The BCS exited stage left from the college football theater Monday night in glorious fashion. Florida State, in a thrilling come-from-behind effort, edged Auburn 34-31 in the final seconds of the game.
The win gives Jimbo Fisher his first BCS title as a head coach and Florida State's first since the 2000 Sugar Bowl when it beat Virginia Tech 46-29.
The Seminoles' victory over the Tigers was one for the ages, up there with the 2006 Rose Bowl (Texas vs. USC) and 2003 Fiesta Bowl (Miami vs. Ohio State) as one of the great BCS title games. So where does the game leave Fisher among head coaches with a BCS National Championship win?
Seventeen men have served as a head coach in a BCS Championship Game and 12 have won it, so the pool is large. Most coaches, including Phillip Fulmer (formerly of Tennessee) Mack Brown (formerly of Texas) and Jim Tressel (formerly of Ohio State), have one ring. Even former 'Noles coach Bobby Bowden was only able to win one BCS title during his time in Tallahassee.
It goes to show just how hard it is to win a single national championship, let alone lead a dynasty. Therefore, Saban and Meyer have to be considered the best coaches of the BCS era.
|Head coaches with multiple BCS National Championship appearances|
|Nick Saban (Alabama/LSU)||4||0|
|Urban Meyer (Florida)||2||0|
|Bob Stoops (Oklahoma)||1||3|
|Bobby Bowden (Florida State)||1||2|
|Jim Tressel (Ohio State)||1||2|
|Pete Carroll (USC)||1||1|
|Les Miles (LSU)||1||1|
|Mack Brown (Texas)||1||1|
|Larry Coker (Miami)||1||1|
Of course, coaches like Bowden transcend a single postseason era; it would be wrong to measure Bowden's impact on football solely on his single BCS title. His 377 Division I wins are the most all-time due to Joe Paterno's vacated wins. Plus, he led Florida State to another national title in 1993. Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, who lost to Bowden in the 2000 Sugar Bowl, leads all active coaches with 266 victories.
Fisher's victory puts him in an elite fraternity, but he's far from the best coach to win a BCS title. When you start listing off the names of BCS title winners—Bowden, Fulmer, Pete Carroll (formerly of USC), Meyer, Saban and so on—there's a long way to go before Fisher surpasses them.
That doesn't mean he can't in time. Fisher just completed his fourth season as the Seminoles' head coach.
As the College Football Playoff ushers in a new postseason format, Fisher will have the opportunity to become one of the great college football coaches of his time. It doesn't mean he'll have to win a handful of playoff championships, either. Oklahoma's Bob Stoops only has one BCS title, for example, but he has four total appearances. Tressel and Bowden are each 1-2 in BCS title games.
The important thing for Fisher will be getting to the four-team playoff. With the recruiting success he's been having—Florida State has the fourth-best incoming class, according to 247Sports—there's no reason to think the machine Fisher is building in Tallahassee won't be around for a long time.