By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – SEC teams have won seven straight BCS national championships, so it stands to reason quite a few schools from that conference are favorites for this year’s title.
Looking outside of the SEC, however, ESPN’s Football Outsiders named Michigan State as a long shot to play in this season’s final game. The Spartans won 11 games in 2010 and 2011, and this year they do not play powerhouse Ohio State and get home field advantage against in-state rival Michigan.
The Spartans finished 7-6 last season, but the only definitive loss came against Notre Dame, who went on to play in the national title game. Michigan State lost games to Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan by a combined six points. Later in the season they lost to Nebraska by four and to Northwestern by three.
Football Outsiders listed Oregon and Ohio State as the top non-SEC title contenders for this coming season. Oregon defeated Kansas State 35-17 in the Fiesta Bowl last season, and Ohio State went 12-0 but was not bowl eligible because of NCAA sanctions.