The Bowl Championship Series era came to a close Monday with the crowning of Florida State in the 16th and final BCS National Championship Game. Marked by both compelling matchups and controversy, opinions vary as to what the BCS' legacy will be. No matter what history chooses to reflect, however, the one undeniable truth about the BCS is that it forever changed college football by taking the sport to new levels of popularity nationwide.
Just as the postseason format will leave a lasting impact on the sport it helped to grow, Wisconsin teams will always be among the lasting images of the BCS era, a time in which the sport's growth coincided with the growth of the Badgers into one of the nation's premier programs.
Wisconsin proved to be one of the nation's most successful teams during the BCS' hold on the college football postseason. Here's a look at why:
- Wisconsin appeared in the Rose Bowl five times in the BCS era, making UW one of just 11 teams to play in at least five BCS bowl games
- The Badgers went 146-61 (.705) overall in the BCS era, giving them the 13th-best win percentage in the nation over that span
- Among Big Ten teams, only Ohio State had more wins (161) and a better win percentage (.793) than Wiscosnin during the BCS era
- UW's 146 wins were the 12th-most of any team in the BCS era
- The Badgers were ranked in 72 of the 125 BCS standings, tied for the 11th-most appearances of any team in the nation
- From 2004 to 2006, the Badgers appeared in the BCS standings for 24 consecutive weeks
- UW ranked as high as fifth in the BCS standings, rising to No. 5 in consecutive weeks in 2004 (Nov. 1, Nov. 8) and 2010 (Nov. 28, Dec. 5)
- Ron Dayne holds the record for rushing yards in a BCS bowl with his 246 vs. UCLA in the 1999 Rose Bowl
- Dayne tied for the record for most rushing touchdowns in a BCS bowl with the four he scored on UCLA in the 1999 Rose Bowl
- Jared Abbrederis owns the record for all-purpose yards in a BCS bowl with 346 (119 receiving, 201 kickoff return, 26 punt return) vs. Oregon in the 2012 Rose Bowl
- Montee Ball became the first player to rush for 100 yards three times in the Rose Bowl and the first to score a touchdown in three different Rose Bowls
With college football set to move on and the debut of the College Football Playoff coming at the end of the 2014 season, it's an exciting time for the sport. Hopefully, the playoff can prove to be as exciting - and successful - for Wisconsin as the BCS era.