For the number of times the system may have got it wrong, the Bowl Championship Series went out with a bang Monday night at one of the most historic stadiums in college football.
Florida State put an end to the Southeastern Conference's "reign of terror" as they won a heart-stopper over Auburn 34-31 at the Rose Bowl. It snapped the SEC's seven year streak of national titles and a personal five-year streak within the state of Alabama.
The current system took its last breath and held on to it when Auburn tried to pull off one last miracle that would outdue the 100-yard kickoff return by Chris Davis in the Iron Bowl and the deflection on the Hail Mary to Ricardo Louis two weeks before that. A third miracle did not come, and the Seminoles were national champions for the first time since 1999.
After last seasons Discover BCS National Championship Game that was over by the start of the second quarter when No. 2 Alabama went up 21-0 on No. 1 Notre Dame, it was a mismatch that left many anticipating the end of the BCS and the arrival of the four-team College Football Playoff.
With Auburn up 21-3, you could hear the melodic moan coming from non-SEC fans around the country. Many were ready to bow down to the conference's supremacy. That was until Jimbo Fisher had the stones to call a fake punt from his own 40 that they would convert and later set up a Freeman 3-yard touchdown run and narrowed the lead to 21-10 going into the locker room.
The second half was when all of college football saw the Jameis Winston and Florida State team many knew so well. With only a field goal by the Seminoles in the third quarter, it lead to a fourth quarter in which the last five minutes kept everyone glued to whichever ESPN they were watching Monday night.
A field goal by Auburn gave the Tigers gave them some cut-rate insurance until Levonte Whitfield went 100 yards on the ensuing return to put Florida State on top, with still a lot of time left on the clock.
In a case of poor tackling by the Seminoles defense and power running by Tre Mason, he sped past defenders 37 yards for a touchdown with 1:19 left and an Auburn 31-27 lead.
Still. Too much time on the clock for Winston. You know were thinking that.
Winston to Greene for 49 yards put them in the drivers seat and with a Chris Davis pass interference call in the endzone, it helped Jameis Winston add national champion along with his Heisman winner to his resume as he hit Kelvin Benjamin with the 2-yard touchdown pass. All on his 20th birthday.
Monday night's outcome not only gave hope and optimism to the ACC, who is looking to profile itself as just more than a basketball conference, but to every major conference in the country.
With the new playoff system, four teams will get a chance to prove their worth for the national championship. To see the giants like Alabama and Auburn lose BCS bowl games this season can make even the most pessimistic football fan see a glimmer of hope.
Goodbye, BCS. Your system always left us talking (and complaining) most of your 16 years of existence.
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