As the bowl season is upon us, most teams can look back at the regular season and attempt to figure out what went wrong.

In most cases, unless you're playing for the BCS Championship, the season won't finish according to plan.

As we head toward January, some teams are happy and some aren't.

Here's the winners and losers for the upcoming bowl season.
Winner: Alabama

By now we all know everyone's drawbacks about Alabama playing in the BCS Championship Game, but despite already losing to LSU once, they get another shot.

The Crimson Tide are the big winners overall.
Loser: Oklahoma State

The Cowboys had an outside chance at the BCS Championship Game and had the opportunity to make a statement while Alabama was off for the week.

They made a huge statement by destroying Oklahoma in Bedalm, unfortunately for Oklahoma State, it wasn't enough as they will have to settle for a spot in the Fiesta Bowl.
Winner: Clemson

The Tigers got off to a great start to the season, but struggled mightily down the stretch.

Yet Tajh Boyd and company rebounded just in time to defeat Virginia Tech for a second time and win the ACC and an invitation to the Orange Bowl.
Loser: Louisville

Louisville, despite being only 7-5 on the season had a chance to earn the Big East Conference automatic bid, but had to rely on Connecticut defeating Cincinnati to do so.

Having to rely on U Conn is not an ideal situation and with the Bearcats win, instead of heading to the Orange Bowl, the Cardinals are Belk Bowl bound.
Winner: Virginia Tech

Perhaps the biggest surprise of all the BCS team was the inclusion of Virginia Tech.

Despite being blown out in the ACC Championship Game by Clemson, the Hokies got the invite to the Sugar Bowl.

This is the same Virginia Tech team that played perhaps the softest out of conference schedule in the country and doesn't have a victory over a quality team all season; including no wins against the current BCS Top 25.

The fact that the Hokies get the nod into the BCS while more worthy teams such as Baylor and Kansas State get left out is a crime.

Shame on the BCS.
Losers: Kansas State and Baylor

Looking back at the beginning of the season, is there a more improbable team to make a BCS game than Kansas State or even Baylor?

Yet while both team qualified at the end of the day, somehow neither were selected as Virginia Tech got the final at-large bid.
Winner: Michigan

The Wolverines needed to jump up two spots in the final BCS Standings to be eligible for a BCS at-large bid and they moved up three from a week ago to finish at No. 13.

By finishing in the top 14, the 10-win Wolverines are BCS eligible and bound for the Sugar Bowl.

Coming from where Michigan was during the Rich Rodriguez era, making a BCS Bowl makes Michigan a huge winner at the end of the day.
Loser: Texas A&M

Early in the season, the Aggies were a Top 10 team looking forward to a possible BCS bowl.

This is a team loaded with talent, but instead of a big bowl game, Texas A&M saw its head coach Mike Sherman fired and are bound for the Texas Bowl.

The Aggies are one of the more disappointing teams in the country for sure.
Loser: Oklahoma

The 2011 season looked promising when it began for Oklahoma yet it will end in disappointment for Sooners fans.

The Sooners began as the No.1 team in the nation and held that spot until an upset loss against Texas Tech, at home nonetheless send their season in a downward spiral.

Oklahoma finished up losing three of their final six games and will end up in the Insight Bowl, which also makes the Sooners one of the more disappointing teams of the season.
Losers: Non-AQ Conferences

It turned out to be a very bad day for all non AQ conference teams.

Houston's loss to Southern Miss in the Conference USA Championship Game not only cost the Cougars an all but guaranteed BCS game, but also cost Conference USA a payday of anywhere between $11-17 million.

That opened the door for TCU, but the Horned Frogs didn't climb into the top 16 of the final BCS Standings in order to qualify.

As for everybody's darling Boise State, they will look back at a missed kick that ultimately cost them another BCS bid.
Winner: SEC

The SEC is a huge winner at the end of the day, given the fact that they are assured of the sixth straight BCS Championship for the conference.

If you had a doubt of the SEC not being the top football conference in the nation, there should be very little doubt remaining now.
Loser: Big 12 Conference

The Big 12 Conference is the ultimate loser at the end of the day.

They had the No. 1 team going into the season in Oklahoma and a team in Oklahoma State that rose as high as No. 2 in the BCS Standings, but at the end of the day, the Big 12 is left out of the title picture.


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