ACC KICKOFF

No sad farewell for BCS

After FSU’s initial success, woes became the norm

The (Raleigh) News and ObserverJuly 23, 2013 

— The Bowl Championship Series will close its doors after one more season of suspect math, ticket scams and convoluted matchups.

A four-team playoff will replace the Bowl Championship Series in 2014. For the ACC’s college football teams, the BCS era can’t end soon enough.

Among the six major conferences that started the bowl-game cartel in 1998, the ACC is tied for the fewest titles (one in 15 seasons), tied for the fewest title-game appearances (three times), received one at-large bid to play in one of the four annual postseason games and accumulated the worst record (3-13) of any conference in BCS play.

In addition to the on-field struggles, Congress summoned ACC commissioner John Swofford to Washington in 2009 to answer anti-trust questions about the organization.

Before the BCS hired a full-time director in 2010, the conference commissioners rotated as the BCS coordinator. Swofford served twice, in 2000-01 and 2008-09.

“I was the only guy crazy enough to be its coordinator twice,” Swofford joked Sunday. “I didn’t learn the first time around.”

All of that didn’t stop Swofford from paying the BCS its final respects.

“For all its issues and problems, I think it has been good for college football,” Swofford said. “The growth of the game during the existence of the BCS has been phenomenal; I’m not saying it’s because of the BCS, but it turned the sport from a regional sport to a national sport where people were interested in what would happen on the other side of the continent because it might affect who played in the national championship game.”

The BCS wasn’t always so unkind. Florida State played in the first three championship games.

Miami, then as a member of the Big East, played in the title game in 2001 and 2002, winning the former in the Rose Bowl.

That was the last time a current ACC member played in the title game, and Florida State’s loss to Oklahoma in 2000 is the last time an active ACC member appeared in the game.

The ACC lost eight straight BCS bowl games from 2000 to 2007.

FSU beat Northern Illinois, an at-large qualifier from the Mid-American Conference, in the Orange Bowl last season to improve the ACC’s BCS record to 3-13. Only the Big Ten has lost more games (14, but has 12 wins). The Mountain West Conference has as many wins as the ACC in four appearances.

The only regular BCS participant below the ACC in winning percentage in the 15-year standings? Notre Dame, which is 0-4 in BCS play. The Irish begin a partnership with the ACC before the 2014 season.

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has a 1-4 BCS record since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004. He wasn’t quite ready to wax nostalgic about the BCS but did say it served a purpose.

“I thought it was a solution at the time, and I think we’ve improved it,” Beamer said.

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