The death of the BCS busters

How conference expansion, new playoff system eliminate CFB underdogs

Updated: November 15, 2012, 4:06 PM ET
By Rod Gilmore | ESPN Insider
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs radley Leeb/US PresswireLouisiana Tech is the only non-AQ team with a shot at a BCS bowl berth this season.

Let's have a moment of silence for the BCS busters -- you know, the teams from the non-power conferences that are technically referred to as "non-AQ" teams because their leagues do not receive automatic bids to the BCS bowls. They are the seemingly unlikely teams that come out from the shadows cast by the traditional powers of the major conferences (the "AQ" conferences, consisting of the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC).

The BCS busters are going away, and we're not just talking about this season. The outside chance of a Louisiana Tech Bulldogs team crashing the BCS party in 2012 is not a good one, and there doesn't appear to be a great candidate for 2013, either.

And if you thought that things were going to get better for the little guys under the new playoff system that kicks off in 2014, guess again. Sure, there will be more money for the BCS busters, but there will not be more access to the big stage.

What has led to the extinction of the BCS busters, and how will the new postseason format make it even more difficult for them to play on the big stage? Let's take a look.

Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.