Monday's BCS Championship Game Marks End of an Era - KMSP-TV

Monday's BCS Championship Game Marks End of an Era

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(FOX 11 / CNS) - Florida State will face Auburn in Monday's Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game, the last time college football's championship will be decided at the Rose Bowl until at least 2019.

Monday's game marks the end of the BCS which began in the 1998 season and annually rotated its championship game among the Fiesta, Sugar, Orange and Rose bowls.

Under the College Football Playoff, which begins with the 2014 season, the site for the National Championship Game is chosen by the College Football Playoff's Management Committee following a bidding process.

One factor limiting the Rose Bowl's ability to host the championship game is the rule under the College Football Playoff prohibiting a stadium from hosting a semifinal and championship game in the same year. A semifinal game will be played at the Rose Bowl once every three years, beginning on New Year's Day 2015.

The Rose Bowl is interested in seeking to play host to the 2019 championship game, the next one it is eligible to, Rose Bowl Management Committee Chair Libby Wright told City News Service.

"Our plan is ... to pull a group together (in the first three months of the year) and start talking about how we want to go about it," Wright said.

"We would sit down and evaluate the (request for proposal), try to identify issues of concern or issues we would feel we would need to operate differently than we have in the past and then evaluate whether we would want or need other partners to work with us."

The next round of national championship site selections, beginning with the 2018 game, will take place in 2015. Bill Hancock, the BCS executive director who will hold the same position with the College Football Playoff, said he hoped the Rose Bowl would bid to host the championship game.

"It's an iconic setting with tradition unmatched," Hancock said at halftime of Wednesday's 100th Rose Bowl. "There's nothing like this place. We love this place. We love the people."

The championship game will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in 2015, University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. in 2016 and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. in 2017.

"Communities that have been successful have marshaled all kinds of entities in their region -- convention bureaus, chambers of commerce, elected officials, civic leaders," Hancock said.

"This is like a Final Four bid or a Super Bowl bid. This is not an...event that can be recruited by a small group within a metropolitan area."

Factors under consideration include the stadium, the amount of hotel rooms, practice facilities and airport, "all of which are tremendous here," Hancock said. The Rose Bowl "has everything it takes," Hancock said.

The Rose Bowl did not bid for the 2016 or 2017 championship games, Wright said.

"It really had to do with what's happening now," Wright said. "We've spent the last three years planning for our 100th Rose Bowl Game and the final BCS Championship Game that we're hosting and we just really felt we should wait."

Rose Bowl Game officials "did a lot of extra things for the 100th game that we wouldn't normally do," Wright said. "We did extra videos, we did extra promotion, we worked closely with ESPN, the Big Ten Network and the Pac-12 Network to promote the 100th game. It took extra effort."

Hosting the BCS National Championship Game "took a lot of staff time," Wright said.

Florida State (13-0) and Auburn (12-1) finished 1-2 in the final BCS standings to qualify for the championship game, setting up a matchup between a team which has dominated its opponents and one with four fourth-quarter come-from-behind victories.

Florida State leads the nation in both scoring, averaging 53 points per game, and scoring defense, allowing an average of 10.7 points per game. All but one of its games have been decided by at least 27 points, with five of their victories coming by 55 points or more.

"We dominate our opponent, physically and mentally," Seminoles redshirt freshman Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston said.

Florida State is 28 points away from breaking the single-season scoring record by a Football Bowl Subdivision team, 716, set by Oklahoma in 2008. It has been held under 40 points just once.

Auburn will attempt to complete the greatest turnaround in major college football history under first-year coach Gus Malzahn, rebounding from a 3-9 record in 2012.

Two of the Tigers unlikeliest victories came in back-to-back games in November.

Ricardo Louis caught a deflected pass from Nick Marshall on a fourth-and-18 play for a 73-yard touchdown with 25 seconds to play for a 43-38 victory over Georgia Nov. 16 in what has been dubbed "The Prayer at Jordan-Hare."

Chris Davis returned a missed field goal attempt 109 yards for a touchdown as time expired for a 34-28 victory over No. 1-ranked and previously undefeated Alabama, the two-time defending national champion, Nov. 30.

"They've been a charmed team," Kirk Herbstreit, who will be the analyst on ESPN's telecast of the game, said in a recent conference call.

"When you become a charmed team the thing that people overlook is when you get into a close game, because you've been there so many times, collectively you believe, you don't hope, you truly believe you're going to find a way to win the game."

Auburn is trying to become the first team to have beaten two No. 1-ranked teams in the same season.

The Tigers are seeking to become the eighth consecutive Southeastern Conference team to win the national championship.

The Seminoles are the first Atlantic Coast Conference team to play in the National Championship Game since they appeared in each of the first three, losing in 1999 and 2001 and winning in 2000.

"I know our team is the best in the country and (if) we go out there and do what we do, we're going (to) be hard to beat," said Winston, who will turn 20 Monday. "I don't have any concerns because I know that the offense that we have is going to be prepared." 

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