The countdown to college football season 2013 is at 98 days. The number 98 bears a certain significant in the modern age of the game, as the ’98 season marked the introduction of the Bowl Championship Series. Oh, for a simpler time when this was the resolution to our national title concerns.
Its flaws were immediately evident, though. Tulane went undefeated but was past over for an invitation. There was a cluster of one-loss teams vying for the Fiesta Bowl (that season’s championship site) bid. Fifteen years later, we say goodbye to the BCS in its final season.
• West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith left Morgantown following the 2012 season with 98 career touchdown passes. A three-year starter for the Mountaineers, Smith truly broke out under the guidance of spread offense maven Dana Holgorsen.
Forty-two of his 98 career scoring strikes came last season. He was the overwhelming front runner for the Heisman Trophy for the season’s first five weeks.
• One-man wrecking crew Lawrence Taylor is synonymous with the number 56 from his days terrorizing opposing quarterbacks in the NFL. But as a member of the North Carolina Tar Heels, LT donned No. 98. He was an All-American at defensive end in 1980.
Here is an interview with Taylor from that season, via WRAL:
Taylor was not Sports Illustrated‘s pick for the greatest No. 98 to ever play the college game, though. That honor went to Michigan’s first Heisman winner, running back Tom Harmon.
• The Rose Bowl Game was restarted, and for good, 98 years ago. The bowl dubbed today as The Granddaddy of ‘Em All was first played after the 1901 season, although the inaugural installment was little more than an exhibition and vacation for Fielding Yost’s mighty Michigan team. The Wolverines smashed Stanford in the Tournament East-West, 49-0.
The resurrected Rose Bowl Game was much more competitive pit Washington State against Ivy League member Brown. The Cougars won, 14-0.