As I sit and watch college football on ESPN2 (Miami, Ohio vs. Ohio), it hit me how fast the 2011 college football season has gone and that it is almost complete and coming to an end. The conference rival weekend is here and for those conferences that have a championship game, the playoffs start soon, bowl game season is upon us and the BCS is just around the corner.
Tuesday, the BCS conferences and bowls announced the 10 teams that still have a chance to participate in the five-game series that makes up the BCS. The five bowls that comprise this year’s BCS Championship series are Discover Orange bowl, AllState Sugar Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Rose Bowl and the AllState BCS National Championship. The location for the finale is New Orleans on Jan. 9.
Keep in mind there are automatic bids from all the major conferences: SEC (Southeastern Conference), Pac-12, Big 12, ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference), Big East, and Big Ten. As explained by the BCS committee, the highest ranked conference champions from the following conferences will earn automatic bids: Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt and WAC (Western Athletic Conference) and will head to one of the BCS Championship games if the conference champion is ranked 16th or greater in the BCS final standings.
As I study teams and evaluate talent, the most exciting part of college football and the BCS is the unpredictability of these games and is what I look forward to the most. The following is a list of teams still contending for their conference’s championship:
ACC: Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Big East: Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, West Virginia
Big Ten: Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin
Big 12: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State
Pac-12: Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Utah
SEC: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU
The following teams also have a chance and remain in contention:
Baylor, which has one of the most exciting teams in the country.
Boise State, the team that nobody wants to put on their schedule.
Houston, which has a quarterback that has set NCAA records in yardage and touchdowns.
Kansas State, which has a robo-quarterback that looks like Tim Tebow when running the ball.
Michigan, which brings a lot of excitement to each and every game.
Notre Dame started out slow, but is finishing strong.
South Carolina, which had a quarterback change at mid-season and lost their fantastic running back, yet is still in the hunt with the old ball coach (Steve Spurrier) at the helm.
TCU (Texas Christian University); the Horned Frogs always play at a championship level.
The field is wide open and anything can happen. That’s what makes college football … college football.