When the final whistle blew and Alabama won the 2012 BCS National Championship, the bowl season for this year was over and now college football fans are left to wait and wait until we are ready to kick off the 2012 season.
Before everyone takes a look at their recruiting classes, or spring rosters or 2012 schedules, here is a look at 50 of the best moments from this year's bowl season.
While Rutgers did play great and earned a nice bowl victory, this game and win held more meaning then most. After the game and during the trophy presentation, Greg Schiano called out for Eric LeGrand, a player who was badly injured last year and still in a wheelchair, and let him know this win was for him.
This was an amazing moment for not only college football but sports in general.
Late in the fourth quarter, Oregon was holding on to a lead, but Wisconsin was driving to tie things up.
After Russell Wilson hit a deep pass to Jared Abbrederis, it appeared the Badgers were in good shape, but before he could get out of bounds, Abbrederis coughed up the ball. With the ball just sitting a foot from the Oregon sideline, coach Chip Kelly pointed the ball out and went airborne when the Ducks recovered.
Like it or hate it, the rematch was coming, and it put two of the best teams in the nation against each other. While many will argue about how these two teams got to this game, it is hard to argue that they weren't outstanding teams that are among the nation's elite.
As good as the Big East looked in their win by West Virginia, that is how bad Pittsburgh looked against SMU.
From the opening whistle, SMU jumped all over Pittsburgh going up 21-0 and never looked back. This is a loss that only goes to affirm some of the thoughts that people have about the Big East and their lack of strength.
When the BCS lineup came out, fans again rolled their eyes at the idea of the Big East getting an automatic spot, but West Virginia did not disappoint.
After things remained close early, the Mountaineers exploded after they returned a fumble 99 yards and ended up winning 70-33.
In the Fiesta Bowl, the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Stanford Cardinal went back and forth and finally had their game decided in overtime. One thing that we were treated to is the playmaking ability of Justin Blackmon.
When the Cowboys could get the ball to him, he became the clear difference-maker. Blackmon ended the game with eight catches, had 186 yards receiving and three touchdowns.
During his time at Stanford, watching Andrew Luck was truly a treat. Between his accuracy, strength and ability to make big plays, Luck was a rare blend that had NFL scouts desperate for him to declare.
Against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Luck has on display for the last time in college. In the Fiesta Bowl, Luck only threw four incompletions and looked as sharp as ever despite the loss.
In the Rose Bowl, De'Anthony Thomas introduced himself to the nation and gave fans a preview of what the Ducks rushing future looks like.
Despite only getting two carries, Thomas made the most of them taking them both in for touchdowns and setting a Rose Bowl record with a 91-yard score. Thomas ended the game with 155 yards and two scores.
Despite raising some eyebrows when it was announced, Michigan and Virginia Tech went at it in the Sugar Bowl this year.
While Virginia Tech appeared to have the upper hand, they continually shot themselves in the foot all the way into overtime where the eventually lost. The win gave Michigan a much-needed BCS victory and validated Brady Hoke's first season .
After a miserable performance in early November, Jeremy Shelley had a ton of pressure on him to perform well during this national title game. He responded great, going 5-of-7 and being the difference in the game for Alabama.
The Gator Bowl this year represented the past and future of Urban Meyer. The game featured Ohio State and Florida and was a solid game that ultimately saw the Gators win 24-17.
It will be interesting to see how Meyer is able to motivate a team that now will not return to a bowl game until the 2013 season.
Trailing 13-9 with the first half coming to an end, South Carolina decided to make one last play at the end zone before going to the half.
With a player like Alshon Jeffery, throwing up a jump ball Hail Mary is not such a long-shot, and he proved it against Nebraska by hauling in a deep pass with no time left in the first half.
In his final game at Houston, Case Keenum came out swinging against the Penn State defense. In the TicketCity Bowl, Keenum threw for 532 yards and three touchdowns and led the Cougars to a bowl win.
After both teams lost in their conference title games, the Georgia Bulldogs and Michigan State Spartans drew each other in the Outback Bowl.
Georgia jumped out to an early 16-0 lead, but the second half saw the Spartans charge back and force overtime. In overtime, both teams played conservative and ultimately, Georgia failed to match field goals with Michigan State, giving the Spartans the win.
Despite the Terps not making it to a bowl game, we can all be thankful and enjoy the moment in which you realized that Maryland could not break out these uniforms for their bowl game.
Maybe next year?
After a year full of letdowns and blowing second-half leads, the Aggies found themselves in a familiar position but earning a different outcome.
In the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Texas A&M held a 30-7 lead over Northwestern. Despite the Wildcats scoring two touchdowns, the Aggies made plays that helped close out the game and earn them a victory.
The Alamo Bowl is a game that many will not forget, but one that the defenses will want erased from their memory.
With Washington and Baylor going back and forth, there were 17 total touchdowns scored, and a final score of 67-56 earned Baylor a bowl win in the craziest bowl game all year long.
Along with Andrew Luck, the college career of Kellen Moore also came to an end this year. Despite not making it to a BCS bowl game, Moore still helped lead the Broncos to a bowl win over the Arizona State Sun Devils.
In this game, Moore threw for 293 yards and two scores and closed the chapter on his time at Boise State.
Late in the game, Oregon was able to milk the clock down and finally pinned Wisconsin back at its own 16-yard line with under 20 second remaining in the game.
With no timeouts remaining, Russell Wilson hit two big pass plays that took the Badgers down to the Oregon 25 with two seconds left. Instead of running a play, Wilson tried to get the ball spiked but was unable to do so in time, giving the Ducks the Rose Bowl win.
After the second punt by LSU, Marquis Maze broke through the first wave and got the ball down deep into LSU territory. Towards the end of his return, Maze appeared to pull up lame with a hamstring injury, but the way he fought through it and got off the field showed his team and the nation how much this game meant to him.
If you were a fan of offense, then this bowl season provided you with a ton of smiles. Between games like Oregon-Wisconsin, Oklahoma State-Stanford and Washington-Baylor, the scoreboards were lighting up with touchdown after touchdown.
While having two teams in the SEC title game will ensure that the conference will once again be home to the nation's national champion, it also ensures that the SEC's undefeated record in the BCS title game will come to an end.
After watching an early lead disappear, Tulsa scored to start the fourth quarter of the Armed Forces Bowl, and it appeared to maybe be enough to put the game away.
With time winding down, BYU got deep into Tulsa territory and with 11 second remaining, the Cougars took their lead back and finished off a bowl win.
While it may not have been a game between two marquee teams, the game between Ohio and Utah State sure provided some late game drama.
Trailing by six with 13 seconds remaining, Ohio punched it in on a 1-yard run and locked up a victory in the Potato Bowl.
Over the past two years, Boise State has been at the center of some huge field goal misses that have cost them dearly. This bowl season has seen its share of big misses as teams like Georgia, Stanford and Virginia Tech all felt the pain of a big miss.
SEC fans are extremely passionate about college football, so the scene of having two SEC powers going head-to-head for the BCS title was priceless and something that everyone around college football could appreciate.
When Russell Wilson decided to leave NC State after graduating in three years, many wrote off the Wolfpack figuring that Wilson had carried them. But after an eight-win season, including a bowl win, NC State walked away with a stunningly successful 2011.
The win helped validate that Tom O'Brien has this team on the right track.
For the past two years, Oregon has been knocking on the BCS door. In 2010, the Ducks fell short against Ohio State and followed that up by losing on a last-second field goal to Auburn for the BCS National Championship.
This year was the Ducks' third straight chance at a BCS win, and they cashed in by beating Wisconsin for their first Rose Bowl win since 1917.
With the game still tight and early on, Clemson appeared to be going in for a 1-yard touchdown run when the Orange Bowl got turned upside down. On the run, the ball was fumbled away and West Virginia took advantage by going the other way for a 99-yard touchdown.
During the Cotton Bowl, college football fans were in for a treat as Gus Johnson called the action. Throughout the game, Johnson offered his signature flair and made watching the game extremely entertaining.
For the past three years, Michigan State was reached new levels in success, but it has failed to end the year on a high note with a bowl win. After this year's 33-30 triple overtime win, Michigan State sent its seniors out with their first bowl win in their last game.
If you are a fan of crazy plays and turnovers, then hopefully you tuned into the Little Ceasars Bowl. With Purdue and Western Michigan going up against each other, there were a total of 11 turnovers during this game that led to back and forth action all game long.
After getting a sneak peak at this game in November, many expected the Tide to roll into this game and punch the ball right at LSU with Trent Richardson and try to control the game with the ground attack.
Saban caught everyone off guard by starting this game off with a heavy pass focus and set the tone for Alabama early.
In the time leading up to the Sugar Bowl, Virginia Tech found its depth at kicker being tested. Down to third-string kicker Justin Myer, Virginia Tech was left hoping he could get the job done.
Despite missing a kick in overtime, Myer still ended up making four out of five kicks, better than most could have imagined.
In its final game of the year, the Auburn offense stepped up huge for the Tigers. When going up against the Virginia Cavaliers, the Auburn offense rolled up 43 points, which was the most it scored all season long.
What you didn't see from the first game between Alabama and LSU was creativity and coaches taking chances. That trend stopped early in this game as Nick Saban went deep into the playbook and converted on a fake field goal.
After a one-year absence from the bowl season, Texas returned this year and faced Cal in the Holiday Bowl. In a low scoring game, David Ash stood out as he not only threw a touchdown but caught one as well.
Trailing by two touchdowns heading to the fourth quarter, Utah appeared to be down and out against Georgia Tech. Instead of folding up shop, the Utes scored twice in the final quarter to force overtime. In overtime, John White, plunged into the end zone and put the game away.
After a hard fought Rose Bowl win, Ducks players and coaches all celebrated a huge win for themselves and the program. In particular, coach Chip Kelly and linebacker Kiko Alonso shared a special moment.
Alonso and Kelly share a bond because of the second chance Kelly gave him. Alonso ran into trouble while at Oregon but was able to earn back Kelly's trust, and it led to his stand out game against the Badgers.
One thing that may have gotten overlooked with the loss is the fact that Ohio State will be absent from the bowl games for a year. With the punishment that came down from the NCAA, Urban Meyer will have to get the kids to buy into the program and process he puts in place while waiting to be bowl eligible.
After a huge win in the Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma State enjoyed the moment and soaked it all in. More than anyone, coach Mike Gundy let it all hang loose as video of his post-game dance is all over the Internet.
You have to tip your hat to the performance that the Alabama defense turned in during the BCS National Championship Game. While continuing to force punts and getting a couple of turnovers was impressive, the most impressive part of this game was not allowing LSU past the 50-yard line until midway through the fourth quarter.
When UCLA and Illinois went up against each other in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, something good had to happen for one team. Illinois came into the game riding a six-game losing streak, and UCLA got into the bowl due to a waiver for being under .500.
Ultimately, the Illini ended their skid and finished the season 7-6 with a 20-14 win.
In the Champs Sports Bowl, Notre Dame met up with Florida State in a game that took people back to games of the past. Despite trailing 14-0 in the third quarter, Florida State scratched and clawed and finally found a way to fight its way back into the game and ended up winning 18-14, giving the Noles a good ending to a disappointing year.
Not to be outdone by the new Wisconsin uniforms and helmet design, the Ducks made a splash at the Rose Bowl with their new look.
Along with new designs to their uniform, the Ducks came out in a liquid metal-colored helmet and continued to push the envelope on uniform innovation.
While it was already covered that Michigan returned to a BCS win, it has been a while since Michigan fans have experienced a big win and heard that tune that they grew up signing. When the final horn went in the Sugar Bowl, the players, fans and band enjoyed singing "Hail to the Victors."
In the Orange Bowl, not many saw the huge blowout coming by West Virginia, but a key to that breakout performance was quarterback Geno Smith. During the game, Smith threw for 401 yards, six touchdowns and also rushed for a score as well.
Regardless of whether you like Penn State, most can be happy that the season is finally over for them. With the season over, the program can take time to focus on getting things in order and trying to start the difficult process of rebuilding its image.
With the Alabama victory, we are left with two teams that beat each other this year and a team that never got a shot at either. After the national championship was over, fans were left with a feeling of being cheated in the sense that a playoff is still needed.
One of the best thing to come from this year's BCS games is the great performances we saw from other teams not in the title game.
With LSU and Alabama going up against each other in a rematch, many debated the need for a college football playoff, and performances from teams like Oklahoma State and Oregon only intensified that argument.