For nearly twenty years the Bowl Championship Series has been the cause of great consternation for millions of college football fans. Despite this, the BCS has also provided the same fans a great deal of drama whether it was really necessary or not.
As the BCS is now in its’ final year, this past weekend again provided us with more excitement and more to debate as we finally head into a four-team playoff starting next year. The playoff format will not eliminate debate and it will not end talk of “who deserves to get in and who doesn’t” but it at the very least does better than the BCS.
The discussion heading into this past weekend once again centered on the ‘what-ifs.’ What it Duke beats Florida State? What if Michigan State beats Ohio State? What happens if Auburn wins convincingly? Would they be able to jump Ohio State if they barely beat the Spartans?
As has always been the case, those questions were either answered or deemed moot by the actual players who play the games. We now know who will play where and against whom and who got screwed and who didn’t. Such is the college football bowl system.
Sparty Unmasks the Buckeyes
A 24-game win streak and two unbeaten regular seasons had many people thinking the Ohio State Buckeyes were destined for a BCS Title Game berth. Unfortunately, questions about a weak schedule and weaker than usual conference dogged them all season.
The Buckeyes are a good team. I can’t deny that, but they were beaten Saturday night in Indianapolis by a Michigan State team that faced similar questions but proved far tougher as they won 34-24. The loss not only knocked the Buckeyes out the BCS Title Game but reinforced many of the stigmas that surrounded the scarlet and gray.
Despite coming back to score 24 straight points after trailing 17-0, the Buckeyes just didn’t have anything left. Their offense consisted of either Braxton Miller or Carlos Hyde running the ball and that was about it. MSU leaned heavily on first-year starter Connor Cook who threw for three scores and a career high 304 yards.
So what does the OSU loss mean?
Auburn Wins SEC; Will Play for Title with Buckeyes’ Loss
Auburn running back Tre Mason ran for over 300 yards as the Tigers of Auburn beat the Tigers of Missouri 59-42 to claim the Southeastern Conference Title. Several hours later, Auburn earned yet another major victory when Ohio State lost in the Big Ten Championship. That will allow Gus Malzahn’s team to play Florida State for the National Championship.
The SEC has always prided itself on being a defensive-minded conference but even the most hardened fan has to admit that teams have changed. Newcomers Missouri and Texas A&M have a lot to do with that surge in scoring but so does Alabama, LSU and the Mississippi schools as well.
This is not your father’s SEC kids.
Other College Football Happenings
Florida State came out rather sluggish in the opening quarter against upstart Duke in the ACC Championship Game but they found their legs pretty quickly as they beat the Blue Devils 45-7. The title secures their spot in the BCS Title game…. In Oklahoma, this year’s version of Bedlam was just that. The Sooners scored with :19 left to knock Oklahoma State out of the BCS and deprived the Cowboys of a Big 12 Title…. That went to the Baylor Bears who got their offense going in the second half to beat Texas and claim the Big 12 and a BCS berth. The Bears are most likely headed to the Fiesta.