For our second entry in the BCS era on MNC Wednesday, we have what seems to be the usual confusion in finding the still-mythical national champion. As talk intensifies about a current-day tournament of 12 teams, we still revisit a not-to-distant past where the powers that be just couldn’t do much right.
Read on to see how did the BCS do this time around …
The 1999 MNC: Did the BCS work in its second year?! Not so fast …
Here is the Associated Press Top 10, including final record with key bowl results:
1. Florida State: 12-0-0 — W, Sugar, 46-29
2. Virginia Tech: 11-1-0 — L, Sugar, 29-46
3. Nebraska: 12-1-0 — W, Fiesta, 31-21
4. Wisconsin: 10-2-0 — W, Rose, 17-9
5. Michigan: 10-2-0 — W, Orange, 35-34
6. Kansas State: 11-1-0 — W, Holiday, 24-20
7. Michigan State: 10-2-0 — W, Citrus, 37-34
8. Alabama: 10-3-0 — L, Orange, 34-35
9. Tennessee: 9-3-0 — L, Fiesta, 21-31
10. Marshall: 13-0-0 — W, Motor City, 21-3
The Seminoles beat the Hokies in the “title” game, and we have to treat that as any other bowl game. The Cornhuskers won the Big XII and their bowl game, so they get advanced. Despite losing to the Wolverines, the Badgers won the B1G and the Rose Bowl, so they, too, move on to the next round of consideration.
The Wildcats lost to Nebraska, and the Spartans lost to the Badgers. The Crimson Tide won the SEC, but Alabama lost the Orange Bowl to cheatin’ Tom Brady and the Wolverines by missing an extra-point attempt in the first overtime.
The Thundering Herd played the ninth-easiest schedule in the country, so we can’t advance them despite giving them this shoutout for posting a perfect record. There are no other teams to consider in this year’s analysis for the MNC, so that’s it.
Overall, that leaves us with 3 teams to examine more in-depth this season. Here are the respective SOS ratings for our finalists, after analyzing all the context above:
- Wisconsin: 11 Division I-A opponents, 0.88 SOS rating, 61st of 114
- Nebraska: 13 Division I-A opponents, 5.15 SOS rating, 16th
- Florida State: 12 Division I-A opponents, 5.58 SOS rating, 13th
The Badgers loaded up their OOC slate with an FCS school, a MAC school, and a Conference USA school, which ended up hurting them in the SOS comparison—not to mention the loss to that C-USA squad. Overall, Wisconsin played 6 ranked teams and beat 5 of them, including Nick Saban–coached Michigan State by 30 points!
The Cornhuskers lost to then-No. 18 Texas on the road by 4 points before avenging themselves in the Big XII title game against the Longhorns. Clearly, Nebraska played a great schedule—beating the other four ranked teams it played by an average of 22.3 points per game, but the Texas loss kept the Huskers out of the BCS title game.
Nebraska probably would have given the Seminoles a better game than Virginia Tech did, but in the end, the Seminoles get the confirmed MNC here because our process happened to reach the same conclusion—although like last year, we will point out that the BCS probably selected the wrong team to face Florida State in the “title” game. The Cornhuskers rated out much higher in the SRS than Virginia Tech.
There is nothing to be done about that, sadly, so this is the third MNC nod from us for the Seminoles … and the first one we have confirmed (1992, 1997). Remember, too, that we stripped FSU of its 1993 MNC. All’s well that ends well.
Congratulations to the 1999 Florida State Seminoles, the mythical national champion!