With college football introducing a four-team playoff next year, the Bowl Championship Series, introduced in 1998, comes to a close tonight when Florida State takes on Auburn for the national championship. Here's a look back at some memorable moments from the BCS era.
2006: Young's run
With 26 seconds left in the 2006 Rose Bowl, Texas quarterback Vince Young outsprinted the USC defense on a fourth-and-5 play and reached the end zone to give the Longhorns their first national championship since 1970. The game-winning run -- which assured an end to USC's 34-game winning streak -- later was ranked fifth on a list of college football's all-time top plays compiled by ESPN.
2007: Boise State's Statue of Liberty
The 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will forever be remembered for two plays that helped launch Boise State from Cinderella BCS crashers to a place among college football's most recognized programs. The first, coming just seconds after Oklahoma returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown to take its first lead of the game, was a "hook-and-lateral" play on fourth down that tied the game 35-35 with eight seconds left in regulation. The second, which came in overtime after the Broncos had answered a Sooners touchdown with one of their own, was a little-used "Statue of Liberty" play, with running back Ian Johnson running untouched into the end zone for the two-point conversion and the win. Johnson punctuated his game-winning play by dropping to one knee and proposing to his girlfriend, Boise State cheerleader Chrissy Popadics, live on national television.
2003: Pass interference?
One of the more controversial moments in the BCS era happened in the first overtime of the national championship game between Miami and underdog Ohio State. After Miami had scored to take a 24-17 lead, Buckeyes quarterback Craig Krenzel threw into the end zone for wide receiver Chris Gamble. The pass bounced away, incomplete, and Miami players and fans began to rush the field, believing the game to be over. But a flag was thrown late, and pass interference was called on Hurricanes defensive back Glenn Sharpe. Given another opportunity, Krenzel rushed for a one-yard touchdown to send the game into a second overtime. OSU scored first, then held Miami out of the end zone on another fourth-down play to preserve its first national title since 1970.
1999: Tennessee's 'Peerless' reception
Throughout the 1990s, the Volunteers and coach Phillip Fulmer maintained one of the country's top programs. Quarterback Peyton Manning started for four seasons and led them to a 40-8 record, but that span also included a string of four losses to rival Florida. In 1998, the season after Manning was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick, lightly regarded quarterback Tee Martin led the Vols to a 13-0 record and a berth in the national championship game against Florida State. In the fourth quarter, Martin found wide receiver Peerless Price with a perfectly thrown pass down the right sideline for a 73-yard touchdown that essentially wrapped up the Vols' sixth national title.
2011: Game-winning kick
Many observers expected a high-scoring shootout when the powerful offenses of Auburn and Oregon met in the 2011 BCS championship game. Instead, the game was decided on the final play, when senior kicker Wes Byrum knocked home a 19-yard field goal to give the Tigers their second national crown.
2005: Utah's hook-and-ladder
The Utes, the first team from a non-BCS conference to appear in a BCS bowl game, showed they belonged among the nation's best in their Fiesta Bowl matchup with Big East champion Pitt. Near the end of the third quarter, quarterback Alex Smith hit wideout Steve Savoy with a short screen pass, which Savoy immediately lateraled to Paris Warren. Warren sprinted 20 yards for Utah's final touchdown in a 35-7 rout.
2011: TCU over Wisconsin
The Mountain West Conference champion Horned Frogs needed a stop on a two-point conversion attempt by the Badgers to pull off a stunning upset and preserve an undefeated season in one of the biggest upsets of the BCS era.
2006: West Virginia's fake punt
The 2006 Sugar Bowl was played in Atlanta due to storm damage in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. The Mountaineers, a double-digit underdog to the SEC champion Bulldogs, led 38-35 and faced fourth-and-6 at Georgia's 48-yard line with 1:45 to play. In what surely will be remembered as one of the most daring play calls of the BCS era, West Virginia punter Phil Brady took the snap and ran 10 yards for a first down, allowing West Virginia to run out the clock.
- Community News Network
Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir
Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history. Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.
'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead
Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.
Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran
Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.
Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town
A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.
Airman laid to rest back home in Indiana six decades after death
The mystery of what happened to a military transport plane that disappeared in the fall of 1952 into an Alaskan glacier was solved two years ago when a helicopter crew spotted the wreckage. But it took another two years to retrieve the remains of Airman Howard Miller and 16 other servicemen passengers. Saturday, Miller was laid to rest in his hometown of Elwood, Ind., with full military honors. Hundreds turned out for the funeral and burial services.
New York to offer free lunch to all middle-school students
New York's $75 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that began last week includes the first step toward offering free lunch for all 1.1 million students, expanding a program now reserved only for the city's poorest children.
VIDEO: Pilot buys pizzas for storm-delayed travelers
A Frontier Airlines pilot went above and beyond the call of duty when a recent flight from Washington, D.C. to Denver was diverted to Cheyenne, Wyoming due to bad weather.
Why North Korean cheerleaders may soon descend on the South
When you think of North Korea, "cheerleaders" may not be the first thing that springs to mind. The Hermit Kingdom is perhaps better known for less savory things like gulag-like labor camps and leadership purges.
VIDEO: Foiled beach gear theft goes viral
Video capturing a bizarre confrontation with two women allegedly attempting to steal beach gear on a Florida beach has gone viral.
VIDEO: Sleeping fan suing Yankees, ESPN for $10M
A fan caught on camera sleeping during a recent game at Yankee Stadium has filed suit against the Yankees and ESPN, claiming he suffered emotional distress when two announcers mocked him on the air.
- More Community News Network Headlines
- Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir