Every BCS Conference Team's Greatest Win & Most Devastating Loss of the BCS Era

Dan VastaSenior Writer IIIJuly 4, 2012

Every BCS Conference Team's Greatest Win & Most Devastating Loss of the BCS Era

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    The BCS era will be coming to its conclusion in 2014 and with only two years remaining, it is time to go over every single BCS team's greatest and most devastating games played.

    It has been one hell of an era as there have been hundreds of games that will never be forgotten. Some were catastrophic type of losses that cost coaches their jobs and many players performed at their best when it really counted.

    Some teams folded whereas others were as clutch as can be, but the more devastating losses often meant that the program was in prime position to succeed at the highest level.

    So, going back from the first season in the BCS (1998), here are your greatest wins and most devastating losses for every BCS program.

    Note: Boise State will enter the Big East in football only starting in 2013, but with their success I included them.

Boise State

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    November 26, 2010

    This game seemed to go on forever and it was a game that I personally never wanted to see end. The game was loaded with electric plays that made you scream in disbelief, but this will forever be the game that perhaps cost the Broncos a BCS National Championship appearance.

    Auburn would go onto dethrone Alabama after trailing 24-0, but who knows how everything would have panned out if the Broncos could have held onto victory over Nevada.

    Having a 24-7 lead at the break is about as comfortable as it gets against a ranked team, but Nevada came storming back thanks to the valiant efforts put on by wide receiver Rishard Matthews and quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

    The great Bronco defense was gashed for 528 yards as they could not away with the huge stop that they needed. Kellen Moore struck quickly to perhaps get the victory as Titus Young made one of the greatest catches in the BCS era.

    The storybook ending soon became a nightmare as Kyle Brotzman would miss the next kicks, though the defense and the team as a whole lost this once in a lifetime game.

    January 1, 2007

    Many look at the 2007 Fiesta Bowl as the greatest game ever played in their lives (non-NC) because of the ending drama that had ensued.

    Whether it was the pick-six, hook-and-ladder halfback pass for a touchdown on fourth down or the "Statue of Liberty", the game had endless memories.

    Chris Petersen and his Broncos had finally knocked off Goliath in the clutch and it was on national television for the entire country to witness. 

    Boise State defeated Oklahoma 43-42 and capped off their magical and perfect 13-0 season as everybody soon whispered a playoff (finished No. 5 in AP.)

Notre Dame

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    September 10, 2005

    The Irish were ranked No. 23, but the Maize and Blue were ranked third in the country and not many thought this was the season in which the Irish would return as BCS at-large bid contenders.

    It was the first season of Charlie Weis, but his Irish played one hell of a game against the Wolverines. Ultimately winning 17-10, the defense played out of its minds forcing Michigan into two turnovers.

    Darius Walker toted the rock 26 times for 104 yards, but Jeff Samardzija and Rhema McKnight hauled in the lone Irish touchdowns.

    It proved to be the difference as Notre Dame edged out by a touchdown and they ended up playing USC in an epic game that decided their postseason fates.

    October 15, 2005

    Forever being remembered as the "Bush Push" game that propelled the Trojans into the BCS National Championship for a second straight year (third year of least split.)

    The play that realistically should never be forgotten would be the strike that Matt Leinart delivered to to Dwayne Jarrett on a 4th-and-9 that was as clutch as can be.

    Leinart then scrambled and was hit in mid-air as the ball went flying out of bounds, which stopped the clock. Leinart then quarterback sneaked it from inside one and received an extra tap from running back Reggie Bush.

    Trailing 31-28, the Trojans went up for good as Leinart scored the game-winning touchdown (34-31, PAT was missed after 15-yard celebration penalty.)

    The victory allowed the Trojans dynasty to continue, as the Irish had to settle for an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.

Florida State

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    January 4, 2000

    It was the Seminoles' second consecutive BCS title appearance and everybody knew they were going to come through against the Mike Vick-led Virginia Tech Hokies.

    It was an evenly matched game heading into the fourth quarter until Chris Weinke found Peter Warrick. Warrick was interfered with on the play, but made one hell of a diving grab as he sent his Noles and Bobby Bowden home to their second national championship (first BCS.) 

    January 3, 2001

    I will argue their most devastating loss was against Wake Forest back in 2006 where they were shutout at Doak (Herby and Brent called the game) 30-0!

    However, the turn of the century per se was their 2001 BCS Orange Bowl (National Championship) loss to the Oklahoma Sooners.

    Chris Weinke and the Noles offense were nearly unstoppable averaging 42 points per game, but they got their teeth kicked in by a Sooners defense that was pumped from the opening kick.

    Oklahoma did not want to even give the Noles offense a crack at a cheap touchdown towards the end of the game, so they took a safety.

    The loss ended an era of dominance for Florida State football as arguably one of the greatest long achieved streaks in all of sports came to an end.

    FSU from 1987-2000 had 14 straight seasons of finishing the final AP or Coaches Poll in the top four.

    No team may ever achieve more than three straight seasons in the final top four. The more important news is that FSU is still waiting to finish a season where they end up in the final top ten.

Miami FL

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    January 3, 2002

    Arguably the greatest and most talented squad in the BCS era (and ever) dominated the Nebraska Cornhuskers to capture the BCS National Championship (37-14).

    There is no need to go on and on. This team was scary good and the talent will arguably never be topped.

    January 3, 2003

    One of the greatest BCS titles of this era, the Canes were 11.5 point favorites over Ohio State, but instead found themselves in a double overtime battle.

    Ken Dorsey couldn’t pull off a virtuoso performance to lead his team to victory as it was the Ohio State defense (and a late PI call) that helped pull off the dramatic upset.

    Miami had three more solid seasons but has essentially never been the same since that loss. All dominant BCS teams catch fire, but so many eventually catch a cold spell as well. 

    The Hurricanes dominance finally came to an end and although it was a fun ride, it was a bit surreal realizing how human they looked against the Buckeyes in this all-time classic.

Virginia Tech

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    November 26, 1999

    Their victory over No. 22 Boston College enabled them to appear in their first ever national championship.

    Besides winning the Big East title, it was a moment where Frank Beamer had the opportunity to be recognized for what he had accomplished thus far in his career at Blacksburg.

    October 25, 2007

    Matty “Ice” Ryan was just that against the fabulous Hokies defense. Virginia Tech and Boston College kept slugging at each other in a defensive battle.

    However, the Hokies had this game in the bag on several occasions up 10-0 late in the fourth quarter. After an absurd 92-yard drive capped off by a 16-yard TD from Ryan to Rich Gunnell, BC still trailed by a field goal.

    That came after an interception by Ryan, but after the score they were forced to kick an onside kick. They recovered after VT’s Josh Morgan muffed and lost it.

    Once again, Ryan had some magic left in him as he hit Orion Martin for the game-winning 24-yard TD pass.

    The loss was epic not because they squandered and blew a double digit lead, but the only loss up to that point in the season was in Baton Rouge against LSU.

    Virginia Tech got their revenge by handling BC 30-16 and they were ranked third as they headed in the Orange Bowl against Kansas (which they did en up losing).

    This was the same season in which a two-loss LSU and Ohio State (one-loss) squad squared off in the BCS title. Had the Hokies never had blown that game against BC, perhaps they would have played for it all.

    Still to this day many are in shock with their loss to Boston College as so many firmly believe they could have won a BCS title that season.

Clemson

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    January 4, 2012

    West Virginia hammered the Clemson Tigers by scoring the most points in the history of bowl games. They hung 70 on them and this was a game in which Clemson was favored to win.

    We do not officially know the future results (aftermath) from this game since it is their most recent game, but getting obliterated on national television in a BCS bowl is never fun.

    It is not just devastating, but the humiliating experience is quite the humbling experience of how much better this team needs to play together as a team.

    December 3, 2011

    Call me crazy, but their beatdown over a solid Virginia Tech squad has been their greatest win in the BCS era. Clemson never had appeared in the BCS and to finally breakthrough this past season was a remarkable experience.

    Tajh Boyd was sensational against a legit Hokies defense, and the Tigers defense proved they were worthy limiting VT’s rushing offense to just 56 yards.

    Finally, Clemson came through and played up to their talent as they left no doubts heading into the BCS for the first time in school history.

Georgia Tech

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    December 5, 2009

    The Yellow Jackets did have to eventually vacate this epic victory in the ACC title over Clemson, but at the moment it was finally the breakthrough victory they were waiting for.

    They also lost to Iowa in the Orange Bowl (which was also vacated due to NCAA violations), but appearing in the programs first ever BCS bowl is clearly a tremendous achievement.

    December 2, 2006

    Losing to Wake Forest (in the ACC title with a BCS berth on the line) in a battle of kicks 9-6 was a tough pill to swallow. Having one of the most talented wide receivers in the BCS era, and still losing makes the loss even more painful.

    Calvin Johnson was and still is as gifted as a player as there is in all of sports. The guy is a freak and then and yet the Yellow Jackets could not muster enough offense with Reggie Ball at quarterback.

North Carolina

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    September 22, 2001

    The Seminoles were ranked sixth in the country and the Tar Heels were coming off three straight losses to start their seasons off.

    This was the game that many remember Julius Pepeprs eating the Noles backfield alive. Chris Rix was mugged by Peppers, who seemed to be everywhere on the field.

    FSU ran into a buzzsaw that day as they humiliated by UNC 41-9, and it was that victory that gave the Heels their best season (arguably) of the BCS era.

    December 27, 2008

    Can UNC ever eclipse the eight-win mark in a season during the BCS era?

    They only have two seasons left and my survey says this is finally the season to accomplish such a tough task, but there have not been a boatload of devastating losses in the BCS era for the Heels.

    The reason being is because they have not had a ton of expectations, so we have to go to a few tough losses that have ended up costing UNC their nine-win seasons.

    Look at the 2008 MCC Bowl and although it was Pat White’s final game in a Mountaineer uniform, there was no reason why the Heels couldn’t take care of business in this one.

    They led 30-24 entering the fourth quarter and kept White in check all game (ran for just 55 yards), but it was White’s arm that killed them in crunch time.

    Alic Arnett caught the game-winning TD with just over seven minutes remaining and UNC’s valiant effort went to waste as they let yet another season of nine wins come up just short.  

North Carolina State

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    January 1, 2003

    A 28-6 Gator Bowl victory over Notre Dame on New Year’s does not happen very often and neither does an 11-win season.

    It was by far the Pack's best season during the BCS era and Philip Rivers was the main man that game alongside his go-to-guy in Jerricho Cotchery.

    Cotchery hauled in ten passes for 127 yards and a TD, but forcing the Irish into three turnovers essentially won them the game.

    Finishing the season at No. 12 easily made it the most memorable season by Chuck Amato and the Wolfpack during the BCS era.

    November 20, 2010

    It was simple for the Pack: win and you are in the ACC Championship. They started out beautifully scoring on their first two drives of the game, but eventually the offense stalled and the defense could not stop a high school team.

    In fact, the Pack defense allowed 408 yards (417 passing, -8 rushing) against an average Maryland Terrapins squad. However star wide receiver Torrey Smith had a College Football Hall of Fame type of game.

    Hauling in 14 passes for 224 yards and 4 TDs are absurd numbers, and the terrible performance by the defense (offense didn’t help either) cost them a crack at a potential BCS berth.

Boston College

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    October 25, 2007

    Go back to the Hokies slide and you will see the magic that Matt Ryan put on in the fourth quarter against a VT team that was up 10-0 with six minutes to go.

    The amazing victory for the Eagles gave them life another magical moment in its programs illustrious history and although they have not yet appeared in a BCS bowl, this game felt like it meant more.

    November 3, 2007

    Yes, Boston College was ranked number two in the country and yet they were only 6-point favorites over an FSU squad that was unranked at 5-3.

    And yet, it was the Seminoles overall talent and speed that exposed Boston College. Matt Ryan did throw for an impressive 415 yards, but his pick-six to Nigel Bradham that turned the game around as FSU went onto take the lead for good and ultimately winning 27-17 (Ryan threw 3 picks).

    This was a special season for BC to at least play in a BCS bowl, but this loss to FSU topped it all and it was one of the bumps that led to them falling short of the BCS.

Maryland

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    October 27, 2001

    The Terps were undefeated, ranked in the top 10 and yet they simply could not slow down FSU quarterback Chris Rix.

    He threw for over 300 yards and 5 TDs in relief of Adrian McPherson as the Seminoles torched the Maryland defense through the air en route to their 52-31 victory.

    FSU thrashed in every which way when they threaded the needle, but this Maryland squad was undefeated and it would be their only loss until they played the Florida Gators in the BCS Orange Bowl (lost 56-23).

    November 17, 2001

    The Terps were ranked in the top ten and were just one win away from a BCS bowl. They were on the road against a solid North Carolina State squad, but they escaped with a 23-19 victory.

    The win put them in their first ever BCS bowl and the season as a whole (10-2, No. 10 Coach, No. 11 AP), has been by far the best season in Maryland’s history during the era of the BCS. 

Wake Forest

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    November 11, 2006

    Dominating the Seminoles at Doak Campbell in a night game (even in a down year) was quite the impression that I will never forget.

    Riley Skinner was effective as it got that night, but the defense led by All-American linebacker Aaron Curry feasted on Xavier Lee and the Noles (Herby and Brent called the game), obliterating them 30-0!

    January 2, 2007

    They weren’t expected to upset Louisville (10 point 'dogs), but it was the BCS Orange Bowl and it was a chance for them to shine. The Demon Deacons hung in there for most of the game but ultimately were just a step too slow against the Louisville offense.

    Hanging with Bobby Petrino’s high-octane Louisville offense was tough for any opponent that season, and WF left some potential memorable moments.

    Sure, not everybody would remember WF upsetting the ‘Ville, but certainly this was a tough loss (24-13) since they may never return to anywhere near as important of a bowl game as their 2007 Orange Bowl.

Virginia

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    November 10, 2007

    It was the final game to ever be played at the Orange Bowl, and the Miami Hurricanes were flat out pummeled by the more talented Virginia Cavaliers.

    The Wahoos were an aggressive and physical team on both sides of the ball and they forced the Canes into five turnovers en route to their 48-0 beatdown.

    Note: They finished their season 9-3 as they managed to allow Texas Tech to squeak by them in the Gator Bowl that season.

    October 16, 2004

    This was one of Virginia’s best squads in the BCS era (arguably was best team) and they were even ranked as the number six team in the country.

    The only small problem was that they traveled to Doak Campbell Stadium against a hungry seventh ranked Seminoles squad that absolutely annialiated the Wahoos that night. They ultimately lost the game 36-3.

    FSU outrushed UVA 192-20 and quarterback Wyatt Sexton accomplished every and anything he wanted to that night threading it successfully 20 out of 26 times for 278 yards and a TD.

    UVA finished the season at No. 23 in the final polls, but that includes losing their final two games (VT & Fresno, MPC Bowl.)

Duke

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    October 10, 2009

    They were 15-point underdogs on the road against a decent North Carolina State squad, but they won this game running away. Pulling off the 49-28 upset road victory enabled Duke to finally appear in a bowl albeit they came up just short (see below.)

    November 28, 2009

    The Blue Devils have never appeared in a bowl game during the BCS era as they have had a losing season every single year thus far.

    However, they had a chance in their regular season finale in 2009 to get to a likely bowl game. They lost to Wake Forest 45-34 and it officially continued a brutal streak of not appearing in a bowl game (last was ’94 Hall of Fame.)

Oregon

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    January 1, 2012

    The Ducks had a BCS championship fall just short in the previous season (2011), but they finally gave Chip Kelly his much-deserved BCS bowl victory as they outlasted the Badgers in an entertaining track meet of a Rose Bowl.

    De’Anthony Thomas was the most electrifying man on the planet that night, and LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner were not bad either. The nasty trio of athletic, speed demon freaks combined for 427 yards and 4 TDs.

    Many of us have never seen quite the trio of stars in one prestigious bowl game before, and the 621 yards on offense did just enough to escape from the pesky Badgers as Oregon held on 45-38.

    November 19, 2011

    Another BCS title appearance was on the line for the Oregon Ducks as they came in as 15-point favorites against the USC Trojans.

    USC was playing with house money per se since they were not eligible to play for a Pac-12 title let alone a BCS title (or any bowl.)

    The two teams nearly combined for 1,000 yards on offense and the points picked up in a thrilling third quarter. USC had gone ahead 38-20 and it looked all but over for the Ducks with an ailing LaMichael James.

    Kenjon Barner put on the Superman cape for most of the night, but it was Matt Barkley who played like the Heisman frontrunner he is heading into the 2012 season as he threw for 323 yards and 4 TDs.

    Oregon cut the lead down to three after James and Barner both turned on the turbo in the final quarter of regulation, but it still came down a clutch kick.

    Oregon’s Alejandro Maldonado gave all the fans across the country the feeling of the old saying, “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” 

Stanford

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    October 6, 2007

    The Cardinal may have appeared in consecutive BCS bowls with Andrew Luck, but Jim Harbaugh slowly turned this team around in his first season. They went on the road against the second-ranked Trojans as 41-point underdogs and they pulled off the greatest upset in the BCS era for point spreads (between two FBS squads, no legit arguments).

    Despite allowing 200 more yards, the Cardinal forced five USC turnovers and cashed in when it mattered most. USC led 23-17, but Stanford had the ball on a crucial 4th-and-goal from the Trojan 10.

    Tavita Pritchard found Mark Bradford for the game-winning touchdown with less than a minute to go, and it shocked the entire landscape of college football. Stanford had pulled off the miracle  and many to this day still can't believe the Cardinal pulled the upset as 41-point 'dogs against the second-ranked Trojans.

    November 12, 2011

    The Cardinal were ranked third in the country and were looking to take care of the sixth-ranked Ducks. The only problem was that Oregon got off the plane and bus just fine as LaMichael James went absolutely bonkers.

    Toting the rock 20 times for 146 yards and 3 TDs made James look like a Heisman frontrunner that night, but the Ducks defense forced five Stanford turnovers as they took care of business running away with the 53-30 victory.

    The devastating loss officially put a crash to Stanford’s BCS title dreams as they needed two losses by Oregon to sneak ahead of them in the Pac-12 title game.

    We all knew the Ducks weren’t going to lose twice in conference (and they didn't) so the dreams of Andrew Luck playing in the BCS title were done after this shellacking.

Cal

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    October 9, 2004

    Aaron Rodgers and the Cal Bears were nearly unbeatable in 2004, but their lone regular season loss came to the eventual champions in USC.

    Cal went on the road to the Coliseum and gave the Trojans everything they could handle, and they actually outgained them by a huge margin (424-205).

    It didn’t matter because Cal coughed the ball up three times and were down 13 points towards the end of the third quarter. Marshawn Lynch tacked on a touchdown to cut it within 23-17, but they could not find the end zone against as they suffered a devastating loss.

    Most thought Cal was not for real before the game started but many felt different afterwards.

    This was easily the worst loss in the BCS era for the Bears because this one-loss not only cost Cal a shot at the BCS title, but ultimately Texas miraculously climbed ahead of them in the final regular season game despite not even playing.

    Cal ended up going to the Holiday Bowl as it was Texas who matched up with Michigan in what actually turned out to be one of the more entertaining Rose Bowls in the BCS era. Still, the Bears were more worthy at the time and this stinking loss to USC really bit them bad.

    September 27, 2003

    This triple overtime was won by the Cal Bears and it remains their greatest victory in the BCS era despite finishing only 8-6.

    Aaron Rodgers was the quarterback, but it was Reggie Robertson in this contest that enabled Tyler Fredrickson to drill the game-winner from 38 yards out. The Bears shocked the planet pulling off the magical 34-31 upset victory. This USC squad of course ended up finishing first in the polls, but did not play in the BCS title (they won the Rose Bowl instead, split title with LSU.)

    Still, this is all about the Bears' ability to ruin the perfect season for a Trojan squad that ran the table for two consecutive seasons during the regular season.

    In fact, these same Trojans ended up winning 34 consecutive victories after their upset due to the hands of the Bears. 

Oregon State

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    October 7, 2000

    The Oregon State Beavers were only ranked No. 23 at the time, but they had to go on the road at Husky Stadium against a tremendous No. 11 Washington squad.

    They fought and kept the game close for the entire game, but ultimately they just fell short losing 33-30. The loss was devastating because Oregon State lost the tiebreaker to the Huskies. UW ended up playing in the Rose Bowl whereas the Beavers were rewarded with the Fiesta Bowl instead.

    Nothing against the Fiesta Bowl, but playing in Pasadena takes on a whole new meaning in itself. Oregon State did end up demolishing the Notre Fighting Irish however 41-9 and ended their season at number four in the AP and fifth in the Coaches Poll.

    September 25, 2008

    The Beavers hosted the top-ranked team in the country on a Thursday night and it was the nasty USC Trojans.

    USC was loaded with talented and they came in as 25-point favorites against a poor Oregon State squad that was just 1-2 having lost to Stanford and Penn State already in the season.

    However, Jacquizz Rodgers ran like an All-American and the defense played some inspired football to pull off the upset 31-28!

    Any time you can upset the number one squad in the country in your own building, it will be remembered forever.

Washington

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    September 9, 2000

    Winning the Rose Bowl should always top everything, but not when you upset arguably the greatest football team and or program in the BCS era.

    The Hurricanes were quickly developing into a national powerhouse and yet Washington upset them 34-29.

    At the time the victory did not seem like a huge deal though the Canes were snubbed of the BCS title in favor of Florida State, despite defeating them in the regular season.

    However, this record breaking victory was the greatest during the BCS era for the Huskies because that remarkable Canes squad would end up winning 34 straight games following this loss.

    Miami FL ended up obliterating everybody on the schedule for nearly three straight seasons until Ohio State finally got them two full seasons later in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl (BCS title).

    The Huskies of course ended up going 11-1 with a Rose Bowl victory over Purdue and a number three ranking in both polls isn’t all that shabby.

    September 30, 2000

    Most would be bet the bank that this loss in Eugene to the Ducks would be their most devastating. Defeating the Miami Hurricanes was monstrous, but you cannot then lose a game if you are expecting BCS championship.

    They did lose to No. 20 Oregon 23-16, and it cost them a crack at the Oklahoma Sooners (they played FSU instead.) UW of course as stated above had a sensational season under Rick Neuheisel, thanks to the brilliant play of quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo.  

Washington State

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    November 23, 2002

    Clearly losing in the Rose Bowl was tough, but it wasn’t that heart-breaking of a loss since Oklahoma defeated them 34-14.

    The most devastating loss in the BCS era was their 29-26 triple-overtime loss in the Apple Cup to their hated rivals. Washington pulled off the upset and it may have ended up costing the Cougars a crack at the BCS title (who knows what would have happened with them and Ohio State in BCS final rankings.)

    Even if they had fell short of the BCS title, the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma would have had a whole new level of meaning if the Cougars were still undefeated.

    December 3, 2003

    The Cougars were nearly double-digit underdogs against sixth-ranked Texas Longhorns, but Washington State put on quite the display.

    They pulled off the tremendous upset victory, 28-20 over Texas as they finished their season ninth in both poll (10-3). Bill Doba was only in his first season and sadly it took him another three season combined to post their tenth victory.

    Now with Mike Leach at the helm, it could be better times like this Holiday Bowl victory that will be the future for the faithful in Pullman.

Colorado

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    November 23, 2001

    Bobby Purify and Chris Brown single-handily dashed the Blackshirts defense for a combined 380 yards in their 62-36 beatdown.

    Colorado was only ranked No. 14 whereas the Huskers were ranked second in the country thanks to a solid defense (that was ambushed on this date) and an unstoppable ground attack.

    Miraculously, despite the obliteration by the hands of Colorado, Nebraska still ended up playing in the BCS title as the pollsters and voters felt their body of works was superior to any other team in the country (Oregon, Florida.)

    Still, the Buffs got into the Big 12 title because of their victory and they ended up moving onto the Fiesta Bowl.

    January 1, 2002

    Yes, Colorado appeared in the Fiesta Bowl after defeating both Nebraska and Texas in consecutive weeks, but they had to take on an unconscious Oregon squad that was deemed by many as impossible to defend.

    The backs, receivers and even their superstar quarterback (Joey Harrington) were unstoppable, and they backed it up in this BCS bowl.

    Oregon thumped Colorado 38-16 and it was quite the devastation since many believe the fourth-ranked Buffaloes had a punchers chance of pulling the upset off (3-point favorites!)

Arizona State

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    October 27, 2007

    After trailing 13-0 after the first quarter, Rudy Carpenter and the Sun Devils quickly answered the bell by scoring three touchdowns to eventually take the lead 21-20 in the third quarter.

    The defense rose to the occasion forcing two huge turnovers, but the duo of Dimitri Nance and Keegan Herring allowed ASU to keep the Bears defense guessing all night.

    Ultimately, the victory pushed ASU into the top 10 before eventually losing to both Oregon and USC.

    Still, they ended up going 10-3 and appeared in the Holiday Bowl (lost to TX 52-34.)

    November 3, 2007

    ASU came in ranked sixth in the country as the Ducks waited in Eugene as the fourth-ranked team in the country thanks to the splendid play of Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart.

    Oregon’s offense ripped ASU for 400 yards, but ASU actually outgained the Ducks by 89 yards! Coughing it up twice (one fumble, pick) proved to be the difference along with the fact that the Sun Devils managed to convert only 2 of 13 crucial third-downs.

    ASU dropped like a bad habit after getting thumped by USC and ultimately Texas (Holiday Bowl.)

    It was still a great season overall, but it could have been a magical one in which they may have finally appeared in their first ever BCS bowl.

Arizona

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    November 15, 2007

    The Wildcats hosted the second-ranked Oregon Ducks with the chance to spoil any shot they had at appearing in the BCS National Championship.

    They did exactly that as Dennis Dixon went down with a torn ACL, and the Ducks offense was never the same.

    Give props to the ‘Cats as Willie Tuitama threaded the needle against the Ducks as he ended with 266 yards and 2 TDs in the victory.

    Throw in a defensive effort that allowed 463 yards but forced four crucial turnovers gave them the 34-24 upset victory that many Oregon and Arizona fans wll never forget.

    November 21, 2009

    The Wildcats had a tremendous opportunity to once again upset the Ducks at home as the Ducks were once again poised to make a late push to the BCS.

    They were likely only heading to the Rose Bowl, but they could get in themselves if they received some help and it started with an upset bid over the Ducks.

    The game was crazy entertainment and it ultimately went into double overtime before the ‘Cats fell up short 44-41. Nobody seemed to be able to slow down the Ducks and this devastating loss still remains in the back of most ‘Cat fans' brains.

Utah

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    January 2, 2009

    The Utes came in as ten-point underdogs but they left as 14-point winners in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.

    The lack of respect for the non-AQ ate some crow when the too slow, too weak Utes obliterated the Crimson Tide up front for an entire game.

    Had it not been for a long punt return touchdown by Javier Arenas, the Crimson Tide would have been held to one offensive touchdown on the night.

    The Utes won 31-17 and went to on to finish fourth in the Coaches and second in the AP Poll with a 13-0 flawless season.

    September 10, 2011

    The Utes just became a BCS program so their expectations and disappointing moments have been at a bare minimum.

    However, it was their first game in the Pac-12 and they had USC beat in the closing moments if they were able to drill a game-winning kick.

    Instead, it was blocked and returned for a touchdown (23-14 USC won) in a moment that hopefully will be long forgotten and or used for motivation when the Utes host the likely top-ranked Trojans on a Thursday this season (10/4). 

UCLA

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    January 1, 1999

    Losing the Rose Bowl to the Wisconsin Badgers by a touchdown was quite the devastation because this was “The Grand Daddy of them all” that many put their life savings on.

    The Bruins had talented receivers and a southpaw quarterback by the name of Cade McNown.

    McNown could not play defense for the Bruins as Ron Dayne gashed the UCLA run defense in his Heisman season where he was simply unstoppable.

    Throw in the fact that UCLA has not returned to the BCS since, and this game is quite devastating since they have forgotten how sweet the taste of ultimate success is like.

    December 2, 2006

    The Bruins were big underdogs against the Trojans (11-points), but that did not stop the attitude and pure ability to slow down the USC offense.

    UCLA showed up and then some as they pulled off the once in a lifetime upset over their hated rivals.

    The upset victory for the Bruins cost USC a sure chance at the BCS National Championship as they instead had to settle for the Rose Bowl as Florida and Ohio State played one another instead (UF-USC would have been special.)

USC

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    January 4, 2005

    The USC Trojans may have vacated this BCS title (and two of their wins), but I know I will never forget what I saw when they hammered the Oklahoma Sooners 55-19.

    Matt Leinart and the Trojans offense put up video game numbers against a respectable defense, but it did not matter as there was nothing USC could to wrong that night. It was a complete onslaught and it got ugly very quickly.

    Simply electric was their offense, but the defense was filthy and loaded with NFL draft picks on the three-deep depth chart. Truly, one of the most talented teams in the BCS era thank to a flawless and undefeated season.

    January 4, 2006

    Arguably the greatest BCS title game ever played, the Trojans' devastating loss put them behind the eight-ball a bit since many firmly believed they could pull off three straight national championships.

    USC’s dreams were shot down by Vince Young and a very talented Longhorns squad that was loaded on both lines of scrimmage.

    They outmuscled the USC offensive line in crunch time and the inability to stop Young ultimately cost them a second straight BCS title in what many consider the most entertaining BCS National Championship ever played.

Kansas

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    November 24, 2007

    The Kansas Jayhawks and Missouri Tigers played once every year (until now) in a  rivalry called the Border Showdown, but this was no such average rivalry game in 2007.

    It had the second-ranked team in the country going against the fourth-ranked. Mizzou was number four and they came with the victory 36-28, in what many still consider to be a devastating loss for the Jayhawks.

    It was a feel-good story with Mark Mangino carrying this team form the abyss thanks to a quarterback nobody recruited or still knew about in Todd Reesing.

    KU did end up at 12-1 that season as they finished seventh in both polls, but their lone loss to their hated rivals cost them a potential chance at a BCS title.

    January 3, 2008

    Playing in its first ever BCS bowl, KU defeated Virginia Tech 24-21 in the Orange Bowl.

    The critical play of the game was an interception returned for a touchdown by Aqib Talib, but the overall defensive performance by the Jayhawks defense shocked most of the college football world.

    It was a tremendous victory for KU and one that many will never forget.

Iowa State

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    August 24, 2002

    Florida State came in as the third-ranked team in the country and the lowly Iowa State Cyclones were thinking upset from the start.

    The “Eddie Robinson Classic” was played at Arrowhead Stadium and it came down to the wire. Throw in the fact that Iowa State that the Cyclones have lost to ranked teams 30 consecutive games and have never beaten a top three team before, this game had quite the drama.

    Seneca Wallace was a superstar and trailing 38-31, he had a magical run inside the FSU 1 with four seconds remaining.

    It came down to one final play and Kendyll Pope and Jerel Hudson made the stop as time had expired. The Seminoles escaped by a single yard and the Cyclones were stunned as they came so close to perhaps pulling off the upset.

    November 18, 2011

    Iowa State stunned No. 3 Oklahoma State in Ames for the biggest upset of the 2011 college football season, and it cost the Cowboys an obvious chance at the BCS title.

    Freshman Jared Barnett dazzled many like the days of Seneca Wallace as he combined to put up over 400 yards of offense over a Cowboys defense that led the country in takeaways.

    Even throwing in the fact that Brandon Weeden threw three picks to the Iowa State defense and their 37-31 double overtime victory still seemed surreal.

    The Cyclones made the most of their night as the victory put them into the postseason, but for that Friday night the entire nation realized any team truly can dethrone one of the best teams by taking advantage of the opportunities they receive.

Baylor

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    November 19, 2011

    Are 551 yards against the fifth-ranked team in the country considered a lot?

    Anybody that missed this game simply missed the best Baylor moment in the BCS era by far (at least on the field, RGIII winning Heisman.)

    Robert Griffin III arguably won the Heisman with his virtuoso performance against the Oklahoma Sooners defense.

    He made them look like a high school squad with all their blown assignments, but many were plays that they were just beat via the air.

    RGIII’s ability to escape pressure and find the open receiver with such ease allowed him to shine like a college football legend.

    The superstar not only had 551 yards, but his 4 passing TDs was quite the virtuoso performance that will never be forgotten in Waco.

    He gave the community all-time memories, but with the game tied at 38, RGIII threw a strike to Terrance Williams with eight seconds remaining.

    Williams hauled it in the corner of the end zone as the Bears pulled off the stunner, 45-38. Baylor ended winning ten games, the most in Baylor history since 1980!  

    October 1, 2011

    After a thrilling victory over TCU in the season opener, expectations started to rise a bit heading into their road contest against Kansas State.

    The Wildcat were unranked and many believed that Baylor (who was favored by 3) would be able to survive. However, they suffered a tough 1-point loss to the Wildcats and the loss ultimately cost them a shot at the BCS.

    It didn’t seem devastating at the time (though I knew it would cost them a shot at BCS), but ultimately with the expectations rising throughout the season many Bear fans wished they had this game back.

Texas Tech

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    November 1, 2008

    The touchdown pass from Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree with just one tick remaining is an all-time memory that nobody in Lubbock will ever forget.

    It knocked out the Longhorns from the BCS title and it gave the Red Raiders an opportunity to appear in it instead.

    To knock one team out and put yourselves in position to play for all the marbles is a dream come true for a fanbase, but it is amazing with all the close, entertaining plays that occurred in this game.

    The Blake Gideon dropped interception would have ended it and instead of Texas Tech attempting a long field-goal or running the ball to set a shorter kick, they chose to live dangerously by threading the needle to the best receiver on the planet.

    It all paid off in the end as Tech pulled off the upset over the number one team in the country.

    November 15, 2008

    Texas Tech has their chance at a potential BCS title, but they had to head into Norman and knock off a very talented fifth-ranked Sooners squad.

    Texas Tech was ranked number two in the country at the time, but their much-maligned defense was absolutely slashed, dashed and gashed apart by a Sam Bradford offense that had its way.

    Their ability to run the ball with ease made the Red Raiders defense look bad, but turnovers and overall sloppy play turned this game into a devastating laugher.

    Tech could not prevail against a better team that night, as Oklahoma ruined their BCS dreams with an unforgettable 65-21 beatdown!

Kansas State

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    December 6, 2003

    It was the Big 12 Championship game and everybody and their grandmothers were picking the Sooners to crush Kansas State.

    However, the Wildcats had Ell Robertson and a filthy running back by the name of Darren Sproles. It was an ambush waiting to happen with Oklahoma turning it over five times as Bill Snyder pulled off the miracle by obliterating them 35-7!

    The victory placed them into the BCS Fiesta Bowl, but claiming the Big 12 title in a season where nobody really had them on their national radar just explains the miracle working that coach Snyder is more than capable of accomplishing.

    December 5, 1998

    The top-ranked Kansas State Wildcats were ready to take on the Tennessee Volunteers for the BCS title as they just had to dethrone No. 10 Texas A&M in the Big 12 championship.

    The game had dramatic plays and turnarounds as the Aggies led 27-12 in third quarter before the Aggies tied it up and sent the game into overtime.

    After both teams kicked field-goals in the first overtime, the Aggies threw the game-winning 32-yard touchdown pass to pull off the upset as it shocked the faithful at Kansas State.

    Their BCS title hopes were squashed and sadly they could not even appear in a BCS bowl since Ohio State and Florida stole the two at-large bids.

TCU

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    January 1, 2011

    TCU appeared in its first ever Rose Bowl and they did not disappoint with their ability to dethrone the big boys from the Big Ten.

    The Badgers were just three point underdogs, but a few believed TCU’s defense had what it took to slow down the powerful rushing attack of the Badgers.

    They were gashed at times (allowed 226 yards on ground), but overall they got the job done with a tremendous performance by Andy Dalton, Tank Carder and head coach Gary Patterson (everybody played well).

    It was the deflected and tipped pass by Tank Carder on a two-point conversion that gave the Frogs the thrilling and memorable victory.

    For all the non-BCS haters out there, this victory for TCU allowed them to eat some crow and one E. Gordon Gee’s words (against non-BCS teams) simply backfired.

    January 4, 2010

    Many were disappointed that neither Boise State or TCU could compete against any of the big boys, but the BCS was not loaded with any challengers that season (specifically Georgia Tech, Iowa could not handle these two.)

    Instead, we were rewarded with the dream matchup of Gary Patterson against Chris Petersen (playing in BCS bit bigger than Poinsettia.)

    These two put on a defensive game that went back-and-forth with Kellen Moore getting the upper hand thanks to a fake punt pulled off by the Broncos.

    TCU had a late opportunity but had their Andy Dalton pass picked off by Winston Venable to end the game.

    The 17-10 hurt a bit because TCU lost out on the opportunity of finishing their season ranked in the top five, and more importantly they allowed another non-BCS squad get an upper hand in the discussion of knocking off any team at anytime, anywhere (TCU got their revenge.)

West Virginia

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    December 1, 2007

    The West Virginia Mountaineers were one victory away from appearing in the BCS title and they came up short against their 3-8 hated rivals in the Backyard Brawl.

    Pittsburgh did not seem like serious threats to upset West Virginia with Pat White having a sensational season, but White then got dinged up in the most critical game of the season. He wasn’t a factor and the Mountaineers dreams were quickly dashed once they were upset 13-9.

    They were the top-ranked team in the country and losing to their rivals in their own backyard was a devastating loss that most fans will never forget, since many believed they could have handled whoever their opponent was in the BCS title.

    January 1, 2006

    Rich Rodriguez was in a mismatch according to some many experts as they were indeed double-digit underdogs playing in the backyard of the Georgia Bulldogs (2006 Sugar.)

    Pat White and Steve Slaton went bonkers as the team rushed for 383 yards in their dramatic upset victory, 38-35.

    It came down to a fake punt pulled off by the Mountaineers that enabled their offense to run out the clock, but to total for 502 yards offensively against an SEC defense (on astroturf) made quite the statement.

    West Virginia and the Big East garnered some national attention and respect, at least for one offseason.

Oklahoma State

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    December 3, 2011

    Losing to the Sooners in eight straight years was a bit disastrous, so when they buried Landry Jones and Oklahoma alive last season by 34 points, everybody in Stillwater rejoiced around Stillwater.

    Boone T. Pickens Stadium was rowdy to begin with, but knowing that Les Miles was the last man to defeat Bob Stoops brought out a few more fans knowing a Big 12 title and BCS berth was on the line.

    The beatdown put the Pokes on the national map and Mike Gundy’s statement means this program will not be going anywhere as they should be contending for many years to come.

    November 18, 2011

    Talk about devastating!

    This loss was tough because it ultimately cost the Cowboys an opportunity to play and win the BCS National Championship against the same LSU Tigers team that failed to cross mid-field against Alabama until halfway through the fourth quarter. However, this Friday night loss to Iowa State on the road had trap game written all over it.

    Brandon Weeden had his worst game of the season by far, throwing for three picks. The game ended up going to double overtime which sadly ended in a 4-yard touchdown run by Jeff Woody.

    The madness was surreal as the dream season had officially ended knowing that a one-loss team was not going to surpass another one-loss SEC (least I felt that way when it happened) or undefeated BCS squad (throw in Boise.)

    Oklahoma State will have many more future opportunities to appear in more BCS bowls (and titles too), but certainly this game will forever be remembered. 

Texas

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    January 4, 2006

    Arguably the greatest national championship game not only in the BCS era, but arguably ever.

    Vince Young (who should have won Heisman), Reggie Bush (Heisman winner) and Matt Leinart (former Heisman winner) were three legends that put on a clinic for us that night.

    It was Keith Jackson’s final game as a broadcaster and the game finished with a fairy tale ending (not for USC fans.)

    Vince Young on a desperate fourth down scampered to paydirt for the game-winning touchdown (41-38) and it on the following series after stopping LenDale White (Bush was not on field) on a fourth and short.

    Longhorn fans rejoiced around the world as this was truly the greatest game many have ever witnessed.

    November 1, 2008

    Many would look at their loss to Alabama in the BCS title as the most devastating because Colt McCoy went down on the opening drive, but I look at another loss that had BCS title implications for the Longhorns.

    It came down to Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree stealing the show and ruining the chances of Texas appearing in the BCS title due to the three-way tie in the Big 12 South.

    Oklahoma lost to Texas earlier in the season, but they were ranked lower than the Sooners having lost later in the season. OU would go on to obliterate that same Texas Tech squad that ruined the 2008 lives of the Longhorns.

    The game was an instant classic and an unforgettable moment (or forgettable) that many Longhorn fans believe not only cost them a crack at an appearance in Miami Gardens, but also the BCS National Championship since many believed they could have taken down the eventual champion (Florida Gators.)

Oklahoma

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    January 3, 2001

    The top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners completely obliterated the Heisman winner (Chris Weinke) by shutting his Florida State offense out 13-2.

    Quentin Griffin scored the lone touchdown, but it was the Sooners stifling defense that gave issues to FSU. It was the end of an era for Florida State, but was also a start of a great one for Oklahoma.

    Bob Stoops’ second season in Norman and capturing the BCS title was the best night of the BCS era thus far for the OU faithful.

    January 8, 2009

    The Sooners had the greatest offense in FBS history (statistically speaking) and they were deemed locks to give the Gators everything they could handle in what many anticipated as being one of the best BCS title games in this era.

    Instead, Heisman winner Sam Bradford struggled all night throwing two picks (one at the goal-line before half), but they could not find an answer for Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin in crunch time as the two combined to rush for over 200 yards.

    Defense wins championships and the Gators were a notch ahead of the Sooners that night.

Ohio State

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    January 8, 2007

    The Ohio State Buckeyes had a shot to win their second BCS title, but they ran into the Florida Gators. UF swamped the Buckeyes 41-14 in the BCS title, and totaling for just 82 yards offensively speaking is beyond devastating.

    It was a humbling and more so humiliating experience the Buckeyes will never forget.

    January 3, 2003

    It was and still is considered by many as the greatest BCS National Championship game in the BCS era (save USC-TX).

    The Buckeyes were 11.5 point underdogs and yet they pulled off the double overtime miracle, dethroning one of the most talented teams in college football history (31-24).

    Once Ken Dorsey's pass went incomplete, jubilation started for the Buckeyes and the Hurricanes dominance had officially ended (34-game winning streak is absurd).

Iowa

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    September 26, 2009

    It is simply impossible to come into Happy Valley at night when they are ranked inside the top 10 and leave with a victory.

    However, that is exactly what the Hawkeyes did as they upset the fifth-ranked Nittany Lions 21-10 (9-point underdogs.)

    It was a blocked punt (scoop and score) by Adrian Clayborn that allowed the Hawkeyes to dream big on the national radar of college football for at least one night.

    Iowa didn’t stop dreaming, they actually achieved quite a bit finishing the season ranked seventh in the country after beating Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl (24-14).

    November 14, 2009

    The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes squared off with the winner heading to the Rose Bowl. Iowa has still not been to Pasadena since 1991!

    Still, the way this game ended will always be brutal to watch for any Hawkeye fan. Most despise the Buckeyes due to the simple fact that they are always owned by Ohio State (1-8 in BCS era).

    Devin Barclay kicked the game-winner as time expired and who knows what may have happened in overtime between these two teams.

    To make matters worse in this game, Ricky Stanzi was out with an ankle injury that he suffered the previous week against Northwestern, so James Vandenberg stepped up and play one hell of a game.

    It was not enough though as the Buckeyes once again prevailed and although there are never such things as moral victories (if you are powerhouse), Iowa did manage to post their best season ever in the BCS era after they knocked off Georgia Tech (24-14).   

Northwestern

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    November 4, 2000

    This magical game had so many endings you really didn’t know when and if it was ever going to finish. Northwestern upset the Michigan Wolverines in a dramatic come from behind game in which they ultimately won 54-51.

    Damion Anderson dropped a game-breaking would be touchdown on fourth down, but then Michigan’s Anthony “A-Train” Thomas inexplicably fumbled the ball when he just needed to fall down.

    Northwestern answered quickly adding on eight points after the two-point conversion. It was one of the more entertaining games to ever watch in the regular season as No. 23 Northwestern upset No. 12 Michigan in an all-time thriller (54-51).

    January 1, 2009

    This Outback Bowl between Northwestern and Auburn came down to an overtime possession in which the cardiac Cats could not pull off.

    Mike Kafka threw six picks in a game (Auburn pick six was killer, but Dunsmore run made up for it) in which one less turnover would have likely won it for Northwestern.

    What hurts the most is NW totaled for 625 yards of offense, but they still fell short. Their bowl streak is one of the worst stats and facts to have in all of collegiate sports.

    The last bowl victory for NW was way back in 1949.

Michigan State

40 of 70

    December 3, 2011

    The Spartans 2009 loss to Iowa was about as devastating as it gets, but it was not as if they were going to appear in the Rose Bowl if they were able to hang onto the victory.

    This past season, MSU was a victory away from heading to Pasadena. They took on a Badgers squad that was out for revenge after they lost on a game-ending Hail Mary.

    The game went back-and-forth, but the Spartans were going to get the ball with the Badgers punting it away. However, Michigan State inexplicably roughed the punter on a play in which Keshawn Martin brought the punt all the way inside the Badgers 5!

    The correct roughing the punter call by Bill Lemonnier gave the ball back to Wisconsin and they simply took a few knees to pull off the victory in the Big Ten Championship.

    The loss was devastating on account Mark Dantonio has been so close to appearing in the BCS, and instead the Spartans will finally attempt to get in this upcoming season.

    October 9, 1999

    Many will point to “Clockgate” or this season’s recent Hail Mary victory over Wisconsin as the greatest Spartan victory during the BCS era, but in 1999 Michigan State had their best season and it was Nick Saban's coaching that helped as usual.

    They finished the season ranked seventh in the country thanks to a tremendous Citric Bowl victory over Florida, but their season was all about their victory over their rivals.

    Sparty was ranked at No. 11 whereas the Wolverines came into East Lansing at number three. MSU went ahead with a comfortable 27-10 lead, but Michigan rallied back to give MSU all they could handle.

    Eventually, MSU hung on thanks to their ability to run out the clock on the ground. The victory enabled the squad to go 10-2, which was their most wins before Mark Dantonio took over (still best ranking however.)

Illinois

41 of 70

    November 10, 2007

    The Illini were unranked already having lost three previous games, but the Buckeyes were undefeated and 15-point favorites playing at home.

    The Buckeyes were stunned 28-21 thanks to a virtuoso performance by Juice Williams. Throwing for 4 TDs against the sensational Ohio State defense was a memory that will never be forgotten and it absolutely shell-shocked them.

    Illinois played in the Rose Bowl despite being unranked before their upset over Ohio State. They were smashed by the USC Trojans 49-17, but it was just the second BCS bowl in the BCS era for the Illini and it was all thanks to their upset bid over the top-ranked Buckeyes.

    September 29, 2001

    Illinois only had one loss after the 2001 regular season and it came against the Michigan Wolverines. Just leave it up to the Maize and Blue to ruin your BCS title hopes and that was exactly what they did.

    Illinois still ended up winning the Big Ten and appeared in the Sugar Bowl (final record was 10-2), but who knows where exactly the Illini would have ended if they did defeat Michigan in the Big House back in 2001.

    It would have led to an undefeated season and many wonder if the BCS still would have voted a one-loss Nebraska (or Oregon and Florida) over an undefeated Fighting Illini squad. We will never because of the devastating loss that Illinois suffered in September of 2001.

Minnesota

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    November 6, 1999

    Minnesota went on the road against the second-ranked Nittany Lions and they came out victorious 24-23. The victory came to a near shock, but later that season we saw Minnesota go 8-4 (No. 17 in Coaches.)

    It wasn’t the best season in the BCS era however, since they went on to win ten games back in 2003.

    October 28, 2000

    Northwestern came into the Hubert H. Humphrey Dome as the No. 23 ranked team and they were a bit surprising and unheralded heading into this contest.

    The game had the looks of heading into overtime as it was tied at 35 with just three seconds remaining. Zak Kustok found Sam Simmons on a dramatic Hail Mary pass to win the game 41-35.

    It was a back-breaking defeat for the Gophers, who finished their season 6-6.

Purdue

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    September 16, 2000

    Purdue still managed to play in the Rose Bowl since they won the Big Ten, but a time-expiring loss to Notre Dame still kills them to this day.

    The kicker for the Irish was Nick Setta and he drilled the game-winning boot as the Irish came from behind to pull off the slight upset (least in ranking, 22-20.)

    October 7, 2000

    Hosting the sixth-ranked Michigan Wolverines in the 2000 season was one hell of a game and a photo finish that you knew Drew Brees would find a way to win.

    Brees threw for 286 yards and out-duels Drew Henson and a vastly talented Wolverines squad that just came up short, falling 32-31. This win ultimately gave the Boilermakers the Big Ten crown and it remains to this day as their last Big Ten Championship.

Penn State

44 of 70

    October 15, 2005

    Touchdown Manningham, Michigan Wins!

    This devastating loss cost Penn State a shot at the BCS National Championship and who knows if they would appeared in the BCS title or not (likely still would have missed out.) Perhaps the great Texas-USC matchup would have never occurred because one of them would have lost beforehand.

    We will never know because the Nittany Lions suffered one single loss in 2005, and it was with Chad Henne finding Mario Manningham in the back of the end zone for the game-winning, time-expiring touchdown on a fourth down. It could not have been filled with more drama or more heartbreak for the poor Nittany Lions.

    January 3, 2006

    The Nittany Lions put together a sensational season in which ended with a Rose Bowl loss to USC in 2008, but they barely finished that year in the top 10.

    In 2006, they lost just one game and their Orange Bowl victory over Florida State was one of the greatest non-BCS title games in the history of the BCS era.

    In fact, it went to three overtimes before PSU finally prevailed 26-23 after a few missed field-goals by both squads.

    FSU was barely ranked and put together a solid campaign for losing four games by still managing to win the first ever ACC title (in term of championship game, 12 teams), but their offense (and the safety) sputtered late thanks to a physical Nittany Lion defense that was BCS title worthy. 

Indiana

45 of 70

    November 17, 2007

    It was a difficult season for the Hoosiers coming off a season (offseason) in which they lost their head coach Terry Hopener due to brain cancer.

    Their slogan was simply, “Play 13” since it was actually Hopener’s quote the season before in which they fell short.  Indiana did lose their Insight Bowl to Oklahoma State, but they would have never appeared in their first bowl in 14 seasons had it not been their thrilling and time-expiring victory over Purdue (27-24).

    November 6, 2010

    The Hoosiers had the Iowa Hawkeyes beat in so many ways and just needed to step it up on defense. Finishing off Big Ten opponents was always tough for Indiana because they have always been outnumbered in talented and picked by nearly nobody.

    However, they had the lead over Iowa 13-9 heading into the fourth quarter. A field-goal for the Hawkeyes cut it to 13-12 but then Ricky Stanzi (he lovable American-American) hit Marvin McNutt for the game-winning 52-yard touchdown.

    It cost the Hoosiers dearly as they ended up losing the game and they finished the season at 5-7, which was one win shy of another bowl opportunity.

Nebraska

46 of 70

    October 27, 2001

    "Black 41 Flash Reverse Pass" was the simple play call in which Eric Crouch caught the touchdown that propelled him towards the Heisman as well as the Huskers ended up playing in the BCS title (Rose Bowl).

    It was a magical moments as many did not feel they would be able to finish off the Oklahoma Sooners, but they did so hanging onto a victory in which the defensive unit performed like the best in the country arguably (featured No. 3 OU vs. No. 2 Huskers.)

    December 5, 2009

    The Texas Longhorns were obliterated for the entire game as the Huskers defense swallowed them up.

    Limiting Colt McCoy and his offense to 202 yards is remarkable, but surprisingly the offense for Nebraska could only muster 106 yards.

    Alex Henery drilled four kicks, but it was not enough as Hunter Lawrence drilled the game-winning, time-expiring kick that sent the Texas Longhorns into the BCS National Championship against Alabama.

    The loss was beyond devastating for the Huskers as most watched in shock.

    Colt McCoy had thrown a pass out of bounds with just a few ticks on the clock and it actually reached all zeros, so the entire Nebraska team went on the field celebrating in jubilation. However, there was a second added back on and it ended up costing the Huskers the Big 12 title.

    Nebraska obliterated Arizona in the Holiday Bowl, but many felt their defense alone would have allowed them to compete with nearly any team in the country with the way they played against the Longhorns that night.

Michigan

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    November 18, 2006

    In the “Game of the Century” between Michigan and Ohio State, the battle was filled with entertainment that went out the roof. The Wolverines scored the first touchdown of the game, but they were torched by Antonio Pittman and Troy Smith all game long.

    An obvious late personal foul cost Michigan in the fourth, but their inability to stop the Buckeyes offense let alone come up with enough yards turned this epic game into a devastating loss for Michigan.

    Michigan would have instantly played in the BCS title against Florida, but instead they were then thumped fairly decent by USC in the Rose Bowl to end the season with a 11-2 record.

    The team had championship quality in it, but they came up a few points short as Lloyd Carr would retire from coaching one season later.

    January 1, 2000

    I would say that Lloyd Carr’s final coached game was the greatest victory, but it was just the Capital One Bowl and it ended to what was a fairly disappointing season.

    The Wolverines victory over Alabama in the 2000 Orange Bowl was a crazy game with an even crazier ending. The Tide scored a touchdown as they were just a simple extra point away from sending it into a second overtime.

    However, the kick was no good (wide right) and Michigan escaped with the 35-34 overtime victory in the Orange Bowl.

    Michigan finished the season ranked in the top five and the great Tom Brady ended his collegiate career on a strong note before he started winning just a bit at the next level.

Wisconsin

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    September 23, 2006

    The Badgers suffered a brutal loss to Michigan back in 2006, as it was the only loss of the entire season. Yes, their recent Hail Mary loss could be considered more devastating since most argue it cost them a victory against the Buckeyes the following week.

    However, most argue a one-loss Badgers team would have still been left out of the BCS title and you could just look back at 2006.

    Ohio State played for all the marbles whereas Michigan was in the Rose Bowl. The rule of not having a third team in the BCS stunk because the 11-1 Badgers were stuck playing in the Capital One Bowl against a solid Arkansas squad.

    The Badgers won 17-14 and finished their season at 12-1, ranking fifth in the Coaches poll!

    Had it not been for that loss at the Big House, perhaps the Badgers would have been playing for all the marbles (or at least a crack at the Roses). 

    October 16, 2010

    The Buckeyes were the top-ranked team in the country and the Badgers were just trying to once again make a name for themselves as they attempted to become a Rose Bowl contenders.

    J.J. Watt had an unforgettable night as he harassed Terrelle Pryor all night long and he pushed the Badgers out to a remarkable 21-3 halftime lead.

    Ohio State battled back like all good teams do, but it was the Badgers who came out victorious and they were rewarded with a trip to Pasadena at the end of the day. 

Temple

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    December 29, 2009

    It was Temple’s first bowl appearance since 1979!

    I thought the Owls had a chance to pull off the upset (4-point ‘dogs), but they failed miserably in the second half with the inability to move the ball in their passing game.

    UCLA’s defense feasted on Temple by loading up the box and Akeem Ayers sensational defensive touchdown (2-yard INT) sealed the deal (30-21).

    December 17, 2011

    Temple finally won their first bowl game since 1979 and although it took quite a while, they accomplished it thanks to great turnaround job by Steve Addazio.

    The Owls never looked back in this as they spanked Wyoming 38-16 and it was Bernard Pierce’s ability to run inside and outside of the tackles that made a huge difference (plus the ability to have a solid passing game.)

Syracuse

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    November 28, 1998

    The Orange were on their way to the Orange Bowl as they gave the Hurricanes a beating of a lifetime in their regular season finale.

    A 66-13 beatdown is not something they could ever say to the Canes, but Donovan McNabb sure played like a world beater that day (more often than not.)

    Syracuse ran for 318 yards while they only allowed 149 yards on the ground and just 61 through the air. McNabb had a total of 5 TDs (3 running) as the ‘Cuse ended up going 8-4 with a BCS appearance in the start of the BCS era.

    January 2, 1999

    Syracuse won the Big East but the only reward they received was getting obliterated by the Florida Gators in the Orange Bowl 31-10.

    The Gators were a team that was very talented so the loss is far from the most devastating of all these teams, but it sure hurt the Orange since this has still been their only BCS appearance.

Cincinnati

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    December 5, 2009

    The Bearcats and Brian Kelly were undefeated and facing the dangerous Pitt Panthers. Pitt was ranked at No. 15 whereas the undefeated Bearcats were fifth. An undefeated season and a Big East championship were on the line.

    Throw in the fact they were attempting to get their second consecutive appearance in the BCS and this was a vital game.

    After trailing 31-10, Tony Pike put together one of the greatest and most memorable comebacks in Bearcat history as they found a way to come out victorious 45-44.

    November 12, 2011

    The Bearcats have not been exactly the most popular BCS program having been in the Big East, but they would have played in the BCS under Butch Jones if they could have handled the Mountaineers this past season (lost 24-21.)

    Geno Smith carved apart the Bearcats secondary throwing for 372 yards and it broke many Cincinnati hearts since West Virginia owns the bragging right having since moved to the Big 12.

Rutgers

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    November 9, 2006

    No. 3 Louisville looked like they were ready for a BCS title appearance since nobody could slow down the Cardinals offense.

    Brian Brohm was a dark horse Heisman contender, but his Heisman hopes went flying out the door after Ray Rice went bonkers.

    Rushing for 131 yards and 2 TDs on 22 carries allowed the Scarlet Knights to keep feeding him the rock despite trailing 25-7 in the second quarter.

    This was the most memorable season for the Knights because they finished at No. 12 in both polls with an 11-2 record.

    November 18, 2006

    However, their following loss to the Bearcats the very next week after they knocked off the Cardinals was devastating. The expectations quickly rose after they upset Brohm and Petrino, so when Rutgers shot up to No. 15 and 16 in both polls nobody really saw them getting ambushed by Cincinnati.

    The Bearcats had their way as they used and abused the Scarlet Knights in their 30-11 beatdown.

Louisville

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    November 9, 2006

    Brian Brohm was struggling mightily and the ‘Ville were ranked as the number three team in the country. It was not the time to have a bad game, but Brohm did not play to his best capability (13 of 27 for 163 yards 1 TD, 1 INT).

    Even the running game was not the same, but thanks to Jajuan Spillman’s 100-yard kick-off return touchdown it gave the ‘Ville a solid 15-7 lead early on.

    After eventually leading 25-7, the wheels completely fell off after Ray Rice played like a man possessed.

    Throw in the fact that kicker Jeremy Ito of Rutgers could not miss a kick, and it was just destiny for Louisville to have their perfect season ruined by a much deserved Greg Schiano squad.

    January 2, 2007

    The Cardinals may have already had a lost heading into their Orange Bowl matchup with Wake Forest (ACC Champions), but that didn't seem to play any sort of a role in the end result.

    Brian Brohm threw for 311 yards and while he did not end up tossing any TDs, he helped set up a pair of rushing TDs for his teammates. The 'Ville defeated Wake 24-13 in the Orange Bowl as it was a memorable season that was capped off by being ranked fifth in the AP.

South Florida

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    September 26, 2009

    The Seminoles were ranked No. 15 in the country and they were in Tallahassee, which was the home of freshman BJ Daniels, who put on a show that day.

    Defeating the Seminoles in the town you grew up is one thing, but totaling for 341 and 2 TDs in the 17-7 upset victory was quite the moment for the Bulls. This gets a slight edge over the 2007 season where the Bulls went 9-4.

    October 18, 2007

    The Bulls were ranked second in the country and were slight favorites (1-point) on the road against a solid Rutgers squad.

    However, the expectations were still more than ever before since most were thinking BCS National Championship when they were 6-0 after defeating Auburn on the road and West Virginia at home.

    Instead of giving the nation a magical season, their dreams were dashed after a tough 30-27 loss, and it was devastating because it was the first of three straight losses.

Connecticut

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    September 4, 2010

    How often can you played the Michigan Wolverines to start off the season and the game was at the Big House?

    Well, the Huskies did and they came in with realistic expectations of upsetting the Maize and Blue.

    The turning point of the game was in the third quarter as the Huskies drove the ball towards the Michigan goal-line trailing 24-10. It came down to a 4th-and-1 and D.J. Shoemate was thinking six but instead coughed it up as the Wolverines got their desperate stop on defense.

    It completely turned swung the momentum of the game around as Michigan would score on their next possession to go up for good 31-10. The 14-point swing was costly and it devastated the Huskies confidence quite a bit, as they would go on to lose to Temple just a few weeks later.

    December 4, 2010

    The Connecticut Huskies were road underdogs against a South Florida squad that did not go away quietly.

    In fact, the Huskies were looking to head into overtime until Dave Teggart booted home the 52-yarder to decide the game and the Big East championship.

    It was quite the lasting memory running around like mad men at Raymond James Stadium since most counted the Huskies out all season long.

Pittsburgh

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    November 14, 2009

    The Panthers defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at home in a game in which we would normally see them come up short.

    The 27-22 was huge because the Panthers remained on fire being ranked number eight in the country, but it also set them up with West Virginia and Cincinnati in the final two games.

    Although they ultimately lost to both teams, the Panthers had a solid year as they closed their year with a victory over North Carolina (MCC Bowl) and a No. 15 ranking.

    December 5, 2009

    Blowing a 31-10 lead and eventually is beyond devastating because a BCS bid was up for grabs (three-way tie West Virginia, but would have likely been ranked highest.) Everything was going great until the Panthers defense couldn’t stop a cold as Tony Pike of Cincinnati absolutely torched them in the second half.

    The loss also hurt a bunch because outside of their appearance in 2004, we are all still waiting for the Panthers to breakthrough again.

Arkansas

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    September 25, 2010

    The Razorbacks devastating Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State was awful to endure, but blowing 13-point lead to Alabama at home in 2010 was way more brutal in my eyes.

    The Sugar Bowl is a prestigious bowl, but it isn’t the BCS title and that was essentially thrown out the door after the talented Ryan Mallett could not close out the Tide in the fourth quarter.

    If Arkansas (and Mallett) could have taken care of the ball they would surely have knocked off the top-ranked team in the country, but instead their loss cost them any chance at winning the SEC West.

    November 23, 2007

    Although LSU still ended up playing and winning the BCS National Chammpionship, let us not take anything away from the Arkansas Razorbacks.

    They came into Baton Rouge against the top-ranked team on the planet and they absolutely sliced and diced their defense apart.

    Totaling for 513 offensive yards as a team is incredible, but so was Darren McFadden “Run DMC”, Felix Jones and Petyon Hillis’ stellar play.

    The deadly trio of superstar combined for nearly 500 yards of offense (and 8 TDs), but the superstar of the day was clearly McFadden.

    He was a freakbeast toting the rock 32 times for 206 yards and 3 TDs against the number one team in America on the road!

    After regulation the game was tied at 28 a piece, but Arkansas finally won the game 50-48 after LSU failed to match the Razorback’s two-point conversion. The game was historic and it remains as the greatest program win in the BCS era.

Mississippi State

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    January 1, 2011

    The Michigan Wolverines came in as slight underdogs on paper, but some thought the Bulldogs did not have enough offense to keep up with Denard Robinson in the 2011 Gator Bowl.

    Well, this game was a typical SEC ambush as Chris Relf torched the Wolverines offense for 281 yards and 3 TDs en route to their 52-14 blowout victory. Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs finished the year at 9-4, with a No. 15 ranking in the final polls.

    September 10, 2011

    Auburn had just escaped over Utah State at home the previous week and they were rare home underdogs against a thriving Mississippi State squad who were coming off a 59-14 pummeling victory over Memphis.

    The game came down to the wire thanks to a few costly and errant throws by both SEC quarterbacks, but ultimately Vick Ballard and specifically Chris Relf came up one yard short of a potential victory (had it gone to OT assuming they kick the PAT.)

    The Bulldogs gashed the Tigers for 333 yards on the ground and 531 yards of total offense and yet they were tackled at the Auburn one-yard line to end the game (41-34 defeat).

    The loss was a tone-setter and it quickly set the Bulldogs back a few notches since they came into the season with such great hype. They did manage to pull off a winning season at 7-6 (most expected more.) 

Ole Miss

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    January 2, 2009

    Defeating Les Miles and his tenth-ranked LSU Tigers back in 2009 just missed the list (how they couldn’t get off a play still is amazing) because appearing in the Cotton Bowl for just their second time since 1962 was a remarkable achievement.

    It gave the Rebels an opportunity to cap off a sensational season, which is not something we could say very often.

    They defeated eighth ranked Texas Tech 47-34 and they were rewarded with the No. 14 ranking in the Cotton Bowl. They came in as slight underdogs (4 points), but a speedy defense gave the Red Raiders offense issues all day and a tremendous running game made it tough for Tech to have a shot at slowing them down.

    September 4, 2010

    Coming off a 9-4 season and top 20 final ranking in the polls (top 21 technically in both), most suspected a rebuilding type of season for Houston Nutt and the Rebels.

    Still, some thought they would still appear in a bowl game albeit that was all thrown out the door once Jacksonville State defeated them in double overtime, 49-48. Ole Miss went 4-8 and Nutt was fired just last season after a brutal 2-10 season.

Kentucky

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    November 9, 2002

    Simply known as the “Bluegrass Miracle” because this will forever be a game that Kentucky could not lose if they played a million more times.

    Kentucky led LSU at home 30-27 in the closing moments of the game. Marcus Randall needed more than just a miracle, he had to chuck it and complete it over 80 yards.

    Instead, he threw it almost 60 yards, but the ball was tipped by a UK defender into the arms of one Devery Henderson, who dashed his way for the game-winning touchdown as time had expired.

    The play was “Dash Right Berlin 93”, but certainly they did not draw it up the way it had went down.

    Still to this day, UK fans are sick to their stomach about this heart-breaking loss on the final play.

    October 13, 2007

    The LSU Tigers were the number one team in the country and they went into Lexington with the expectations of walking away with a victory since they were the fairly heavy favorites to win it all (which they ultimately did.)

    However, Andre Woodson put on a clinic that game as Kentucky survived in a memorable triple overtime victory, 53-47!

    Kentucky was No. 17 at the time and although they just finished 8-5, the season was filled with classic memories and none was bigger than topping the number one ranked Bayou Bengals.

Vanderbilt

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    December 31, 2008

    Winning your first bowl game in 53 seasons would be considered a big deal, especially when it is just your second as a program.

    When the Commodores upset Boston College, it also snapped their brutal streak of losing seasons at 25!

    October 29, 2011

    The Commodores were about go up 35-20 as Zac Stacy was knocking on the Razorbacks 3.

    The next play (2nd-and-goal) was a fumble that absolutely kill Vandy as Jerry Franklin pulled off a miraculous scoop and score from 94 yards out!

    Vanderbilt would give up a field goal, but they came back and had a chance to kick an easy chip-shot kick to send the game to overtime. Instead, poor Carey Spear missed the kick and the Commodores as a team blew a beautiful opportunity to upset No. 10 Arkansas.

    The loss was costly since they ended up finishing 6-7 on the season, which gave Vandy their 28th losing season in the last 29 years.

Missouri

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    November 24, 2007

    The Border War took on a whole new meaning in this contest because it was number two against number three with a Big 12 title appearance on the line.

    Todd Reesing and Chase Daniel were two of the best stories in college football thanks to a pair of offenses that were averaging over 39 points per game.

    Mizzou pulled off the victory 36-28, which set them up with a Big 12 Championship date with Oklahoma. Their victory over KU was the greatest in the BCS era because of what it gave the program, a tremendous opportunity that will last a lifetime.

    December 1, 2007

    The Missouri Tigers were the top-ranked team in the country and were just one win away from playing in its first ever BCS National Championship!

    However, Chase Daniel ran into a buzzsaw called the Oklahoma Sooners defense that night as they were dominated from start to finish.

    Oklahoma pulverized them 38-17 as the Tigers dropped all the way out of the top five (seventh) which ended up costing them a BCS bowl. Instead, they beat up on Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl to finish fourth in the AP and fifth in the Coaches Poll.

    Still, the chance of a lifetime was there if Mizzou could have handled OU as very easily could have won it all that season with a nearly unstoppable offense and a very formidable defense.

    Even with the loss to OU, Gary Pinkel gave his Tigers a year to remember that may never be topped again (hopefully it will for their sake.)

South Carolina

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    October 9, 2010

    South Carolina has won 20 ball games over the last two seasons, which is the most in the history of its program in a two-year span.

    Steve Spurrier is the man to thank, but it all was because of their upset over the (at the time) number one ranked team in the country.

    Alabama came in as the defending BCS national champions (don’t tell Saban, they did not defend anything and I agree), but South Carolina waxed them 35-21 and it was the play of sensational wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore that stole the show.

    Jeffery hauled in a fabulous 26-yard touchdown catch to put the Gamecocks up 14-3, and he would later haul in the next one as well to give SC a 21-3 beatdown of a lead. They hung for the two touchdown victory, and it was quite the moment for all fans of college football.

    December 31, 2010

    Many expected a victory coming for the Gamecocks over Florida State since they were favored (3 points), but more importantly this bowl game was the biggest bowl game in arguably program history (during BCS era at least, few others are right there for all-time arguably.)

    Not accustomed to posting ten-win seasons (never have they achieved one until past year), many believed it was SC’s time to shine against the Noles.

    Instead, Greg Reid knocked out superstar freshman running back Marcus Lattimore in the first quarter, and it really gave all the momentum for the entire night to FSU.

    SC kept fighting, but they fell short 26-17, in a game that still bugs many fans knowing they could have posted their programs first ever double-digit win season (luckily they left no doubts with 11 last year.) 

Texas A&M

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    November 27, 1998

    The Aggies had just one loss and still had a shot at the BCS National Championship if they could get some help, which included a road victory against the Longhorns.

    Instead, their hearts were broken after Kris Stockton drilled the game-winning 24-yard kick with just five seconds remaining.

    The Aggies lost 26-24 and their BCS title dreams were dashed thanks to their hated rivals ruining their potential moment.

    October 10, 1998

    The Huskers were the number two team in the nation and the Aggies were only No. 18, but that did not stop from picking up their greatest win in the BCS era. After letting an opportunity slip by in the opener against Florida State (23-14), the Aggies came through against the Huskers.

    The victory enabled them to win the Big 12, as it still remains as their last conference championship and appearance in the BCS (lost to Ohio State in Sugar Bowl 24-14.) 

Georgia

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    October 27, 2007

    Although Georgia did not win the SEC East because of this game, it still was a signature victory for Mark Richt since Florida were the defending BCS national champs.

    Georgia scored the first touchdown of the game thanks to Knowshon Moreno, but the entire Georgia sideline rushed the end zone to celebrate with the offensive squad.

    It showed Florida they were taking no prisoners in this game, and the fired up ‘Dawgs hung on for the 42-30 victory.

    Georgia obliterated Hawai’i in the Sugar as they ranked second (AP) and third (Coaches) in the final rankings of the 2007 seasons.

    January 2, 2006

    Pat White and Steve Slaton were tremendous, but nobody expected them to completely run bonkers on the Bulldogs defense in their own backyard.

    The 2007 Sugar Bowl was played in the Georgia Dome and yet West Virginia was able to do anything they wanted to as they totaled for 502 yards of offense.

    To make matter worse, Georgia was expected to get the ball one final time to perhaps tie it up and send it into overtime.

    Instead, West Virginia faked the punt and got the first down to ice the game away. It was one of the more entertaining BCS games (non-title) to watch, but the ‘Dawgs were devastated (double digit favorites) having lost in their own state against the Big East champions.

Florida

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    December 1, 2001

    In Steve Spurrier’s final season, the Gators had another shot at a national championship, as it once again came down to Tennessee (see 1998).

    The Gators had the Vols in the Swamp, and they put together a comeback when Rex Grossman hit Carlos Perez to cut the lead down to two points.

    The two-point conversion was unsuccessful as Grossman looked for Jabar Gaffney. A victory for Florida would have given them an appearance in the SEC Title against LSU and more than likely a crack at the BCS title against the mighty Miami FL Hurricanes.

    That would have been perhaps one of the more entertaining BCS titles, but it was all for naught as the Gators could not close out Tennessee at home.

    January 8, 2009

    Tim Tebow won his second BCS title (first as a starter) and Urban Meyer started his run for dominance (second title in just five seasons.)

    The SEC officially made a run at dominance, but it was the Gators overall speed and tremendous defense that enabled them to slow down the most potent offense in the history of college football (FBS), statistically speaking.

    The 24-14 victory was won in the trenches and it helped to have a nasty duo of Percy Harvin and Tim Tebow, who combined to rush for 231 yards.

Tennessee

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    January 4, 1999

    It was the night of the first ever BCS National Championship and the Tennessee Volunteers made it memorable with their 23-16 victory over Florida State.

    Peerless Price and quarterback Tee Martin were the offensive stars and Dwayne Goodrich’s pick six put them in charge for the entire ball game.

    FSU battled (had third-string QB starting), but ultimately it was Tennessee’s time to shine as they were the top team in college football of the first season in which the much-maligned BCS all started.

    December 1, 2007

    There have been many great memories and forgettable moments as well for the Volunteers. That is what happens when playing in the SEC, and we saw Tennessee come so close to knocking off the second-ranked LSU Tigers in the SEC Championship.

    The Bayou Bengals escaped 21-14 and ended up winning the BCS title, and instead the Vols were stuck playing a respectable Outback Bowl. The game-changing play was in the fourth quarter when Tennessee led 14-13.

    Erik Ainge threw a quick, ill-advised interception for a touchdown (LSU’s Jonathan Zenon) and LSU tacked on the two-point conversion for the 21-14 victory.

    The defeat was tough to accept since Tennessee came so close to achieving their second SEC title in the BCS era. 

LSU

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    January 9, 2012

    Not crossing mid-field until there were eight minutes remaining in the ball game, and being shutout and held to 92 yards of offense as the top ranked team in the country (in the most important game) is the definition of catastrophic. This was for the BCS title between two of your most talented teams in the BCS era.

    LSU did not play as such, as many scratched their heads as to how the Bayou Bengals made it look so effortless into going 13-0 in the SEC!

    It was a nightmare scenario for the Bayou Bengals as they did not have much to cheer about in their recent BCS National Championship meltdown against the Crimson Tide.

    Alabama was the same team they defeated in their own backyard, but LSU looked like a complete team thanks to the Tide’s stellar and relentless defense.

    Simply a night to forget, Les Miles and the boys will be back at it in 2012.

    January 7, 2008

    Les Miles won his first of what LSU fans will hope to become many as they defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 38-24.

    LSU’s defense forced three critical turnovers and they proved to be the difference as the SEC started to really flex its muscles in this one.

    The offensive weapons were underrated and the defense was loaded up front with Tyson Jackson and Glen Dorsey. Simply sensational was this LSU squad, and nothing really beats capturing the BCS National Championship.

Auburn

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    November 26, 2010

    Clearly the victory over the Oregon Ducks, which helped Auburn claim their second ever national championship and first ever BCS title (22-19), was a night to remember.

    However, their road victory against the Crimson Tide was easily their greatest win in the BCS era.

    Forget trailing 24-0 to start out the game, how the Alabama pre-game announcer blasted the speakers with, “Take the money and run” just showed how hated and passionate this rivalry is these days.

    It is arguably the best rivalry in collegiate sports these days and the magical comeback let America know that nothing could slow down or stop Cam Newton and his Tigers, and it was just a matter of time before they won that BCS title.

    November 27, 2009

    If Auburn faithful only knew it would be one day and one year later where they would get their revenge, life would be so much easier, but instead they had to endure a difficult and forgettable day.

    After leading 14-0 through one quarter and eventually 21-14 in the third quarter, Alabama stormed back from behind to take the lead and the game 26-21.

    Freshman Trent Richardson and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram were complete non-factors in this one, so Greg McElroy took over the game with special thanks to Julio Jones and Roy Upchurch (game-winning TD).

    Auburn finished the season 8-5, but they could have stopped a BCS title if they could have just closed out Nick Saban and the Tide in their own backyard.

Alabama

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    November 26, 2010

    Going up 24-0 with the chance of throwing down the ultimate exclamation point looked like a mortal lock as Mark Ingram got the edge on the second ranked Auburn Tigers.

    Ingram was stripped of the ball as Auburn took over as it went through the end zone for a game-breaking touchback. Cam Newton was getting smoked the entire first half, but found a way (like all Heisman winner do) to total 4 TDs in Alabama’s heart-throbbing 28-27 defeat.

    The game in itself was terrible to endure because it was in Alabama’s own backyard. Not only did they lose to their hated rivals, but the loss by Alabama allowed Auburn to remain undefeated and win the BCS title.

    If Alabama would have just taken care of business or found a way to hang on to a 24-point lead, Alabama would have a ton of bragging rights going on these days. Instead, it remains as the most devastating loss in BCS era of Alabama football (worse than Orange Bowl 2000.) 

    January 9, 2012

    A dominating BCS National Championship victory over the one team that dethroned them in Tuscaloosa made this rematch bittersweet. Obviously, the victory over LSU was huge because it won the Tide the BCS title, but they did it in dominating fashion.

    This was a good ole fashion butt-kicking as they did not even allow LSU to cross mid-field until halfway through the fourth quarter.

    Trent Richardson found paydirt in the fourth quarter, but it was Nick Saban’s defense that made Jordan Jefferson and the top ranked Bayou Bengals look as if they had never played a down of football before.

    The SEC is the king and LSU was the best for the entire season, but it was Alabama that made them their worst nightmares.

    Saban now has three BCS rings (two with Tide) to show for and the bright future ahead makes his program as scary as it gets in the landscape of college football.

    Follow Dan Vasta on Twitter.