WOW! How else can you describe the BCS’s swansong this year? The BCS, love it or hate it, is now history, but it sure did leave with a bang. The bowl games this year as a whole were the most exciting and competitive of the era. The gap between the SEC and the rest of the country has definitely closed.
In the Orange Bowl, Clemson finally got the monkey off its back, with a thrilling victory over Ohio State, who now gets to wear the “CAN’T WIN THE BIG ONE” tag. The Tigers showed the offense firepower from dynamic duo Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins that we expected all year. The Buckeyes are left with what if, losing in the Big Ten Championship Game and then losing in the Orange Bowl, it has to be crushing.
Mr Johnny Football, leaves college football with some of the most memorable and exciting moments in NCAA history. He absolutely willed his team to victory over a Duke team that was everybody’s Cinderella. His hurdle, scramble, touchdown pass is a play that will be replayed forever. Love him or not, Johnny Manziel, was a breath of fresh air, he brought excitement, passion, and a true never give up attitude to not only the Aggies but to all of college football. He will be missed.
Oklahoma gained back some lost respect, with a fairly dominating victory over Alabama in The Sugar Bowl. Alabama was already preparing for the national championship game, when their 3-peat chances came crashing down in the Iron Bowl. The Sooners victory sends The Crimson Tide into the off-season in the unusual position of looking up at other teams.
UCF scored one for the so-called smaller conferences with it destruction of Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Blake Bortles outplayed his more publicized counterpart Bryce Petty in one of the more surprising results of the season. The Knights dominated the Bears from the start, which leaves one wondering how good Baylor really was.
The Rose Bowl , as it should, played host to the two best games played. Michigan State , returning after a 23 year absence, squared of against a Stanford Cardinal team making a return appearance. This game was a nail biter from the start, and finished that way. The Spartans rode their top rated defense all year , and this game was no different, with the outcome riding on a fourth and short call, the Spartans stuffed the play and Stanford’s season, and left with a hard earned 24-20 victory in the 100th Rose Bowl Game.
The final BCS championship game matched Auburn of the 7-time defending SEC and The Florida State Seminoles of the ACC. It was going to be the rest of the countries last chance to end the domination of the SEC. Auburn rode in on the legs of Tre Mason and two of the most dramatic wins in college football history. The Seminole’s rode the arm of freshman sensation and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and a staunch defense.
The first half belonged to the Tigers, who punished Winston every time he dropped back, and rode their power running game to a 21-10 halftime lead. The cry of “War Eagle” was everywhere. Unfortunately for the Tigers they play two halves. Jimbo Fisher made some great adjustments at the half and the ‘NOLES looked like a totally different team. Winston, showing why he was the Heisman winner, started to connect with his speedy receivers, and FSU quickly closed the gap.
Tre Masons 40 yard TD run looked like the game winner with 1:19 left, but the Seminoles broke the glass slipper, and Winston, playing with poise beyond his years, led his team to the winning TD with less than 20 seconds left, into the same end zone where 7 years earlier Vince Young finished off USC’s 3-peat dreams in dramatic fashion, to gives the Seminoles and the ACC the final BCS glass football.
The BCS is now history as we head into the playoff era, but for at least this year you can say that it worked, The games as a whole were the best matched and most exciting of the era. I for one am looking forward to the playoff system, but I do have to say, The BCS did get it right most of the time and it did what it was intended to do, and that is to decide the champion on the field. So good-bye BCS thank you for the memories.