With Florida State's dramatic win against Auburn on Monday night, we bid farewell to the BCS era. Some will say goodbye, while many others will say good riddance.
Whatever the case, starting next season college football moves into its next phase -- the College Football Playoff. While the now-departed method created some classic championship games, not to mention a number of other thrilling BCS bowls, the whole concept of the Bowl Championship Series has been a source of great debate, and often times, harsh criticism.
As I -- and many others -- have previously stated, the BCS was an imperfect system, but it was far better than what preceded it. Gone are the days of a top-ranked team sealing its national title by beating a No. 14-ranked squad in its bowl game.
The system also set up a number of wildly entertaining matchups, such as Boise State's stunning victory against Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. This year's other BCS games were fairly decent, too, from underdog Central Florida putting the hammer down on Baylor, to Michigan State's 24-20 victory against Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
Ohio State-Clemson in the Orange, and Oklahoma-Alabama in the Sugar Bowl were not bad games, either.
I think part of the frustration of the BCS is that many of us struggled to fully understand how it worked.
We did not know what made up most of the computer rankings. We were easily confused on what a team had to do to qualify for consideration to one of the "big boy" bowls. A top-14 finish? A top-16 for a non-AQ conference if it finished ahead of lowest-rated champ from an AQ conference? Otherwise, a non-AQ had to be in the top 12? Huh? What is a non-AQ? And Notre Dame has its own sets of rules?
As sports fans, we tend to like things to be a bit more simple, and hopefully the College Football Playoff is a step closer in that direction.
Still, in today's world, many of us will find something to be unhappy about, and we will have multiple platforms where we can vent to our heart's delight.
It is anything but a stretch to predict that the biggest outcry will come from those who want more than four teams in the playoff. However, executive director Bill Hancock repeatedly has said the four-team playoff will be in place for the next 12 years, so we probably would be wise to get used to it. Those who help run college football are very protective about the importance of the regular season. They are in no hurry to run the risk of hurting high-stakes games in October.
We also should remember that there will be two more top-end bowls, the Cotton and the Chick-fil-A. Part of the selection committee's job will be to place teams in those games, as those sites will join the rotation for the semifinal round on New Year's Eve 2016.
Whether the College Football Playoff will be more satisfying than the BCS remains to be seen. I believe it will. Yes, the team that ends up fifth in eyes of the committee will be very upset. So is the basketball squad that just misses the cut to the 68-team NCAA tournament.
Overall, I would claim the BCS worked reasonably well. If nothing else, it gave college football fans something to talk about every week of the season.
Starting next season, we can all try to figure out who will play in those semifinal games at the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, with the winners meeting in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12, 2015.
It figures to be anything but dull.