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Campus winners and losers: Bowl edition

WINNERS

Alabama: Let’s see, you lose to the No.1 team in the country at home, you don’t make your own conference title game, but you will be playing for a national title. That’s nice work if you can get it. Alabama (11-1) didn’t have to lift a finger last weekend as LSU needed to knock off Georgia in the SEC title game to secure its spot in the national championship game.

LSU: The Tigers (13-0) are the only undefeated team in FBS. They deserve to be on this list for accomplishing that much.

Michigan: Michigan getting a slot in the Sugar Bowl to play Virginia Tech was clearly a case of the bowl executives going for the money. Considering what these bowls pay these schools and conferences, it’s tough to criticize. That said, Boise State and even Kansas State clearly had better resumes than the Wolverines. But if there’s one thing you never have to worry about with Michigan is filling the seats.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies got blasted, 38-10, by Clemson in the ACC title game, slipped to 11th in the BCS rankings and still gets chosen for a BCS Bowl. Explain that one. The Hokies need to thank the football Gods for making that one happen. Boise State and Kansas State, ranked seventh and eighth in the final BCS standings, deserved better. An argument could’ve been made for Baylor, which beat TCU, Oklahoma and Texas.

Temple: Ok, this is a homer pick. But Temple (8-4), which won eight games last season, got snubbed by the Bowls. Not this year. The Owls will play Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl on December 17 at 2 p.m.

Stony Brook: The Seawolves (9-4) are winners for getting to the second round of the FCS playoffs.

LOSERS

Boise State: The Broncos (11-1) were robbed, plain and simple. The Sugar Bowl executives must have lost their collective minds taking Virginia Tech over the Broncos. The Hokies got blasted by Clemson, 38-10, in the ACC title game. It’s even more of a head scratcher when you consider Boise State, which beat Georgia in Atlanta, was ranked seventh in the final BCS standings, while Virginia Tech was 11th. What’s the purpose of the BCS standings if the Bowl executives aren’t going to take the highest ranked eligible teams. Boise State will play Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Kansas State: What was said about Boise State can be said about Kansas State. The Wildcats (10-2) had a great run the last three weeks, beating Texas A&M, Texas and Iowa State. They also had wins over other bowl eligible teams Baylor, Miami and Missouri. That certainly trumps Virginia Tech’s paper-thin schedule, which included games against Appalachian State, East Carolina, Arkansas State and Marshall. The good news is the Wildcats will face Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. It’s a good matchup between two BCS Bowl-caliber teams.

Houston: It was a shame to see Houston’s BCS hopes crash and burn at the hands of Southern Mississippi in the C-USA title game. But the consolation prize is a good one. Houston (12-1) will play Penn State in the Ticket City Bowl on January 2 at noon in Dallas. It may not be a BCS Bowl, but the Cougars will get to play in their home state against a storied program. Sure, Penn State is in the midst of a terrible scandal, but when was the last time Houston got to a play a program with such stature?

Michigan State: The Spartans (10-3) can’t be happy that Michigan, a team it beat by 14 points, is in a BCS Bowl. Michigan State made its own bed thanks to terrible losses at Notre Dame and Nebraska. A win against either one of those squads would’ve had the Spartans ranked higher than 17th and eligible for a BCS at-large selection.

Oklahoma: The Sooners (9-3) were the favorites, in some people’s eyes, to be a national title contender. So much for that. The Sooners were smacked around in a big way in their 44-10 loss to Oklahoma State.

USC: Scandals ruined (10-2) what could’ve been a glorious season for the Trojans. Instead of facing Oregon in the PAC-12 title game, the Trojans had to watch from home due to a bowl ban. They played Giant killer when they smacked Oregon.

Arkansas and Georgia: Both of these squads were among the best teams in the country down the stretch, but aren't eligible for any of the big games because of BCS rules prohibiting a conference getting three teams.
 

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