NCAA Football: Looking Forward to the Playoffs in 2014
The BCS era is over. Some are happy about it. Some, maybe not so much. But when the Florida State Seminoles drove 80 yards in just over 1:00 to beat the Auburn Tigers it sent the BCS out with a bang. Who will miss the BCS? The SEC will miss it. Of the 16 National Championship Games, nine were won by a team from the SEC. The state of Florida will miss the BCS. Three Florida schools combined for five of the 16 national titles during the BCS era. Florida schools appeared in exactly half of the BCS title games. The Seminoles were in the first three and the final one, breaking even at 2-2.
The state of Alabama will miss the BCS. Bama schools, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers, appeared in the final five BCS Championship Games, winning four.Here are some other interesting numbers from the 16 BCS National Championship Games:
The SEC never lost in the championship games to a team from another conference until the final seconds of the final game. SEC results in the title game included
1998-99- Tennessee Volunteers 23 Florida State Seminoles 16
2003-04- LSU Tigers 21 Oklahoma Sooners 14
2006-07- Florida Gators 41 Ohio State Buckeyes 14
2007-08- LSU Tigers Ohio State Buckeyes 24
2008-09- Florida Gators 24 Oklahoma Sooners 14
2009-10- Alabama Crimson Tide 37 Texas Longhorns 21
2010-11- Auburn Tigers 22 Oregon Ducks 19
2011-12 – Alabama Crimson Tide 21 LSU Tigers 0
2012-13- Alabama Crimson Tide 42 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 14
2013-14- Florida State Seminoles 34 Auburn Tigers 31
That is impressive whether you are a fan of the SEC or not. Not all the title games were as good as the one last night. Texas 41-38 win over the USC Trojans comes to mind as one that was as good as the Noles 34-31 win. Both games were pulled out at the end by a very talented quarterback. In ’05 it was Vince Young of the Longhorns and last night Jameis Winston of Florida State. The NFL has “The Drive” by John Elway in the 1986 AFC Championship Game between the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns. “The Drive” in college football should be last night’s 80 yard march to the end zone when it appeared the Tigers had pulled yet another miracle.
Next year begins a new era with a much anticipated four team playoff system. To explain exactly how this works would be like trying to teach Calculus to second graders. But the bottom line is we will have all the bowls, but next year the winners of the Rose and Sugar will have to play again a week later in a National Championship Game at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. The down side of this is now when you win the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl, guess what? You still have to win another game before you get to celebrate. That’s a shame. Because winning one of those games should be reason to celebrate.
And if we think this new system is the end of controversy, think again. First, we are letting the four participants in the game based on the opinions of a selection committee. How different is that from the old days where the national championship was won by a vote? The only difference is back then the #2 team was tickled off, now it will be #5.
Take this past season for example. What if the seedings were #1 Florida State, #2 Auburn, #3 Alabama and #4 Michigan State? After that fabulous Auburn Alabama game that Auburn won, your reward is you get to play Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Oh boy! And if the committee decided that wouldn’t be fair, then there is a chance the Championship Game would be between Auburn and Alabama. Do we really want to see that? Remember the Alabama vs LSU disaster?
So these are some of the not-so-great things that we will have to deal with moving forward. But this new system will have the potential of creating something very exciting.
Jim Folsom is a regualr contributor for http://www.bettingsports.com