The BCS Era Ends On A High Note: Recapping Its Final Games

Posted: January 8, 2014 by ericbernsen in NCAAF, Sports
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The BCS bowl system went out on a high note this week after it suffered through much criticism and controversy in recent years. However, fans across the country were left pleased after a thrilling end to the final BCS Championship game as Florida St. completed an epic comeback to defeat Auburn. In its final week of existence,  all five BCS bowl games were undecided in the fourth quarter. The title game, Orange Bowl and Rose Bowl were decided by five points or fewer. As the BCS system will be replaced by a College-Football Playoff in 2014, let’s recap the classic games that took place within the past week as the BCS rode off into the sunset. 

Fiesta Bowl: UCF Stuns Baylor 52-42

Heading into this game, many questioned whether UCF deserved the opportunity to play in a BCS bowl game. However, the high-powered offense from the AAC silenced all naysayers as they racked up 52 points against another offensive juggernaut in Baylor. UCF QB Blake Bortles accounted for 4 TD’s while RB Storm Johnson rushed for 3 more in what was the biggest win in UCF program history. This game proved to be one of the bigger upsets in this year’s slate of bowl games and the back-and-forth contest surprised viewers across the country.

Rose Bowl: Michigan St. Stands Strong, Defeats Stanford 24-20

In the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl, Michigan St came back from a 10 point deficit to defeat Stanford in a classic Pac 12/Big 10 match-up of top 5 ranked teams. The Spartan defense held strong as they stopped Stanford from converting on a crucial 4th down play late in the game. In fact, Michigan St. held the Cardinals to to just three points and six first downs in the final 30 minutes of the contest.  It was Michigan State’s first Rose Bowl win since defeating USC in 1988 and their best finish since 1966. In an era where offense usually reigns supreme, good old smash mouth football decided the outcome of another exciting Rose Bowl match-up.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Defeats Ohio St. 40-35 in Shootout 

The Clemson Tigers bounced back from their loss to South Carolina and beat a highly touted Ohio St. team in a 40-35 shootout. The devastating defeat (2nd in a row) left a bitter taste in the mouth of Buckeye fans after Ohio State had set a school record with 24 consecutive wins over the past two seasons. The talents of Tigers QB Tajh Boyd were on display as he put on a show with 505 yards of offense and six total touchdowns, finding star receiver Sammy Watkins 16 times for 227 yards. While Ohio St. QB Braxton Miller fought valiantly for his team, it wasn’t enough as Clemson claimed their first victory in a BCS Bowl game. This was the first time in history that Ohio State lost a game when scoring 35 or more points.

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma Shocks Alabama 45-31

All of the hype leading up to this game surrounded Alabama and their quest to avenge a loss to Auburn in a game that will be remembered for years to come. However, the Sooners were the ones to prove their worth as they shocked Alabama with a decisive 45-31 victory. Freshman Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight threw for a career high 348 yards and 4 TD’s. While Alabama started off strong out of the gate,  Heisman runner-up QB A.J McCarron was uncharacteristically mistake-prone throughout the rest of the game. The Crimson Tide had three first-half turnovers that led directly to 21 points for the Sooners. Head coach Nick Saban and his squad could not recover from that as the Sooners shocked the college football world.

BCS Title Game: Florida St Comes Back and Defeats Auburn 34-31

In the final BCS game, we were rewarded with one of the best in the systems history. The underdog Tigers started the game strongly with 21-3 lead, as head coach Gus Malzahn’s spread offense was working flawlessly against the stout Seminole defense. Heisman winner Jameis Winston looked like a redshirt freshman in the first half as he lacked poise and struggled to find receivers. But a fake punt and a touchdown from the Florida St. shifted the momentum of the game and Jimbo Fisher’s defense stood strong in the second half. This contest went down to the wire after the unreal series of events including a 100 yard kick off return by FSU followed by a huge score by Auburn RB Tre Mason; but Jameis Winston shined when it mattered as he led his team to a game-winning/last-second drive. This was everything you could ask for in a championship game.





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