There will technically be 124 teams competing for the BCS National Championship this year, but as we all know, there aren’t many that realistically have a chance to play for the trophy.
Using process of elimination based on past BCS selections/results, conference affiliation, strength of schedule and future expectations, we’ve gone through every FBS team and dwindled down the list of teams that actually have a shot to play for the title.
To save time, we’ve already eliminated teams from the Sun Belt, WAC, Mid-American, Conference USA and Mountain West (sorry Boise State). No team from any of these conferences has ever been selected. All four independents (Army, Navy, BYU, Notre Dame) have also been omitted. While Notre Dame has a difficult enough schedule to warrant inclusion, the odds that the Irish beat Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, Oklahoma and USC in one season are slim.
We’ve also eliminated all teams from the Big East, which no longer includes West Virginia and hasn’t had a team included since 2002 (Miami, now in the ACC). The 2009 Cincinnati Bearcats went 12-0 in the regular season while defeating three ranked teams and still didn’t make it.
The following is a list, by conference, of which ten teams could possibly be playing January 7th, along with reasons why the rest simply don’t have a chance.