
Unfortunately, there are deserving teams that will not get that opportunity. The bowl selection process is not always the simplest of things.
Instead of simply looking at records, committees are left to decide which teams are the most talented, would generate the most television interest and would sell the most tickets.
In addition, there are numerous automatic bids to be given from winners of the six major conferences.
Assuming there are no upsets next week, bowl game projections will look something like this:
BCS National Championship Game: Alabama vs. LSU
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia (or whoever wins the Big East)
Sugar Bowl: Michigan vs. Houston
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Stanford
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Oregon
This leaves a few deserving teams on the outside looking in.
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Unlike other teams on this list, Michigan State still has the opportunity to play itself into a BCS bowl.
Next week the Spartans will take on Wisconsin in the first ever Big Ten Championship Game. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the Rose Bowl.
However, if Michigan State were to lose, most analysts believe that Michigan is more likely to receive an at-large bid than the Spartans. This would be a shame.
Michigan State is ranked higher than its in-state rival, has more quality wins, and defeated the Wolverines in a head-to-head matchup.
The only thing that gives Michigan the edge is its popularity. Bowl committees know that it will sell more tickets and create a bigger television audience with Michigan; so it will get the call.
If it was not all about money, the Spartans would get a call to a BCS game regardless of Saturday's outcome versus the Badgers.
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It is understandable that Boise State will not be competing for the national championship.
Playing in the Mountain West Conference leaves no room for error, and the Broncos lost to TCU earlier this month.
However, a team of Boise State's caliber needs to be in a BCS game.
The Broncos went on the road to start the season and defeated a Georgia team that will compete in the SEC Championship Game this Saturday.
Besides that win, Boise State dominated the remainder of its schedule, only losing to TCU by a missed field goal.
One could argue that the schedule that Boise State played was as tough as that of Stanford or Virginia Tech. As the No. 7 team in the BCS, they deserve to be playing in something better than the Poinsettia Bowl.
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Arkansas finished its regular season 10-2, only losing to the top two teams in the country.
It will remain in the top 10 of the BCS standings, but the team will not reach a BCS bowl thanks to the rule book.
The BCS does not allow more than two teams from the same conference into the bowl games, and both Alabama and LSU will get priority over the Razorbacks.
The Razorbacks should be very proud of their season, and with quarterback Tyler Wilson returning, they will be ready for a great 2012 season.
Unfortunately, the team will most likely have to settle for the Capitol One Bowl this season.
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USC never had to chance to reach a bowl game this season, as the Trojans are in the final year of a two-year probation and postseason ban.
It is truly unfortunate, because the current student-athletes are being punished for the violations of former players six years ago.
On the field, USC has been one of the best teams in the nation this season. A road loss to Arizona State and a triple-overtime loss to Stanford is all that separate the team from a perfect season.
The win at Oregon cemented its status as a force to be reckoned with, and the current No. 9 ranking in the AP Poll recognizes that.
Depending on whether certain players declare for the NFL draft (namely Matt Barkley and Matt Kalil), USC can be a dangerous team next season.
Without a postseason ban next year, the Trojans will be right back in the hunt for a national championship in 2012.
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If the Oklahoma Sooners do not reach a BCS bowl, they will only have themselves to blame.
The preseason favorites hurt its title chances with a home loss to Texas Tech in October, then could not hang on against the Baylor Bears a few weeks later.
An injury to receiver Ryan Broyles hurt the offense, but there is no excuse for the ineffectiveness of the defense throughout the course of the season. This is a very talented team that is now expected to lose three games in the regular season.
Luckily, the Sooners can completely turn their season around with a road win against Oklahoma State next weekend in the annual Bedlam showdown.
Tie-breakers would make Oklahoma the winners of the Big 12, and would receive the automatic-bid to the Fiesta Bowl.
Still, even that should be considered a disappointing finish for a team with such lofty expectations entering the season.