- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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You guys have plenty good and bad BCS memories. Here's a sampling.
Dane from Salt Lake City writes: As a Utah fan and a former Non-AQ, I will focus on Non-AQs. My best BCS memory was our visit to New Orleans. Not only did I see things on the street that made this Utah College kid blush, but seeing those 'Bama fans (dressing like they just stepped off the 18th green at the local CC, with no time to go home and take off their slacks and button downs to go to a football game) faces when Utah posted 21 on them in the 1st quarter (great defense SEC). They looked as though there were attending a funeral and not a big time college football game. I forget, the Sugar Bowl was their "consolation prize" for losing to Urban and the Gators the game before. I have never seen a more quiet group of fans in my life, and it...was....AWESOME. The worst, hands down, slap in the face in the BCS era was putting TCU v Boise St. in the Fiesta Bowl. "Hey, non AQs, look we know you guys feel like you can play against the 'big boys' and you can, but why don't you two go down there and play against each other, because we don't want to get beat by you again, especially not twice in the same year. Its not good for our image. So when we show the non-AQ records in the future we can show you have two losses in the BCS games instead of just Hawai'i's. Let's face it, we can't take that risk. We may end up with law suits on our hands..er..."Signed the BCS. Talk about getting a blind date to the prom to find out she is your sister.
Sean from Alexandria, Va., writes: As much as it pains this Duck fan to admit, I've got to go with 2003 USC as the worst BCS moment for the PAC 10/12. I don't think the Ducks could have beaten Miami in the national title game, so I'm less disturbed by that one (although it clearly showed how bad the BCS could be). USC was clearly the best team in 2003, and couldn't get to the national title game? That's bad. Utah being snubbed had to hurt too, but they weren't in the PAC 10 at the time so I have a harder time getting upset over that, plus Utah wasn't ranked in the Top 4 in the final pre-bowl season polls in '04 and '08, which suggests they have a lot less than #1 USC to complain about.
Andrew from Los Angeles writes: The 2008-09 season: Mark Sanchez leads USC to an 11-win regular season record -- its lone blemish being a 27-21 road loss to Jacquizz Rodgers and the Beavers of Oregon State early in the season following a Trojan rout of the Ohio State Buckeyes. That year's Trojan defense was, statistically, one of the most dominant in history. Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews, Rey Maualuga and Taylor Mays lead the SC defense to 3 shutouts, 3 games with only one field goal surrendered, 4 more games where 10 or less points were surrendered, and it's worst performance being a 45-23 win on the road. The Florida Gators, lead by Golden Boy Tim Tebow, also suffered an early season loss. Theirs, however, was AT HOME. To Ole Miss. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I don't recall Ole Miss being particularly great at any point in the last decade (Before you say "Neither has Oregon State ... both teams at least won their respective bowl games.. so I call it a wash). Yet somehow the SEC, boasting its "Tough from top to bottom conference," gets the Gators to the BCS title game. Oregon State had losses to Top-25 ranked teams. Ole Miss had losses to unranked teams. Why was SEC favored over the Pac-12 despite this? Thank you, BCS. Sanchez leading USC against Tebow and the Gators or Sam Bradford's Oklahoma squad DEFINITELY wouldn't have been a better matchup than USC leading Penn State 31-7 at halftime of the Rose Bowl.
David from Tucson writes: The year: 1998. The destination: The Rose Bowl. The roadblock: UCLA. In 1998 the U of A went 11-1, finished with a number 4 ranking, and had one of the best kick returners/cornerbacks of all time in Chris McAlister anchoring their team. The problem loomed in a 11-0 UCLA team, who was 1 game away from being in the national championship (I believe the Fiesta Bowl that year) which would have put the UA in the Rose Bowl. In a shocker, UCLA lost to Miami in their final game 49-45, putting them in the Rose Bowl, and forcing the UA to play Nebraska in the Holliday Bowl.
Victor from Eugene, Ore., writes: As an Oregon fan, I am biased to favor recent Duck BCS games, rather than other Pac-10/12 bowls (I do cheer for every Pac teams success in bowls.) The very best BCS moment that I can remember would be DeAnthony Thomas' 91-yard touchdown in the 2012 Rose Bowl. It was fast, furious, and it was just funny watching the Wisconsin players try and keep up for as long as they could before DT put what seemed to be 20 yards between him and any defender in seconds. My least favorite moment would have to be during the 2011 National Championship, on the play I call, "The Roll." I'm referring to in he final minutes of the game when Auburn running back, Michael Dyer rolled over Eddie Pleasent to keep running when everyone else thought he was down. If this play never happened, Oregon could have claimed it first football championship ever. Oh well, it'll be ours in January anyway.
Drew from Lake Oswego, Ore., writes: The month of December in 2004 was one that will go down in infamy in Golden Bear Football history. I was 10 at the time, and I had grown up a Golden Bear. I was young enough not to truly experience any of the days that we were really bad, but was old enough to know Cal's history pretty thoroughly. My dad was a Berkeley student from 1988-1992, and his stories of how Cal had been SCREWED game in and game out had been told to me a countless number of times. They had been all told with sadness and a hint of humor. It is in a true Golden Bear's heart to be thinking 'is this really happening again?' I remember listening to the radio in the car with my dad when the bowl selections were being announced. We were both sort of laughing like 'hahaha what if we get screwed again. that would happen to Cal'. I remember hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. I kept thinking, 'we lost to SC by 9 yards and completely outplayed them. we're 4th in the country. all the poor karma we have had over the years will translate into good karma and this time things will go our way.' My dad couldn't help but laugh when it was announced we would be playing Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl despite our 10-1 record and a #4 ranking in the AP poll. He had been through it all: a questionable roughing the passer call against Stanford and a pre-mature rushing of the field to lose the Big Game his senior year, Bruce Snyder taking Cal to unprecedented heights and exclaiming he would be a Golden Bear for life only to accept an offer from Arizona State the next day, and countless other times. So it really wasn't a shock when we had to say, 'this would happen to Cal. we got screwed again.' The Holiday Bowl wasn't any better, I remember crying when it was inevitable that we would lose to Tech, and having Cal fans around me saying, 'hey buddy. this happens to us all the time. if you're going to be a Cal fan, get used to it.' It really just is in the Bears blood to get the short end of the stick, but I wouldn't trade being born and raised a Bear for anything (despite the fact that I will be attending Oregon next year, but still GO BEARS!)
OSU in Houston from Roanoke, Va. writes: My favorite BCS moment came during the 2000 season when the Beavers were picked to finish 8th in the Pac 10, and ended up a missed field goal (against Washington) away from potentially playing for the National Championship. The season was capped by beating the Golden Domers like a red-headed step-child 41 - 9; the same Notre Dame team that was grumbling because they wish they were playing a ?better team? than Oregon State. Everything went our way that night, including a 74 yard touchdown?. er?... 72 yard pass that Chad Johnson (not Ocho Cinco) dropped in celebration two yards shy of the goal line, only to be ruled a touchdown anyway! Too bad Sports Illustrated picked us to be number one the following year!
Carl from Seattle writes: Worst memory: Stanford missed FG as time expires to lose Fiesta to Okla St. Underdog Card executes its game plan perfectly, and has the game teed up for a perfect finish.....until....ugh! Would have been one of Pac-12's better BCS years with both Card and Ducks winning.
Thomas from Charlottesville, Va., writes: Most hated BCS memory is watching the Nebraska go to the 2001 national championship game after Colorado SMASHED the #2 ranked Huskers, beating them by more points than had ever been scored against them at the time! Colorado was 3rd in the BCS computer rankings by one of the smallest margins (perhaps THE smallest margin) ever. We went on to get slapped by a very good Oregon Ducks, tho I believe it was a let-down game for our head coach who was sure we'd go to the title game. For those who don't know, Nebraska is to Colorado what the Trojans are to UCLA, or what Standford is to Cal, or what the Huskies are to Oregon. So the fact that we hated corn made it all the more frustrating that CU had to yield to Nebraska for going to that championship game.
John from Greenville, N.C. writes: My worst BCS moment was Texas stopping SC on 4th down when they had a chance to run out the clock and win their third straight NC.
Duck Dynasty from LA writes: Best and Worst Moments of BCSWorst ... 2 way tie 1) Alowing Alabama to play in the NCG last year after being beat by LSU at home, not winning their conference and having it being deemed "the game of the century". 2) Alabama beating LSU in the NCG, giving LSU the goose egg and having it being deemed "the game of the century part 2." Best... 1) In 5 months, and change, from now when Oregon wins its first National Champtionship! 2) Ducks winning their first Rose Bowl in 95 years and first NCG birth. Being there to witness both.
Bryan from Torrance, Calif., writes: I am not sure if this really counts as a BCS moment, since it occurred mid-season, but one of my favorite memories was when the initial rankings came out for the BCS. Many probably don't know this, but UCLA was ranked #1 in the first-ever ranking. I have to hold onto this, because as a UCLA fan, we haven't had a lot to cheer about since then.
Dylan from Boston writes: Ted, hands down the best BCS memory for me is seeing my Ducks run onto the field in those snazzy white-green-white unis on Jan 1, 2010. You might ask why this moment eclipses the Ducks entering the Fiesta Bowl in 2011; Kiko Alonso's Rose Bowl INT; Michael Clay's fumble recovery and Chip Kelly jumping up and down; or the magical numbers 0:00 on the Rose Bowl game clock. It's because that moment in Jan, 2010, presaged the beginning of one of the greatest eras in Oregon football history and the Ducks' ascent into the college football elite. As for the worst memory... I will always have a sore spot in my heart thanks to Michael Dyer and the antigravity device he had implanted in his knee (I'm still looking for proof of this).
Sean from Las Vegas writes: Worst BCS memory: Rose Bowl January, 2006. Vince Young. USC defense had no answer. Hate that guy. I recorded the game on ESPN classic a couple months ago. I made it to the Reggie Bush brain fart lateral and had to stop/delete. Seven years later and I couldn't relive the disappointment. I'm such a wuss.
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