COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Florida St-Auburn title game to usher out BCS era

2013-12-08T21:00:00Z Florida St-Auburn title game to usher out BCS eraRalph D. Russo AP College Football Writer nwitimes.com
December 08, 2013 9:00 pm  • 

As college football prepares for the final Bowl Championship Series, featuring a Florida State-Auburn championship game, it's easy to see why the coming four-team playoff won't solve all the postseason problems.

Heck, we might just miss the BCS. Maybe?

It sort of worked out this season. Top-ranked Florida State (13-0) was the only team to get through the regular season unbeaten, and the Seminoles did it in dominating fashion. Auburn (12-1) won the Southeastern Conference, and among the teams with imperfect records the Tigers' resume is best.

The pairings become official Sunday night when the final BCS standings came out, but there's no question about 1 and 2. It'll be the 'Noles and Tigers at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 6 for the national championship.

In the other marquee bowls:

— Alabama will play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

— Clemson will play Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.

— Michigan State will play Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

— Baylor will play UCF in the Fiesta Bowl.

Of course, Big 12 champion Baylor (11-1) and Big Ten champion Michigan State (12-1) might argue with that top two. But over 16 seasons college football fans have built up what can be called BCS acceptance, learning to live with the fact that there is only room for two.

Fans of particularly aggrieved teams (2000 Miami, 2004 Auburn, 2008 Texas, just to name a few) still burn over the slights. Generally, though, by the time the championship game kicked off, most everybody was on board.

Now think about this season playing out under next season's format. In the new world order known as the College Football Playoff, a selection committee will pick four teams to play in two national semifinals. The winners play for the national title.

Notre Dame headed to NY for Pinstripe Bowl: The last time Notre Dame visited Yankee Stadium, quarterback Tommy Rees got Derek Jeter's locker.

He'll get another chance to visit the revered stadium before his career with the Fighting Irish is over. Notre Dame will face Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl there on Dec. 28.

"I remember walking into the stadium for the first time. Walking into the locker room and your jaw drops. It's an incredible atmosphere," the senior quarterback said. "Just to be where the Yankees are and that organization they have. It's a special place to be."

Rees' first trip to the new Yankee Stadium was in 2010, when Notre Dame beat Army 27-3 during the regular season.

Notre Dame finished 8-4 this season, but had no bowl affiliation this year. The spot in the Pinstripe Bowl was open because the Big 12 did not have enough Bowl eligible teams.

Next season the Irish will be part of the Atlantic Coast Conference bowl lineup, which will include the Pinstripe Bowl.

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