This week’s BCS rankings show the Kent State Golden Flashes at the number 17 spot. If they can move up one position after this weekend, they would almost be guaranteed a BCS bowl game. A team that finishes in the top 16 and ahead of an AQ conference champion is eligible for the BCS. In this scenario the Golden Flashes would almost certainly be ahead of the Big East champion, and if the Wisconsin Badgers upset the Nebraska Cornhuskers, potentially the Big 10 title holder as well.
Although moving up one spot may sound easy, it’s far from a sure thing. The Flashes first need to beat the 21st ranked Northern Illinois Huskies in the MAC title game, which won’t be a cakewalk since the Huskies have won 11 straight.
One thing the Flashes will also have to pay attention to is the Texas Longhorns and Kansas State Wildcats game. If the 18th ranked Longhorns come away with a victory, then they would certainly leapfrog Kent State in the standings.
If Kent State does slip through the cracks, then they could find themselves in a less than stellar matchup with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the Orange Bowl. The Big East winner is still guaranteed a BCS spot, but because the Sugar Bowl has the second to last pick, they would likely choose them over Kent State. Tech is only 7-6 themselves and is playing in the ACC title game because the Miami Hurricanes removed themselves from bowl play for disciplinary reasons. Of course the Yellow Jackets would still have to beat Florida State, but anything is possible. Despite the potential non-sexy showdown, both teams would still share $50 million for getting to the Orange Bowl.
While the critics will belittle the Flashes 106th strength of schedule ranking, a BCS game would be quite an accomplishment for Kent State considering they have played in only two bowl games in 93 years and–prior to this season–were ranked for only one week in 1973.
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