Just one year away from a four-team playoff system, the BCS gave us one final treat with the Auburn upset over Alabama. In turn, that has left Auburn fans and SEC cohorts alike angry with the system for not having an SEC team inside of the Top Two with just the SEC Championship remaining.
With Auburn and Ohio State still clamoring over the No. 2 spot, let's take a look at the best possible matchups.
Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Stanford
This matchup screams one thing: defense. Neither team is spectacular offensively, but both teams present an offense that put up around 30 points per game and have contended in the Pac-12 and Big Ten.
While this game defies everything that college football fans have come to love about the game, it pairs two of the grittiest teams in college football against one another in a BCS bowl that gives fans a chance to see how the game is supposed to be played.
Stanford has proven it can stop teams offensively, with one of the biggest examples of that coming against Oregon. The Ducks came in with one of the best offenses in the nation and were stopped for just 20 points in a loss to Stanford.
In fact, over the last six games, the Cardinal haven't allowed their opponents to score more than 20 points in a single contest.
Michigan State, on the other hand, simply stymies teams with a Big Ten brand of football that has it ranked inside the Top 10. The Spartans have allowed just 11.8 points against per game and held opponents to fewer than 10 points six times this season.
According to ESPN Big Ten, Ohio State offensive lineman Jack Mewhort doesn't believe the Spartans defense is that special:
Mewhort on Michigan State's D: They don't do a ton of different stuff. They just like to say their players are better than yours.— ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) December 2, 2013
Fiesta Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Oklahoma State
Let's go back to 2007, when an undefeated Boise State team took on a powerhouse Oklahoma team that, despite taking two losses on the year, was the favorite to win by seven-and-a-half points.
Boise State defeated Oklahoma 43-42 on a statue-of-liberty play in overtime just before Ian Johnson proposed to his girlfriend:
Not saying it will happen, but it can, right? Northern Illinois needs to take down just one more opponent in Bowling Green in the MAC Championship before earning the right to play in yet another BCS game. If it's paired with Oklahoma State, it will be another matchup of two high-powered offenses—much like the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.
Jordan Lynch should be a lock to be invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy presentation. Behind quarterback Clint Chelf, the Cowboys have slain their own Goliath this year by beating then-No. 4 Baylor 49-17.
BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Ohio State
Look, this is not to say that Auburn doesn't have a chance to overtake Ohio State with another win over a Top Five team or that Ohio State will definitely beat Michigan State for the Big Ten title.
But, to be fair, Ohio State is undefeated and has done everything necessary to earn this game.
The Seminoles are stacked on both sides of the ball, with an average point differential of 42.7 points per game. Yes, they have knocked off opponents by an average of over six touchdowns. Those numbers don't seem right, though.
Well, let's just look at Florida State in three games against ranked opponents this season. The point differential in those games is still a staggering 155-28, or 42.3 points per game.
Much of that is due to the consistency of Heisman hopeful Jameis Winston. According to Natalie Pierre of the Tallahassee Democrat, he might set a record currently held by Russell Wilson:
Jameis Winston's current pass efficiency rating: 192.6 Single-season FBS record for pass efficiency: 191.8 (Russell Wilson, Wisconsin 2011).— Natalie Pierre (@Natalie_Pierre) December 2, 2013
Then there's Ohio State, which hasn't proven itself to anyone against a weak schedule and only defeated a fringe Top 25 team in Wisconsin by just seven points. The Badgers have since proven to be a weaker opponent than voters thought after losing to Penn State.
While this game could very likely end up being just as lopsided the 2006 and 2007 national championship games for Ohio State, if the Buckeyes knock off Michigan State and finish undefeated, they will likely play the 'Noles in Pasadena for the final BCS National Championship.
AP Top 25 rankings courtesy of ESPN.com.