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BCS as a Playoff: It’s a Big 12 and SEC final four in 2008

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

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Welcome to Dr. Saturday's BCS as the College Football Playoff feature. This week we'll go through each of the 16 years of the BCS and hypothesize if the national championship would have changed hands under the new College Football Playoff.

Since we don't have the benefit of a selection committee, we're taking the top four teams from the BCS standings entering bowl season. It's still Florida's time in 2008.

No. 1 Oklahoma (12-2)

Coach: Bob Stoops

Notable players: QB Sam Bradford, RB Chris Brown, RB Demarco Murray, WR Juaquin Iglesias, DL Jeremy Beal, DL Auston English, DB Lendy Holmes

Oklahoma's season: The Sooners' only stumble until the BCS Championship Game came in Dallas in the Red River Rivalry. On Oct. 11, Texas beat Oklahoma 45-35. But after that, the Oklahoma offense got rolling. Until meeting Florida in Miami, Oklahoma scored over 60 points in five straight games. Crazy. Bradford threw for 4,720 yards, 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions on his way to the Heisman Trophy while both Brown and Murray rushed for over 1,000 yards.

No. 2 Florida (13-1)

Coach: Urban Meyer

Notable players: QB Tim Tebow, RB Chris Rainey, WR Percy Harvin, WR Louis Murphy, DL Jermaine Cunningham, LB Brandon Spikes, DB Joe Haden

Florida's season: The Gators lost earlier than Oklahoma did. On Sept. 27, Florida lost 31-30 at home to Mississippi. After that, Florida won every game by double digits, including a 31-20 win over then-No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. After winning the Heisman in 2007, Tebow threw for 2,746 yards 30 touchdowns and four interceptions while running for 673 yards and 12 touchdowns. Harvin ran for 660 yards and had 644 yards receiving.

No. 3 Texas (12-1)

Coach: Mack Brown

Notable players: QB Colt McCoy, RB Chris Ogbonnaya, WR Jordan Shipley, WR Quan Cosby, LB Sergio Kindle, LB Brian Orakpo, DB Earl Thomas

Texas's season: All was going well until Graham Harrell hit Michael Crabtree with a second left in the fourth quarter on Nov. 1. That score gave Texas Tech a 39-33 win over Texas and the Longhorns ended up in a three-way-tie for first in the Big 12 South. (The Longhorn Network still remembers that play.) Without the benefit of the Big 12 title game, Texas ended up playing Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. McCoy threw for 3,459 yards and 34 touchdowns and was also Texas' leading rusher.

No. 4 Alabama (12-2)

Coach: Nick Saban

Notable players: QB John Parker Wilson, RB Glen Coffee, WR Julio Jones, DL Terrence Cody, LB Dont'a Hightower, DB Rashad Johnson

Alabama's season: It's a similar season to 2013, though 2008 involved a triumph over Auburn and a trip to the SEC Championship Game. After beating the Tigers 36-0, Alabama just needed to beat Florida in the SEC Championship Game to make the BCS Championship Game. The Gators won, sending the Crimson Tide to the Sugar Bowl instead. There, Alabama lost to underdog Utah, 31-17. Coffee ran for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns while Mark Ingram had 728 yards and 12 scores.

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The 2009 BCS Championship Game: Could Florida stop Oklahoma's vaunted offense? Yes. After the game was tied 14-14 early in the fourth quarter, Florida scored the final 10 points on the way to a 24-14 win. Bradford was 26-41 for 256 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Tebow also threw two interceptions while completing 18-30 passes for 231 yards and two scores. However, he ran for 109 yards while Percy Harvin had 122 yards rushing.

The Playoff matchups: No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 4 Alabama, No. 2 Florida vs. No. 3 Texas

Just missing out: No. 5 USC, No. 6 Utah

The semifinals: Since Florida stopped Oklahoma, SEC loyalists feel that Alabama would stop the Sooners too, right? But even if Alabama did, we're not sure we trust the Crimson Tide's passing game to take advantage. Wilson threw for just 2,273 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2008. Oklahoma doesn't score 60, but it scores enough. In the second semifinal, Florida stops a one-dimensional Texas team. The Longhorns didn't have a go-to rusher throughout the season and it shows.

The final: The legend of Tebow was already pretty large after his Heisman win in 2007, but the BCS Championship game cemented his status in the hearts of many Gator fans for eternity. A Playoff doesn't change that. If Oklahoma sells out to stop Harvin and Tebow on the ground, Tebow is an effective enough college passer to take advantage and be named most outstanding player again.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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