NCAA Football

5 Underdog Contenders You’d Love to See in NCAA Football National Championship

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5 Underdog Contenders for the NCAA Football National Championship

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

In March, bracket lovers and madness watchers love a good underdog. Filling out those brackets, everyone gets a giant grin on their face envisioning that they have the underdog tabbed to wreck other office brackets.

But on the gridiron, underdogs are not as welcomed. For the big game, only powerhouse traditions are welcomed. Fans want to see the field filled with as many first round draft picks and Heisman finalists as possible.

Currently, the Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida State Seminoles and Ohio State Buckeyes are all having great seasons. They are from the big time conferences and their programs are filled with tradition and winning.

For the non-automatic qualifying schools, the record in BCS games is above .500 at 5-3. Although that record is skewed a bit because the Boise State Broncos defeated the TCU Horned Frogs in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.

With conference realignment seemingly changing every year, non-automatic qualifying schools could become blurred. Underdogs will have to rise from teams not on the front pages of the sports section.

This season, in the final year of the current BCS format, there are currently six teams still undefeated. Two of those teams are from non-AQ conferences. With Notre Dame out of the BCS picture, the party could be crashed once again.

With polls and rankings in the way, these following teams may not see the National Championship Game, but here are five underdog contenders that would be great bracket buster picks for the National Championship Game.

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5. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has had a few teams ranked this year in the Top 25. None of them have been the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Their statistical ranks will not wow, but the team is currently 8-2 and playing well. They may be a sentimental choice as well, which is a plus for any underdog. The final two games of the season are against ranked teams; can the Gophers close out an impressive season going into a bowl season?

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4. UCF Knights

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The American Athletic Conference at the start of the season did have a legit National Championship contender. It was not the UCF Knights. The Knights defeated the Louisville Cardinals and very nearly defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks. Winning the conference could place them into the BCS.

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3. Fresno State Bulldogs

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Fresno State Bulldogs are currently undefeated. Their quarterback Derek Carr has a great family story to his name. Stay up late and treat yourself to a solid team that may bust the BCS this year.

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2. Northern Illinois Huskies

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

With Fresno State, the Northern Illinois Huskies are the second non-AQ school still undefeated. With big tests coming on the next two Wednesday nights, the Huskies will have to earn hard-fought wins to even make it to their conference championship game. But quarterback Jordan Lynch is a star leading the team in passing and rushing. The state of Illinois knows something about guys named Jordan. Lynch is arguably a Heisman finalist for a team that is in the top 10 in points per game.

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1. Baylor Bears

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The Baylor Bears have never been to a BCS game. That could change this year by winning the Big 12. The offense can score in the blink of an eye and can rival the much talked about Oregon Ducks' offense. The dream matchup has always been Alabama versus Oregon. A hard-nose defense versus a speedy fast-pace offense. The Bears are first in points per game. Could they take down the SEC if given the chance?