BCS Bowl Games 2011: 10 Best Subplots of This Year's Games

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2010

Cam Newton leads the Auburn Tigers into the National Championship game Jan. 10 against the Oregon Ducks.
Cam Newton leads the Auburn Tigers into the National Championship game Jan. 10 against the Oregon Ducks.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

BCS Bowl Games are sure to supply limitless subplots. In the weeks and days leading up to the kickoff of each BCS game, fans have come to expect an excess of expert prediction, breaking news and even more analysis of what's to come in each big game.

To make sure each college football fan is briefed on exactly what to expect this BCS bowl season, here are the top 10 subplots of this year's games.

10. After opening the season with two straight losses, can Virginia Tech continue its epic run with a win over Stanford in the Orange Bowl?

With their win over Florida State in the ACC Championship Game, Virginia Tech became the fourth ACC team to start the season 0-2 and bounce back to win the league championship. Tyrod Taylor and the Hokies hope that their streak of success continues.

9. Does Virginia Tech's early-season loss to FCS powerhouse James Madison make the Hokies' BCS bowl bid laughable?

When Virginia Tech laces them up in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4, it will have been nearly four months since the Hokies lost to a team from the FCS in James Madison. There's no denying that James Madison is perennially one of the top teams in the Championship Subdivision. But does the fact that Virginia Tech lost to James Madison and is now going to a BCS bowl make the Hokies' bid laughable?

8. At 8-4, is UConn a team worthy of playing in the Fiesta Bowl? 

The University of Connecticut is playing in its first ever BCS Bowl Game and will do so against an Oklahoma team that has lost to Missouri and Texas A&M. On the flip side, the Huskies are 8-4 and will enter what's shaping up as the biggest mismatch of any BCS bowl game with losses against Rutgers and Temple.

7. Will TCU live up to its 12-0 record in the Rose Bowl? 

TCU will become the first team from a non-automatic qualifying conference during the BCS era to play in the Rose Bowl. Entering with an unblemished record, a stout defense and an offense that racked up the fourth highest total in the nation, TCU will take on 11-1 Wisconsin.

6. Will Ohio State finally beat an SEC team in a bowl game? 

With an 0-9 record in bowl games against teams from the SEC, Ohio State gets one more shot to end its putrid bowl-game run against 10-2 Arkansas. Can the Buckeyes, who have lost only to Wisconsin this season, end the SEC drought?

5. Will Oregon's defensive efficiency be enough to slow down high-flying Auburn?

The Ducks enter the Jan. 10 BCS National Championship Game with the 14th-ranked defense in the nation. In running the table with a perfect 12-0 record, Oregon has handled its schedule with relative ease and has tossed a pair of shutouts and limited two Pac-10 teams to 13 points.

Will that résumé be enough to slow down Auburn and the Tigers' offense, which last exploded for 56 points in the SEC title game and features the sixth highest-scoring offense in the nation at 42.7 points per game?

4. What new news will we learn about Cecil Newton? 

By the time the National Championship Game kicks off Jan. 10, we're bound have learned something new about the investigations into Cam Newton's father's attempts at putting together a pay-to-play scenario for his son. The only question is if it will be enough to hinder Newton's play against Oregon.

3. Will quarterback play rule the BCS bowl Schedule? 

Auburn has Cam Newton. Ohio State has Terrelle Pryor. Stanford boasts Andrew Luck. When looking at these quarterbacks and nearly every other playing in a BCS bowl game this year, football fans have to be smiling ear to ear with the top-notch talent we’ll see at the quarterback position.

2. Will the National Championship Game be the highest-scoring title game in history?

The numbers simply don’t lie. Auburn and Oregon can put points on the scoreboard, but can these two teams combine for the highest total in BCS title game history? We all remember the 79 points put forth by Texas and USC in the memorable 2006 Rose Bowl. Can Auburn and Oregon score 80 points?

1. How will the public view the BCS after this year’s bowl games? 

There’s no doubt that the BCS dodged a bullet when Oregon and Auburn both finished the regular season with undefeated records. Still, with TCU potentially finishing the season undefeated and an 8-4 UConn team heading to the Fiesta Bowl, there are still questions about whether this system is the right one for college football. What will this year’s BCS games do to the public’s perception?


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