Why Urban Meyer's Ohio State Squad Is Only Big Ten Team That Will Miss the BCS

Andrew Coppens@@andycoppensContributor IJanuary 5, 2014

Monday night will be reason to celebrate in Big Ten country, no matter what happens between Florida State and Auburn. That's because the three-letter word, B-C-S, has been most unkind to the majority of B1G schools. 

That is unless you are Ohio State, in which case you may very well be sad to see the BCS gone. 

Sure, recent BCS history hasn't been kind to the Buckeyes either, but who can forget the 2002-03 season and the last national champion to come from the Big Ten?

Despite the B1G not having a national champion since then, no other conference has played in more BCS games than the Big Ten (28), and no other team in the history of the BCS has made more appearances than OSU (10).

However, for the other 11 teams currently calling the Big Ten home, the death of the BCS and birth of the College Football Playoff is a dream come true. 

It's an opportunity to do what the vast majority of the Big Ten still has to do to get respect: earn it on the field.

The ugly truth of the BCS era for the Big Ten is that unless your ranking was followed by the words "Ohio State" or "Michigan," your chances of being in a BCS game beyond winning the conference were pretty slim. 

Only three other Big Ten schools made appearances in non-Rose Bowl BCS games—Illinois to the Sugar Bowl once, Iowa to the Orange Bowl twice and Penn State to the Orange Bowl once. 

Notice something missing from those numbers, though? Not a single one of those extra appearances came via this thing called the BCS National Championship game. 

Only the Buckeyes of Ohio State can claim that happening, going to the title game three times since its inception in 1998. 

So, for the majority of teams in the Big Ten, the BCS era wasn't all that welcoming. 

Then again, the Big Ten has also progressively slipped down the totem pole of the college football world. It didn't exactly elevate a ton of teams to become BCS worthy. 

Additionally, the conference didn't help itself out with some archaic rules for selecting teams to BCS games and breaking ties for the conference title (before the 2011 season and start of the Big Ten Championship game).

No season underscored what was wrong with the system the Big Ten and the BCS created more than 2010.

Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State all tied for the conference crown with 11-1 overall records and 7-1 finishes in Big Ten play. By rule, the highest ranked BCS team went to the Rose Bowl, and that meant Wisconsin, at No. 5 in the final BCS standings, packed its bags for Pasadena.

Michigan State, the team that beat Wisconsin, was left out of the BCS entirely as Ohio State was selected for the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas thanks to being ranked one spot higher in the BCS standings than MSU. 

See, the problem with the BCS is that it was never about creating a true national champion. It was a "money first, football second" operation from the very beginning, and Ohio State equalled major cash to the BCS and vice versa. 

Moving forward, the hope is that, with football people making the decisions about who's in and who's out of the College Football Playoff, the annual high school popularity contest will give way to what actually takes place on the field every Saturday.

For the rest of the Big Ten without the "name" of Ohio State or Michigan, that brings hope that results on the field matter more than where some writer or coach (who's likely never seen you play) ranks you.

With the start of division play in 2011 and the Big Ten title game that the 12-team conference began that year, the chances of making a BCS game became better for each of the participants. 

Yet, still, the elusive BCS National Championship game was out of reach for any team that would win the title game not named Ohio State. 

All one has to do is look to the Big Ten title game to see why the rest of the conference can't wait for the College Football Playoff to start. 

This last season saw Michigan State arguably earn its way into the national-championship discussion by beating No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. 

It propelled them to the No. 4 ranking in the BCS, which in the new system would've qualified them for the playoff.

One could've argued the win over the Buckeyes was a fluke, until the Spartans went out on the field and proved it again in a Rose Bowl win over No. 5 Stanford. 

Looking forward, the Big Ten Championship game provides the extra opportunity for the rest of the Big Ten, not named Ohio State, to earn its way into the national championship discussion on the field—where it matters most. 

Now the question is: Will anyone be able to step to the plate and take advantage of those opportunities that the new era of college football could provide the rest of the Big Ten?


*Andy Coppens is Bleacher Report's lead writer for the Big Ten. You can follow him on Twitter: @andycoppens.


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