Dark-horse contenders for BCS bowls 

August, 23, 2012

Matt ElamKim Klement/US PresswireIf Matt Elam and the Gators can force more turnovers in 2012, they should be in the BCS mix.
Still down because your team was mediocre a year ago? Take heart. There's precedent for rapid improvements -- going from five-plus losses to a BCS bowl, in fact. Ten schools have done it in the past five seasons, including Clemson and Michigan in 2011. Before that, in 2010, five different 8-5 teams from 2009 -- national champion Auburn, Arkansas, Stanford, Oklahoma and Connecticut -- were in BCS games. The starkest of rebounds came in 2007, when Illinois went from 2-10 to the Rose Bowl. So it's possible.

Which 2012 teams are most likely to go from the toil of five (or more) losses to the BCS buffet? Here is a look at the top candidate from each of the six AQ conferences.