Much-Maligned BCS Provides Classic Finale
By Mitch Chortkoff
Until Monday night, Texas' comeback win over USC in 2006 was considered the greatest championship game in the 16-year history of the Bowl Championship Series.
But in the last game of the BCS, which will be replaced by a new system next season, Florida State's thrilling come-from-behind victory over Auburn, matched it.
Florida State, seeking a perfect season, trailed 21-3 before taking command. Both teams scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
And Auburn, which had shocked Alabama with a 100-yrd-return of a missed field goal on the final play, was victimized by a similarly-dramatic kickoff return for Florida State's final touchdown.
This wasn't Texas' Vince Young outlasting Pete Carroll's USC team eight years ago but it equaled that game in drama.
And here's the best part. Although the BCS championship game site rotates, both of these classics were played at the Rose Bowl.
This game provided an example why college football is one of my favorite sports.
I've written recent columns praising USC's 10-win season despite replacing its coach early in the year and UCLA's 10-win season in Jim Mora's second year as coach. Now we add college football's BCS title game to the highlights of the season.
The BCS was a flawed system in which teams who thought they belonged in the title game weren't invited. The new system will feature a four-team playoff.
That should be an improvement but there likely will be years when five or six teams will expect a berth. So this system isn't perfect either.
But I'd rather focus on the positive. A long way from home, two teams from the south played a classic championship game Monday night. And the stadium was filled with their loyal fans
The game also gave us a look at Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston on a night when he was struggling.
He then pulled his game together to prevail at th most crucial time.
The redshirt freshman is a special talent and because NFL rules prohibit him from turning pro next season he'll be back with a lot of his Florida State teammates.
Florida State should be the pre-season No. 1 next season and Auburn should be in the top five.
It was only one week earlier when the 100th Rose Bowl game was played. The stadium was again filled as Michigan State edged Stanford.
Michigan State qualified by beating Ohio State for the Big Ten championship. By also beating Stanford, Michigan State verified the nothing it was a truly outstanding team.
So let's take a rest until we begin again. We have plenty to do, though. There's the NFL playoffs, the NBA and college basketball, hockey and then spring training and the beginning of baseball.