BCS Wrapped Up
We saw USC absolutely destroy Oklahoma in the 2005 championship. The Trojans would have to vacate the win because Pete Carroll takes liberties with rules. We saw Alabama have the only shutout of the era in a rematch of the SEC Championship game in 2012. We saw Vince Young singlehandedly carry the Texas Longhorns rushing and receiving against the same Trojan juggernaut looking to repeat as champions in 2006. We saw Auburn cap off an undefeated season in a game that ended on a field goal with no time left. We were treated on Monday to the largest comeback in BCS championship game history.
Who Will We Remember?
Vince Young has the most total yards (467), rushing yards (200), and rushing touchdowns in BCS championship game history. His performance in 2006 is the transcendent performance of the BCS championship game. The year before, Matt Leinart looked as if he was going to be an NFL superstar throwing five touchdown passes, three to Steve Smith which is the record, against the overwhelmed Oklahoma Sooners. Darron Thomas outplayed Heisman trophy winner and future number 1 overall pick Cam Newton in 2011, throwing for a record 363 yards against Auburn whose defensive line completely stymied the vaunted Oregon rushing attack. Kellen Winslow was a soldier against the Buckeyes in 2003 hauling in eleven passes.
Future Hall of Famer Andre Johnson and longtime pro Peerless Price both had 199 yds receiving against Nebraska in 2002 and Florida state in 1999. Alabama kicker Jeremey Shelley was 5 for 5 in field goals n the game in 2012. You think the Tide would have liked to have had him in the past 45 days? Current Ram James Laurinaitis had 18 tackles in 2008 for Ohio State, one time Jaguar Derrick Harvey had 3 sacks in that same game for the Florida Gators. Finally, the legendary Sean Taylor had 2 interceptions including this infamous one.
The Best? Not So Much
Ten of the sixteen games featured Heisman Trophy winners. Their record? Four wins and six losses. Leinart was epic in 2005 and Mark Ingram was dominant against an outmanned Texas team. Cam Newton and Jameis Winston were pedestrian in wins. Reggie Bush played very well in the USC loss in 2006, but Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch, Jason White, Troy Smith and Sam Bradford were all disappointing in the games they played in the year after they won their Heismans.
Steeped in Controversy? Not Really
In 2001, second ranked Oregon (AP poll) was bypassed in favor of Nebraska despite the Cornhuskers loss in its final regular season game to the Colorado Buffaloes 62-36. In 2003, USC was not in the championship game, but beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl and ended up #1 in the AP final poll. In 2004, undefeated Auburn, Boise State and Utah were left out of the National Championship Game. In 2008, Utah was excluded from the game for a second time despite being the only undefeated Division I-A team at the end of the season and finished second behind 13–1 Florida. In 2009, Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, TCU, and Boise State were all undefeated; however, the BCS selected Alabama and Texas as they were the top two teams in the BCS rankings. In 2010, TCU finished with an undefeated record along with Oregon and Auburn but was excluded from the game.
The Team of the BCS Era
We all know the BCS era belonged to the SEC conference wise, but who was the team of the era? The BCS began with Florida State playing in the first three national championship games winning the Sugar Bowl in 2000 against Virginia Tech led by a young freshman quarterback by the name of Vick. It ended with them stopping the vaunted SEC from winning the last 8 championships. Florida State tied with Oklahoma for the most appearances in the BCS championship game with four. Their two championships ties them with LSU and Florida for second most in the BCS era behind Alabama’s three. With the most appearances and the second most championships, Florida State is the team of the BCS era in spite of Alabama’s dominance in the last 4 years and the gap between their own appearances.