As college football prepares for the final Bowl Championship Series, featuring a Florida State-Auburn championship game, it’s easy to see why the coming four-team playoff won’t solve all the postseason problems.
Heck, we might just miss the BCS. Maybe?
It sort of worked out this season. Top-ranked Florida State (13-0) was the only team to get through the regular season unbeaten, and the Seminoles did it in dominating fashion. Auburn (12-1) won the Southeastern Conference, and among the teams with imperfect records the Tigers’ résumé is best.
“We all complain about the BCS, but isn’t it funny how often they get it right,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said.
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The pairings became official Sunday night when the final BCS standings came out. There was no question about 1 and 2. It will be the ’Noles and Tigers at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 6 for the national championship.
In the other marquee bowls:
• Alabama will play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
• Clemson will play Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.
• Michigan State will play Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
• Baylor will play Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl.
Of course, Big 12 champion Baylor (11-1) and Big Ten champion Michigan State (12-1) might argue with that top two. But over 16 seasons college football fans have built up what can be called BCS acceptance, learning to live with the fact that there is only room for two.
Fans of particularly aggrieved teams (2000 Miami, 2004 Auburn, 2008 Texas, just to name a few) still burn over the slights. Generally, though, by the time the championship game kicked off, most everybody was on board. And only eight times before the BCS did No. 1 play No. 2 in a bowl game.
“It’s been a remarkable seismic change for this sport,” executive director Bill Hancock said. “That was unthinkable before the BCS.”
Now think about this season playing out under next season’s format. In the new world order known as the College Football Playoff, a selection committee will pick four teams to play in national semifinals. The winners play for the championship.
So how would a panel that includes Tom Osborne, Archie Manning and Condoleezza Rice sort out this season’s top four?
Florida State and Auburn, of course. And … Baylor and Michigan State? But what about Pac-12 champion Stanford (11-2)? Sure the Cardinal has two losses, but as Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said Saturday at the end of a week in which he and the rest of the SEC practically begged voters to overlook the number in the loss column and focus on quality of opposition: “I have nine words. Strength of schedule. Strength of schedule. Strength of schedule.”
Among this season’s best teams, Stanford played the toughest schedule.
In the individual race to the top, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the runaway favorite to win the Heisman Trophy next Saturday after avoiding sexual-assault charges in Tallahassee.
|2013-14 bowl games|
|The BCS National Championship is Jan. 6 in the Rose Bowl.|
|New Mexico||Washington St. vs. Colo. St.||Dec. 21, Albuquerque, N.M.||11 a.m. ESPN|
|Las Vegas||Fresno State vs. USC||Dec. 21, Las Vegas||12:30 p.m. ABC|
|Idaho Potato||Buffalo vs. San Diego State||Dec. 21, Boise||2:30 p.m. ESPN|
|New Orleans||Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette||Dec. 21, New Orleans||6 p.m. ESPN|
|Beef ‘O’ Brady’s||East Carolina vs. Ohio||Dec. 23, St. Petersburg, Fla.||11 a.m. ESPN|
|Sheraton Hawaii||Boise State vs. Oregon State||Dec. 24, Honolulu||5 p.m. ESPN|
Little Caesars Pizza
|Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green||Dec. 26, Detroit||3 p.m. ESPN|
|Poinsettia||Utah State vs. N. Illinois||Dec. 26, San Diego||6:30 p.m. ESPN|
|Military Bowl||Marshall vs. Maryland||Dec. 27, Annapolis, Md.||11:30 a.m. ESPN|
|Minnesota vs. Syracuse||Dec. 27, Houston||3 p.m. ESPN|
|BYU vs. Washington||Dec. 27, San Francisco||6:30 p.m. ESPN|
New Era Pinstripe
|Rutgers vs. Notre Dame||Dec. 28, Bronx, N.Y.||9 a.m. ESPN|
|Belk||Cincinnati vs. North Carolina||Dec. 28, Charlotte, N.C.||12:20 p.m. ESPN|
|Miami vs. Louisville||Dec. 28, Orlando, Fla.||3:45 p.m. ESPN|
Buffalo Wild Wings
|Kansas State vs. Michigan||Dec. 28, Tempe, Ariz.||7:15 p.m. ESPN|
|Armed Forces||Middle Tennessee vs. Navy||Dec. 30, Fort Worth, Texas||8:45 a.m. ESPN|
|Music City||Mississippi vs. Georgia Tech||Dec. 30, Nashville||12:15 p.m. ESPN|
|Alamo||Oregon vs. Texas||Dec. 30, San Antonio||3:45 p.m. ESPN|
|Holiday||Arizona State vs. Texas Tech||Dec. 30, San Diego||7:15 p.m. ESPN|
|Arizona vs. Boston College||Dec. 31, Shreveport, La.||9:30 a.m. ESPN|
|Sun||Virginia Tech vs. UCLA||Dec. 31, El Paso, Texas||11 a.m. CBS|
|Liberty||Rice vs. Mississippi State||Dec. 31, Memphis, Tenn.||1 p.m. ESPN|
|Texas A&M vs. Duke||Dec. 31, Atlanta||5 p.m. ESPN|
|Gator||Nebraska vs. Georgia||Jan. 1, Jacksonville, Fla.||9 a.m. ESPN2|
|Heart of Dallas||UNLV vs. North Texas||Jan. 1, Dallas||9 a.m. ESPNU|
|Capital One||Wisconsin vs. South Carolina||Jan. 1, Orlando, Fla.||10 a.m. ABC|
|Outback||Iowa vs. LSU||Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla.||10 a.m. ESPN|
|Rose Bowl||Stanford vs. Michigan State||Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.||2 p.m. ESPN|
|Fiesta||Baylor vs. Central Florida||Jan. 1, Glendale, Ariz.||5:30 p.m. ESPN|
|Sugar||Alabama vs. Oklahoma||Jan. 2, New Orleans||5:30 p.m. ESPN|
|Orange||Ohio State vs. Clemson||Jan. 3, Miami||5 p.m. ESPN|
|Cotton||Missouri vs. Oklahoma State||Jan. 3, Arlington, Texas||4:30 p.m. FOX|
|Compass||Vanderbilt vs. Houston||Jan. 4, Birmingham, Ala.||10 a.m. ESPN|
|GoDaddy||Arkansas State vs. Ball State||Jan. 5, Mobile, Ala.||6 p.m. ESPN|
|BCS||Florida State vs. Auburn||Jan. 6, Pasadena, Calif.||5:30 p.m. ESPN|
|Note: Game times subject to change|