Ten Teams That Should Be Considered for BCS At-Large Bids
These Ten Teams Could Emerge as the BCS At-Large Bid Winner
Needless to say, the 2012 college football season has been full of drama, and the final at-large bid for the Bowl Championship Series could be available down to the very last minute, accordingly. All of the conferences with automatic qualifying bids are still up for grabs-- regardless of whether the conference has a championship game, or not-- and the teams left on the fringes of these championships, this season, still have enough clout to slide into the BCS sideways.
In noticing this, we decided to take a look at 10 teams we see as having the chance to earn that at-large bid and face off against one of the country's premier teams in a BCS bowl under the bright lights and earning a big pay-off. Each of these teams had a chance early in the season to be in the BCS mix outright without having to depend on factors largely out of their control to make it in, but had one type of slip-up or another. Regardless, the season is 12-13 games long for a reason and their chances to make a first-tier game have not yet flown out the window.
The ACC, PAC-12 and SEC are still up in the air, as big games take place this coming Saturday, and next Saturday which will determine how each of these conferences pan out and the representatives from them which will go to the BCS. It's a murky situation, that will be clear soon enough.
These 10 teams stand the most to benefit from the uncertainty ahead. Enjoy!
No. 10- Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are 2012’s Cinderella story and have caught the attention of college football fans around the country with their high-flying, high-octane offense. With two remaining games against easily beatable opponents, an 11-1 Bulldogs squad could draw some high-ratings for a BCS bowl willing to roll the dice. Call it the “Hawaii” factor. Let’s just hope the result wouldn’t be the same if it does come to be as the Warriors' shellacking a few years back against the Georgia Bulldogs in 2008.
No. 9- UCLA Bruins
Arguably college football’s biggest surprise in 2012, the UCLA Bruins are back in the mix and face a massive opportunity on Saturday against the USC Trojans to make a case at this year’s BCS at-large bid. The networks are salivating about the chance to put UCLA in the mix in a BCS bowl, now all they have to do is give them the chance to do so with a win this Saturday. It’s a remote possibility, but a possibility nonetheless.
No. 8- Oregon State Beavers
Just like another team in the PAC 12, the Beavers have the opportunity to make some noise in the BCS and remind voters-- and maybe even the computers-- why they were in the mix to begin with. While there has been some controversy there as of late, and some short-term struggles, this can all be rectified with a win over the Oregon Ducks next week in the Civil War in Corvallis. Don’t count out the Beavers just yet folks.
No. 7- Texas Longhorns
Stay with me here. With two games remaining against Kansas State and TCU, Texas could pull an upset and earn the BCS at-large bid. A win over Kansas State would vault the Longhorns up several slots from their current spot at No. 15, especially given the current mass chaos in both the SEC and ACC. When we get down to No. 15 on the BCS charts, it may be a little less likely to see a team as an at-large option, but stranger things have certainly happened in BCS history.
No. 6- Stanford Cardinal
Now, if there’s a team that can truly determine it’s fate in coming weeks, it’s the Stanford Cardinal. With massive matchups against the Oregon Ducks this Saturday, and the UCLA Bruins on November 24th, David Shaw’s team still has an outside shot at a BCS at-large bid. Two wins here could slot the Cardinal in the Pac-12 Championship Game on November 30th against either UCLA or USC. Even a loss there could give them enough steam to pick up an at-large bid as the PAC 12’s second entrant.
No. 5- Oklahoma Sooners
The Oklahoma Sooners are on the outside looking in as it relates to the Big 12 Championship run, but still have an outside shot at making some BCS noise. A convincing finish to the 2012 slate, which would include wins over the Oklahoma State Cowboys and TCU Horned Frogs-- combined with a Kansas State loss and a bizarre finish in the ACC could theoretically give the Sooners enough clout to earn the 8th and final BCS slot.
No. 4- Clemson Tigers
With their only loss of the 2012 season coming at the hands of our No. 4 team, the Clemson Tigers could easily slide past this team and into the BCS at-large mix. A November 24th matchup with South Carolina looms large and will have the eyeballs of millions of college football fans across the country. A dyanmic, lop-sided win by the Tigers in that game could be just what the doctor ordered. This is especially true, given that Clemson can’t play in the ACC Championship.
No. 3- Florida State Seminoles
Florida State is another team that had plenty of opportunity early in the season to control it’s post-season destiny, but have just been too inconsistent. A mid-season loss to North Carolina State was damaging, but a huge opportunity presents itself in a season-ending, in-state matchup with the Florida Gators. If the Seminoles could take control in that game and earn a signature win, they could surprise everyone by vaulting into the final BCS slot-- especially if that win is book-ended by an ACC Championship Game win.
No. 2- South Carolina Gamecocks
While the Gamecocks largely missed out on the opportunity to control their own destiny in terms of the BCS and the SEC this season, they are just a little behind our No. 1 team in the standings and could slide up with a couple of surprising losses to round out the SEC schedule in coming weeks. A convincing win over the aforementioned Clemson on November 24th would definitely help whatever case they have left since they won’t be able to play in the SEC Championship Game.
No. 1- Texas A&M Aggies
The Texas A&M Aggies are just barely on the fringes and by winning out could slide in with another loss by any of the four teams in front of them, which will at least happen once with the SEC Championship game. With two convincing wins over Sam Houston State and Missouri in the coming two weeks, the Aggies will be very difficult to keep out of the at-large bid mix and are our best bet to get a bid. Don’t tell that to the Cotton Bowl selection committee, however, who wants them desperately to match up with the Texas Longhorns in January.