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Tuesday, January 7, 2014
A big thanks for the BCS

By Gene Wojciechowski



PASADENA, Calif. -- Nobody has made more fun of the BCS than me. I've mocked it. Insulted it. Said it was so screwed up that it sees a therapist twice a week.

So I only have one thing to say to the BCS after Monday evening's national title game:

Thank you.

Thank you for the perfect ending to 16 years of an imperfect BCS system.

Thank you for a game-changing fake punt, a 100-yard kickoff return, another late comeback by you-know-who, a career-defining, last-minute, game-winning drive by the Heisman Trophy owner.

Thank you for Florida State 34, Auburn 31.

This was the best national championship game since the 2005 season, when Texas beat USC on this same Rose Bowl field. This was the kind of game that you never erase from your DVR. The kind of game that grandparents tell their grandkids about.

Check that. It was the kind of game that a grandkid told his grandparents about. At least, that's what Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary did afterward as he embraced Jack and Barbara Nicklaus on the confetti-strewn field.

The greatest golfer of all-time wore an FSU cap and a proud smile as he posed for family photos with O'Leary. And if you looked hard enough, you'd swear he was near tears.

Auburn fans know the feeling. With just 79 seconds remaining in the game, the Tigers held a four-point lead against an FSU team favored by double digits. Hold on to that lead and Auburn wins its second national title in four years and extends the SEC streak to an eight-peat.

Instead, Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who had played like Ja-miss for large chunks of the game, led the Seminoles from their own 20-yard line to Auburn's end zone. The game was closer than a pair of Biggest Losers crammed into a Smart car and FSU -- and especially Winston -- delivered when it mattered most.

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