Winning a National Title is the goal of just about every team in the country. While many very good teams have won National Titles, only the truly great teams go undefeated in their journey to hoisting the trophy.
As seemingly every season reaches the final month, we start to hear arguments and campaigning by groups of teams pleading their case to play in the big game. While it has happened that undefeated teams have been on the outside looking in come title game time, in most cases going undefeated will get you in.
The reality of it is that it doesn't happen all that often that a team runs the table. It's just not an easy thing to do—a lot of things have to happen and a lot of bounces have to come your way. Here are the teams in the BCS era to be without a loss at the end of the season.
Kyle Whittingham's squad started their season by going into Ann Arbor as an underdog and beat a ranked (at the time) Michigan team and never looked back. The Utes took flack all season and got limited credit because they were from the Mountain West Conference.
Utah beat a very good TCU team by three and then slaughtered Brigham Young in the Holy War. I think just about every College Football fan still remembers last years Sugar Bowl. The Utes, who were unranked in the preseason polls, ended up fourth in the country.
Boise State (2006)
Chris Petersen took over for Dan Hawkins as the Head Coach of Boise State and the expectations were somewhat modest for the Broncos. It didn't take long in 2006 to realize Boise State had a legit chance to win them all.
The Broncos arrived in Tempe for the Fiesta Bowl to play an Oklahoma team who wasn't one of the best Sooner teams in recent memory but were still BCS Bowl material. Adrian Peterson gave it his all and tried to will the 14 point favorite Sooners to the win but in the end it was Peterson's Broncos converting on a two-pont conversion for the win on a Statue of Liberty play that still gives me chills every time I see the replay.
2005 was one of those odd years where the teams who started the season one (USC) and two (Texas) held their ground the entire season and met undefeated in the National Title game.
The season finale in the Rose Bowl will go down as one of the greatest games of all time, and it was decided by a play that will define this Texas team and its QB Vince Young. The play is simply known as "fourth down and championship to go."
Four teams finished the regular season undefeated in 2004 and Urban Meyer's Utah Utes were one of them. Utah didn't just beat every team they played, no one ever even got close.
The Utes were the original BCS Busters and were also the fist non-BCS Conference team to win a BCS Bowl game. While the Pittsburgh team Utah played in the Fiesta made it to a BCS game by default, there was still something special about being the first team to do it as it paved the way for teams in the future.
Auburn was on the unfortunate end of running the table and not playing in the National Title game. After edging LSU by one point in week three, the Tigers coasted through the entire SEC and the controversy began.
In the end Oklahoma played USC in the Orange Bowl, and the lopsided score of that one led to even more controversy as Auburn beat a very good Virginia Tech team in the Sugar Bowl in a 16-13 bruiser of a game.
When people look back at the Trojans of this decade, this is the team they will reference and talk about. While all of the years sometimes seem to run together this was the Lendale White, Matt Leinhart, and Reggie Bush team that won it all.
Many feel the Trojans benefitted from a favorable call in their opener against Virginia Tech, but they still ripped through the Pac-10. USC didn't need any calls to go their way in the title game as they blew out Oklahoma 55-19.
Ohio State (2002)
Jim Tressel's Buckeyes entered the season with modest expectations hitting the polls in the mid-teens. While Ohio State didn't overwhelm many teams this season, they were a steady machine that just kept on winning.
They arrived in Tempe for the title game double digit underdogs against a Miami team who had won 34 straight games. The Buckeyes got the breaks and "the call," but in the end were the better football team on that night as Miami was playing from behind all night.
When arguing the greatest college football teams of all time, this is a team that will always make it into the conversation. The roster was loaded from top to bottom with future first round draft picks and NFL Pro Bowlers.
This team was on a mission as an odd set of circumstances kept them out of the title game a year earlier. This run came amid a 34-game winning steak, one of the longest in college football history.
The Sooners entered the season ranked 19th and were a team on the rise under a young Bob Stoops. While most expected the Sooners to be improved, few thought they would be playing in the Orange Bowl for the National Title at season's end.
While OU ended up playing a one loss Florida State by virtue of a loophole in the selection process, the Noles were heavily favored. Oklahoma stymied the FSU offense and it was title time once again in Norman.
Florida State (1999)
Florida State's 1999 season was one of turmoil. Heisman favorite Peter Warrick was suspended while his room mate WR Laveranues Coles was thrown off of the team for scandal involving free clothing from a Dillards department store which was caught on film.
Kicker Sebastian Janikowski broke team rules and curfews up until kickoff of the title game to which Bowden responded "Does this mean certain players play by different rules? I guess so." Bowden delivered with a National Title win over a Michael Vick led Virginia Tech team in a Sugar Bowl which featured the athleticism of Vick and Warrick.
The Vol faithful were still mourning the graduation of Peyton Manning without bringing a Heisman or a National Championship to Rocky Top when Phil Fulmer's team started the season ranked 10th in the polls. Tennessee moved up quickly as they knocked of Syracuse and Florida to start the season and by week nine were ranked number one in the country.
Despite being undefeated and top ranked the Volunteers arrived at the Fiesta Bowl as underdogs to Florida State. Tee Martin just did what he did all season at QB, won football games, as Tennessee won it's sixth National Title and were the first BCS Champions.
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