To those of you celebrating the AQ status enjoy it for 2 years. The move in the BCS is to do away with AQ positions in the next contract, and invite the top 10 or 12 (if they bring in Jerry's World Bowl) in the rankings per the BCS formula. Mike Slive of the SEC has said as much and this morning the Big 12 Commissioner said the same thing. The Executive Director of the BCS has also indicated that there is a movement in that direction. The reasons are many. SEC wants a third position for it's teams and the others (Except the BE and ACC) want a chance to get a third position. The Bowls themselves are not happy with the BE rep over the past few years and they are paying the money. And the other conferences are not happy with the gerrymandering of the BE to try and save the AQ status.
So after 2013, it won't matter what conference you are in, you will have to end the season in the top 10 to 12 to get a bid.