2011 BCS AQ Conference Profiles: SEC

Welcome to the 2011 college football season! BCS Know How will be taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences and five non-AQ conferences with profiles of each conference. We continue with the SEC. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other 10 conferences.

Conference: Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Active Since: 1933

Current Member Schools:
East Division: Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky Wildcats, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee Volunteers, Vanderbilt Commodores.
West Division: Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, Auburn Tigers, Louisiana State (LSU) Tigers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Mississippi (Ole Miss) Rebels. (12)

Bowl Affiliations: Sugar Bowl (BCS), Music City Bowl, Liberty Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Outback Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Gator Bowl, Cotton Bowl, BBVA Compass Bowl. (9)

2010 Results:
Conference Champion – Auburn
Conference Runner-up – South Carolina
BCS Bowl Results: 2011 BCS National Championship Game – Auburn 22 vs. Oregon 19; 2011 Sugar Bowl – Ohio State 31 vs. Arkansas 26 (Ohio State’s victory was later vacated)
Overall Bowl Record: 5-5
Heisman Vote Recipients: Auburn QB Cam Newton (Heisman Recipient); Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett (7th Overall)

2011 Outlook: Somehow or another, the SEC delivers year in and year out.

Whether its the speedy style of football that has characterized the south for so long or the coaching legends paroling the sidelines, the SEC provides the nation with its best football, every year.

2010 was no different, as Auburn went from unranked and unheralded to BCS national champions.

Could it happen again in 2011? Many will start the season ranked, including the usual suspects at the top of the conference: LSU, Alabama, Florida and Georgia come to mind. But the likes of South Carolina and Arkansas, teams with resurgent 2010s, could be on the way to the top.

Unpredictable as ever, the SEC champion will again be tested week in and week out. But will that struggle (as it has been in the past few years) been enough to bring them to the BCS title game once again?

2011 Heisman Hopefuls: Alabama RB Trent Richardson, South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore, Arkansas RB Knile Davis, Auburn RB Michael Dyer

BCS Know How’s 2010 Predictions:
Conference Champion – LSU Tigers
Conference Runner-up – South Carolina Gamecocks
BCS bids – Two: LSU Tigers – 2011 BCS National Championship Game; Alabama Crimson Tide – Sugar Bowl
Heisman Finalists – None

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2011 BCS AQ Conference Profiles: Pac-12

Welcome to the 2011 college football season! BCS Know How will be taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences and five non-AQ conferences with profiles of each conference. We continue with the Pac-12. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other 10 conferences.

Conference: Pacific 12 Conference (Pac-12)

Active Since: 1915

Current Member Schools:

North Division: California Golden Bears, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Stanford Cardinal, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars.
South Division: Arizona Wildcats, Arizona State Sun Devils, UCLA Bruins, Southern California (USC) Trojans, Colorado Buffaloes, Utah Utes.  (12)

Bowl Affiliations: Rose Bowl (BCS), New Mexico Bowl, MAACO Las Vegas Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Sun Bowl. (6)

2010 Results:
Conference Champion – Oregon
Conference Runner-up – Stanford
BCS Bowl Results: BCS National Championship Game – Auburn 22 vs. Oregon 19; Orange Bowl – Stanford 40 vs. Virginia Tech 12
Overall Bowl Record: 2-2
Heisman Vote Recipients: Andrew Luck (Second Overall); LaMichael James (Third Overall); Stanford FB/LB Owen Marecic (10th Overall).

2011 Outlook: While controversy may swirl around some sidelines in the newly expanded and renamed Pac-12, there is more than enough skill in this rejuvenated and powerful conference to take people’s minds off of any NCAA infractions or controversies very quickly.

Led by Heisman hopefuls Andrew Luck and LaMichael James (who finished second and third respectively in last year’s Heisman balloting), the firepower in the conference is at an all-time high, and not just because there are more teams than ever before.

Winners of the newly created North and South divisions will face off in the inaugural Pac-12 Conference Championship Game, to be hosted at the participant who has the better record’s own stadium — an unusual and intriguing circumstance. The winner of the game will be named the first-ever Pac-12 champion and be awarded the conference’s automatic BCS bowl bid.

2011 Heisman Hopefuls: Stanford QB Andrew Luck, Oregon RB LaMichael James, USC QB Matt Barkley, Washington RB Chris Polk.

BCS Know How’s 2011 Predictions:
Conference Champion – Stanford Cardinal
Conference Runner-up – Arizona State Sun Devils
BCS bids – Two: Stanford Cardinal – Rose Bowl; Oregon Ducks – Sugar Bowl
Heisman Finalists – Stanford QB Andrew Luck, Oregon RB LaMichael James

2011 BCS AQ Conference Profiles: Big 12

Welcome to the 2011 college football season! BCS Know How will be taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences and five non-AQ conferences with profiles of each conference. We continue with the Big 12. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other 10 conferences.

Conference: Big 12 Conference (Big 12)

Active Since: 1996

Current Member Schools: Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas State Wildcats, Kansas Jayhawks, Missouri Tigers, Baylor Bears, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns. (10)

Bowl Affiliations: Fiesta Bowl (BCS), Holiday Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl, Insight Bowl, Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl, Cotton Bowl. (7)

2010 Results:
Conference Champion – Oklahoma
Conference Runner-up – Nebraska
BCS Bowl Results: 2011 Fiesta Bowl – Oklahoma 48 vs. Connecticut 20
Overall Bowl Record: 3-5
Heisman Vote Recipients: Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon (Fifth Overall)

2011 Outlook: With conferences adding and shuffling teams left and right, the Big 12 seems to have been left behind and somewhat forgotten.

A conference with just 10 teams (although they kept the ‘Big 12’ moniker) might seem destined to fall back into the second-tier of automatically qualifying BCS conferences, but the Big 12 seems ready to pick up right where they left off as a BCS power conference.

In the process, the Big 12 is now a single-division conference and no longer will hold its traditional conference championship game.

Gone might be Nebraska (to the Big Ten) and Colorado (to the Pac-12) but traditional powers Oklahoma and Texas are ready to lead a stacked 10-team conference into the future.

But who will stand up in 2011? Could it be one of those traditional Big 12 powers, or can Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Missouri show what it takes to make the next step in the smaller conference?

2011 Heisman Hopefuls: Oklahoma QB Landry Jones; Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon, Baylor QB Robert Griffin, Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez.

BCS Know How’s 2011 Predictions:
Conference Champion – Oklahoma Sooners
Conference Runner-up – Oklahoma State Cowboys
BCS bids – One: Oklahoma – BCS National Championship Game
Heisman Finalists – Oklahoma QB Landry Jones

2011 BCS AQ Conference Profiles: Big Ten

Welcome to the 2011 college football season! BCS Know How will be taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences and five non-AQ conferences with profiles of each conference. We continue with the Big Ten. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other 10 conferences.

Conference: Big Ten Conference (Big Ten)

Active Since: 1896

Current Member Schools:

Leaders Division: Nebraska Cornhuskers, Michigan Wolverines, Iowa Hawkeyes, Northwestern Wildcats, Michigan State Spartans, Minnesota Golden Gophers
Legends Division: Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Penn State Nittany Lions, Purdue Boilermakers, Wisconsin Badgers.

Bowl Affiliations: Rose Bowl (BCS), Little Caesars Bowl, Insight Bowl, Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl, TicketCity Bowl, Outback Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Gator Bowl. (8)

2010 Results:
Conference Champion – Wisconsin
Conference Runner-up – Ohio State/Michigan State
BCS Bowl Results: 2011 Rose Bowl – TCU 21 vs. Wisconsin 19; 2011 Sugar Bowl – Ohio State 31 vs. Arkansas 26 (Vacated)
Overall Bowl Record: 3-5 (Ohio State’s victory was later vacated)
Heisman Vote Recipients: Michigan QB Denard Robinson (Sixth Overall)

2011 Outlook: If you were to ask a college football pundit to describe the Big Ten’s offseason in a single word, some variation of the word “tumultuous” would likely come up.

That’s what conference realignment, NCAA violations and coaching changes will bring you.

But with a newly redesigned conference (and logo) the 12-team Big Ten seems ready to move on, and move on with what they know how to do best — play some hard-nosed football.

Wisconsin, who surprised some with their Rose Bowl run last season, returns with an opportunity to stake their claim as a true power in the new conference, while teams like Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Penn State look to return to BCS glory of the past.

Ohio State will look to move past the off-season turmoil, and work toward the new Big Ten Conference Championship Game — possible because of the conference’s expansion to 12 teams.

The conference’s new power, Nebraska, will look to make a big statement in its first year in the conference while trying to fight off the best the “Leaders” and “Legends” have to offer to the Huskers.

2011 Heisman Hopefuls: Michigan QB Denard Robinson, Wisconsin RB James White, Wisconsin RB Monte Ball, Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins

BCS Know How’s 2011 Predictions:
Conference Champion – Wisconsin Badgers
Conference Runner-up – Michigan State Spartans
BCS bids – One: Wisconsin – Rose Bowl
Heisman Finalists – None

2011 BCS AQ Conference Profiles: Big East

Welcome to the 2011 college football season! BCS Know How will be taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences and five non-AQ conferences with profiles of each conference. We continue with the Big East. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other 10 conferences.

Conference: Big East Conference (Big East)

Active Since: 1979

Current Member Schools: Cincinnati Bearcats, Connecticut Huskies, Louisville Cardinals, Pittsburgh Panthers, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Syracuse Orange, South Florida Bulls, West Virginia Mountaineers. (8)

Bowl Affiliations: BCS Bowl Bid, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl, Belk Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, New Era Pinstripe Bowl, BBVA Compass Bowl. (7)

2010 Results:
Conference Champion – Connecticut
Conference Runner-up – West Virginia
BCS Bowl Result – 2010 Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma 48 vs. Connecticut 20
Overall Bowl Record: 4-2

2011 Outlook: The Big East has taken a back seat to many of the other automatic qualifying conferences these past few years, and with turmoil, overhaul and unpredictability characterizing the Big East’s off-season, we might see more of the same this year.

Last year’s surprise Big East BCS bid went to Connecticut, but after losing their coach and their star players, nothing is guaranteed to the Huskies.

West Virginia saw turmoil matched only by that of Ohio State’s this off-season, and the traditional Big East power might have trouble re-acclimating themselves to the football landscape.

Could all of that open the doors for recently dormant Pittsburgh or Cincinnati? Or could unheralded USF or Syracuse take advantage?

2011 Heisman Hopefuls: West Virginia QB Geno Smith

BCS Know How’s 2011 Predictions:
Conference Champion – South Florida Bulls
Conference Runner-up – West Virginia Mountaineers
BCS bids – One: South Florida Bulls – Orange Bowl
Heisman Finalists – None

2011 BCS AQ Conference Profiles: Atlantic Coast Conference

Welcome to the 2011 college football season! BCS Know How will be taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences and five non-AQ conferences with profiles of each conference. We begin with the ACC. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other 10 conferences.

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Active Since: 1953

Current Member Schools:

Atlantic Division: Boston College Eagles, Clemson Tigers, Florida State Seminoles, Maryland Terrapins, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Coastal Division: Duke Blue Devils, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes, North Carolina Tar Heels, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies. (12)

Bowl Affiliations: Orange Bowl (BCS), Independence Bowl, Belk Bowl, Military Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Music City Bowl, Sun Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl (8)

2010 Results:
Conference Champion – Virginia Tech Hokies (11-3, 8-0, Coastal Division Champion)
Conference Runner-up – Florida State Seminoles (10-4, 6-2, Atlantic Division Champion)
BCS Bowl Result: 2011 Orange Bowl: Stanford 40 vs. Virginia Tech 12
Overall Bowl Record: 4-5

2011 Outlook: A consistently strong conference, the ACC delivers each year with talent from top to bottom.

2011 seems to be no different, as resurgent Miami, NC State, North Carolina and Boston College join the ranks of recent powers Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech as legitimate contender’s for the conference’s BCS bid.

Can Virginia Tech make it two conference championships in a row, or will Florida State take that next step? Or could it be any of the handful of other teams seemingly on their way up?

Heisman Hopefuls: Virginia Tech RB David Wilson, Maryland QB Danny O’Brien, Florida State QB E.J. Manuel

BCS Know How’s 2011 Predictions:
Conference Champion – Florida State Seminoles
Conference Runner-up – Virginia Tech Hokies
BCS Bids – Florida State – Orange Bowl
Heisman Finalists: None