An End of an Era: Recapping the Best Moments of the BCS
Monday night marked an end to an era, as Florida State defeated Auburn, 34-31, in the final Bowl Championship Series title game.
Over the last 15 years, the BCS caused plenty of controversy, but it also provided for plenty of memorable moments.
To remember the BCS, let's recap its best games and best teams, as college football sets to embark on a new system next season.
1. Texas defeats USC, 41-38, at the Rose Bowl in the 2005-2006 season.
USC was No. 1 all season, while Texas was No. 2. USC was led by Heisman Trophy winners Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, and was largely the favorite. In the end, the top team didn't have all the luck, and Texas pulled off one the best finishes to upset the mighty Trojans of Southern California. The Longhorns were led by Vince Young, who dashed for the endzone and two-point conversion with 19 seconds left to win, 41-38.
2. Ohio State stuns Miami (Fla.) in double overtime, 31-24, in the 2002-2003 season.
The Miami Hurricanes were up 24-17 in overtime, but Ohio State had the ball with 4th-and-3 on the five-yard line. Can you sense the drama?
The play begins as Craig Krenzel drops back, but he tosses an incomplete pass to Chris Gamble in the endzone. Miami thinks they have just won a national championship. Wait, though, there's a penalty flag. Miami's Glen Sharpe gets penalized for pass interference on Gamble and the Buckeyes get the ball on the two-yard line with first-and-goal. Krenzel would sneak in for a 1-yard score and the Buckeyes and Hurricanes were off to a second overtime. Maurice Clarett's five-yard touchdown in the second overtime capped off a dramatic, yet controversial BCS title for the Buckeyes.
3. Florida State comes back down 18 to beat Auburn, 34-31 in the 2013-2014 season.
Last night's game was an instant classic. Auburn was a team of destiny, and Florida State was a dominating team. Auburn got up 21-3 on Florida State, and it appeared Jameis Winston's Seminoles were toast. But, Jimbo Fisher called a fake punt that sparked the Seminoles, and they scored to make it 21-10 before halftime. Florida State netted the only points of the third quarter with a field goal, and it was 21-13.
Entering the last quarter of the last BCS title game, the Seminoles believed, and Winston hit Chad Abram for an 11-yard touchdown pass. It was a whole new football game, as Auburn now clinged to a 21-20 lead. The Tigers got a field goal, and expanded their lead to four with 4:42 left. However, on the ensuing kickoff, LeVonte Whitfield went 100-yards for the score to lead for the first time, 27-21. Auburn wasn't done, though. Heisman finalist Tre Mason put the Tigers back up 31-27 with a 37-yard score. Auburn may have scored too quickly, though, as Winston had one last Heisman moment. With 1:19 remaining, Winston hit Kelvin Benjamin in the endzone with 13 seconds left to give the Seminoles a 34-31 lead. Auburn got one more play, but there were no more prayers left for destiny's team. Florida State was back on top in college football!
Whereas, there were some great games in the BCS, and there were some great teams, too.
The Crimson Tide won three titles, all under Nick Saban. Saban's first title came in 2009 when Alabama beat Texas, 37-21. Their defense led by Dre Kirkpatrick, and Marcel Dareus knocked Colt McCoy out of the game en route to the BCS title. The next two titles came back-to-back led by A.J. McCarron. In the first of two straight titles, Alabama shutout LSU 21-0, after losing to the Tigers earlier in the year. The year after, Alabama throttled Manti Te'O and Notre Dame, 42-14.
Urban Meyer and Florida chomped up two BCS titles. First in 2006, the Gators beat Ohio State, 41-14. The second came in 2008, when Tim Tebow led the Gators to a 24-14 win over Oklahoma. Tebow was a back-up in 2006 for the Gators first title, too.
Saban won four BCS titles, and the first came with LSU in 2004. The Tigers beat Oklahoma, 21-14. In 2007, LSU won another title, beating Ohio State 38-24.
The Seminoles rose to power again in 2013 by beating Auburn, but their success in the early days of the BCS helped get them there. Florida State made the BCS title game for the first three straight years, but only won one title. In the first year, Florida State lost to Tennessee, 23-16. The following year, the Seminoles were led by Chris Weinke, and blew out Virginia Tech, 46-29. Weinke threw for 329 yard and four touchdowns, yet, his wideout Peter Warrick was the MVP. In 2000, the Seminoles lost to Oklahoma, 13-2.
USC, Oklahoma, and Ohio State:
All three of these schools only won one BCS national championship, but almost every year, they were in the thick of the race. The Sooners won in 2000, but lost to Florida State, USC, and Florida. USC made the BCS title game back-to-back years led by Leinart and Bush, but only won in 2004, beating the Sooners 55-19. They lost to Texas the next year. Lastly, Ohio State won in 2002, but lost in 2006 and 2007 to LSU and Florida.
Now, as the BCS ere has ended, a new four-team playoff will come into effect next season. Which teams do you think will dominate the college football world for years to come?