The dust has settled from championship week around college football, leaving Florida State and Auburn left standing atop the BCS. They will face off for the national championship on Jan. 6 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Although most of the focus has been on the race to the national title game in recent weeks, there's also been some hotly contested battles for other BCS spots. It made for an intriguing stretch run—right down to the final week.
Without further ado, here's where the Top 25 teams landed in the final BCS release:
|Week 16 BCS Standings|
|1||Florida State (13-0)||.9957|
|4||Michigan State (12-1)||.8600|
|7||Ohio State (12-1)||.7705|
|9||South Carolina (10-2)||.7152|
|13||Oklahoma State (10-2)||.5233|
|14||Arizona State (10-3)||.4416|
|15||Central Florida (11-1)||.4343|
|20||Fresno State (11-1)||.1675|
|21||Texas A&M (8-4)||.1663|
|23||Northern Illinois (12-1)||.1572|
As the Bowl Championship Series gets shoved aside in favor of a playoff system next season, the second half of the regular season this year showed the positive side of the polarizing system. It added extra emphasis on each game, especially those that featured teams near the top of the rankings.
For example, heading into the Iron Bowl, it was known that Alabama had to beat rival Auburn to remain in control of its destiny for a three-peat. Of course, the amazing last-second return by Chris Davis gave the Tigers the remarkable win and shook up the BCS.
Under a playoff format, Alabama would have already been in good shape heading into that game to earn a place in the bracket. So while the loss would have dropped the Crimson Tide from the top spot, it wouldn't have taken them out of the title picture, as was the case following Week 14 with the BCS.
So while the playoff system should be more appealing from the standpoint that it will force teams to earn their spot in the title game instead of it being handed to them, it will probably take some of the week-to-week intrigue out of the process.
With the BCS having computed its final official standings, college football will go through bowl season and then prepare for a new era. Whether it will actually improve the overall product won't be known for a couple of years.
Florida State and Auburn certainly don't mind the current format, because they are now just one win away from a championship.