Sometimes, things work out the way they're supposed to. Drop your final two games to unranked Kansas State and Texas A&M? Go to the Alamo Bowl. Stat!
Sometimes, though, they don't. Michigan's plight is well-documented, so I won't pile on, but what about poor Rutgers? Their reward for handing Louisville its only loss of the season and playing West Virginia within a two-point conversion of a third overtime? The Texas Bowl. Against Kansas State. 7-5 Kansas State.
For a team that was -this- close to winning the Big East title, that's a long way to fall. And before you start pounding on the validity of the Big East conference, you might want to stop and think it through. At the top, you've got three excellent teams (Rutgers, Louisville, and West Virginia). A rung below them, but well within the realm of respectability, you've got South Florida and Cincinnati. Pittsburgh and Connecticut are only decent, and Syracuse is awful. Cumulatively, though, the conference ranks as the third best, according to Jeff Sagarin.
Comare that to, say, the ACC, which got a flurry of more respectable bowl invitations due to its perennial tie-ins. This, despite being a relatively awful conference this year. I know, I know - these bowl tie-ins are set up this way long before the season starts. But it does make you wonder: you totally sure about this, Greg?