Why Notre Dame Is the Only Team Sad to See the BCS Go

Sean FryeFeatured Columnist IIIApril 12, 2017

Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly leads his team including players Zack Martin (70) and Manti Te'o (5) to the field for the second half of the 2013 BCS Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Sun Life Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

After Florida State and Auburn decide this season's national champion, all of college football can celebrate. There's no more BCS, and there will finally be a playoff system! 

Well, everybody except Notre Dame can celebrate. 

The Fighting Irish are probably the only team in the entire country sad to see the maligned BCS system go by the wayside. 

The reason? The BCS system favored Notre Dame more so than any team in America, including the ones in the automatic qualifying conferences. 

The famous "Notre Dame Rule" stated that, should the Irish have finish the top eight of the BCS standings at the end of the season, they were automatically granted a bid into a BCS bowl. No other independent team, or any team for that matter, had that luxury. 

While non-AQ schools only had to finish in the top 16 of the BCS standings, they also had to finish ahead of a school from an automatic qualifying conference. 

Notre Dame didn't have to do that. 

In the BCS era, the Irish have earned a BCS bid four times, including to the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. Only twice did Notre Dame finish in the top eight; the rest were at-large bids. Of course, the system of at-large bids in BCS games were very subjective, and bowls often took the most marketable teams.

That system of subjectivity led to some squads that, in theory, met the requirements laid out for Notre Dame being left out of the BCS altogether. Just look at the 2011 Kansas State Wildcats, who finished eighth in the BCS but were relegated to the Cotton Bowl.  

You can also look at the 2007 Missouri Tigers team that finished in the top eight of the BCS and only had two losses, both to ranked Oklahoma, and was not selected for a BCS bowl. 

Oct 19, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees (11) leaves the field after being injured in the third quarter against the USC Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 14-10. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODA
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Now, as college football transitions out of the BCS and into the new playoff system, the Fighting Irish are nowhere near as favored in the new system. 

Per Trey Iles of NOLA.com, Notre Dame is contractually obligated with just one of the former BCS bowls, and that's the Orange Bowl. And that's not even a guarantee, as the Orange Bowl will be forced to pick an ACC team plus either a Big Ten school, SEC school or the Irish. 

At the end of the day, Notre Dame was blessed by the football gods to be under the BCS system. But with it being scrapped in favor of a more fair playoff system, the Fighting Irish may actually have to start meeting their own lofty expectations consistently if they want to start playing in prime-time bowl games year in and year out.