The BCS Is Dying of Old Age

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A 16-year lifetime in college sports is forever.

This winter gives us the last rendition of the BCS, which is fading away to the dustbin of history to give way for the College Football Playoff. There have been many theories and explanations for why the BCS is dying, but the one I haven't seen discussed enough is old age. Seriously, this thing is ancient. Just consider the evidence.

The First BCS Season, 1998

The BCS's inaugural season was 1998, the first year that USB gained wide adoption.

Peyton Manning was an NFL rookie. Michael Vick and Kliff Kingsbury were true freshman, and Donovan McNabb, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees were all still in school.

Gus Malzahn was coaching freshman Rhett Lashlee. In high school. Hugh Freeze was in his fourth year of ten as a high school head coach.

Will Muschamp was a DBs coach at the University of West Georgia, his first real coaching job after being a grad assistant. Dan Mullen was a GA at Syracuse, and Lane Kiffin was a GA at Fresno State. Mike Bobo was an administrative assistant at Georgia; his actual coaching career wouldn't begin until the following season when he became a GA.

The only head coaches to be at their schools every year of the BCS are Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech and Mack Brown at Texas. Oklahoma hired Bob Stoops and Iowa hired Kirk Ferentz in the BCS's second year.

The WAC had 16 teams, and the Mountain West Conference was still a year away from existing. It was the Big 12's third year of existence.

We were closer to the first year the Big East began sponsoring football than we are now to 1998. We were even closer to the first SEC Championship Game than we are now to 1998.

UCF and Boise State were both in their third years of being in Division I-A, and UConn was four years away from becoming a full I-A member. USF football was in its second year of existence. FAU football was three years away from existing, and FIU football was four years away from existing.

The First BCS Games, January 1999

The first games occurred in January 1999, three years and one month before high school seniors signed to the first recruiting classes rated by Rivals and Scout.

The top single in the country was "I'm Your Angel" by R. Kelly and Celine Dion. Taylor Swift had just turned 9 the previous month, and Justin Bieber was 5-years-old.

The top movie in the country was Patch Adams. The Matrix, The Mummy, Star Wars Episode I, American Pie, and The Sixth Sense were months away from being released.

We were closer then to the Challenger disaster than we are today to those first games.

The average price of a gallon of gas nationwide was 93.5 cents.

Teams that played in the first round of games include UCLA, Texas A&M, Syracuse, and Tennessee. Within the first four seasons, Nebraska, Washington, Purdue, Oregon State, Colorado, Illinois, and Maryland all participated.

Changes Since Then

After each of the first seven rounds of BCS bowls, you couldn't go onto YouTube to watch highlights because YouTube didn't exist yet.

The tenth round of BCS bowls were played just over six months after the iPhone went on sale and six months before the App Store opened.

No one argued the merits of pro-style versus spread offenses because modern spread offenses as we know them today existed on the margins. The modern spread offense's coming out party happened in the BCS's third season.

WAC members split off to form the Mountain West, the Big West stopped sponsoring football, the Sun Belt began sponsoring football, the Big East split apart and gave birth to the American Athletic Conference, and the WAC stopped being a I-A conference for football.

Including next year's planned moves and not including teams jumping up from I-AA, football teams in I-A changed their conference affiliations 87 total times.

During the BCS era, 15 bowls came into existence, three existing bowls went defunct, and four bowls both came into existence and went defunct.

In Summary

The BCS is finishing its 16th season, and in college sports terms, that is OLD.

The contract that created the College Football Playoff has a span of 12 years. Just imagine what kinds of changes there will be between now and the end of that deal.

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