Unless something drastic happens, the inside track to the BCS championship game is held by the SEC champ and Texas. If each of them are undefeated, they'll play for it all because there's such a large gap between the top three in the current poll and everyone else.
That means other undefeated conference champions would be left out. The most interesting case of a team being left out, as SI's Andy Staples astutely pointed out, is that of Iowa.
Now, I know it's a bit premature to start worrying about this, especially since the Hawkeyes haven't exactly been dominant and they still have to play in Columbus, a place they've won in exactly twice since 1960. If you're a BCS hater though, you should root for Iowa to keep winning and finish undefeated at No. 3 or 4.
Staples reminds us that the Big Ten and its cantankerous commissioner Jim Delaney were the primary opponents to the ACC- and SEC-sponsored plus one plan of 2008. Delaney sees his role in college football as twofold: to promote the image of his conference and along with that to preserve the Big Ten/Pac-10 tradition of the Rose Bowl. Anything that might benefit the game as a whole, like a plus one might do, is irrelevant to him. A plus one might make people think of the Rose Bowl as less important, so he killed it.
There will be no tears shed in these parts for an Iowa team left out of the national title game. They'll be getting exactly what their conference commissioner signed them up for.