The best part of the college football polls every week is the discussion they bring. With that in mind, a rundown of the winners and losers from this week's rankings, with particular attention to the 2010 bowl matchups.
Oregon and Auburn keep their lofty perches, and end up in the BCS National Championship Game. As undefeated teams, that's really all they can ask for, but Auburn should be especially thankful: the Tigers became one of the lowest-ranked teams in a preseason poll (22nd in the preseason AP Poll, 23rd in the preseason USA Today coaches poll, and 23rd in the preseason BlogPoll) to make it to the BCS National Championship Game.
Stanford and Wisconsin both stayed in position from the Week 14 polls, enabling each team to earn an automatic BCS bowl bid. Stanford will go to the Orange Bowl to play Virginia Tech; Wisconsin gets TCU in the Rose Bowl Game. proximity to Wisconsin in the human polls has helped the Cardinal rise to fourth in the BCS rankings, likely securing an automatic BCS bid.
And, of course, Connecticut wins despite losing. The Huskies are unranked in the final USA Today and AP Polls, but will still play in a BCS bowl game, matching up against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
Michigan State is the highest-ranked team not to end up in a BCS bowl game. The Spartans' reward? An Alabama team stocked with angry players looking to make up for a disappointing season and solidify NFL Draft stock. The Capital One Bowl might be ugly for Sparty.
West Virginia is the highest-ranked Big East team in the Week 15 polls ... and gets to play North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl. That is a dubious reward, though I guess Orlando's a bit warmer than Morgantown.