Year-end record: 12 - 1
Who made it instead: Alabama, Texas
Bowl attended (result): The Fiesta Bowl vs. Boise State (L, 10-17)
When Gary Patterson had his TCU Horned Frogs contending for the national spotlight a few years back, he founded their success on tough, hard-nosed defense, and the play of a talented, young quarterback by the name of Andy Dalton. We all know that Dalton now lights it up in the NFL with A.J. Green and the Cincinnati Bengals, but it's easy to forget that he was the leader of TCU when they were fighting for recognition like every other non-BCS powerhouse out there.
Like Boise State, TCU finished the 2009 regular season undefeated, but was forced out of the BCS National Championship game by the also unbeaten Texas and Alabama. Unfortunately for the Horned Frogs, they came out on the losing of the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State, failing to to recapture the spirit that led them to victory over that same Broncos squad just a year earlier in the Poinsettia Bowl.