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BCS as a Playoff: A tournament doesn’t stop Florida State in 1999

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. Here's 1999.

No. 1 Florida State (12-0)

Coach: Bobby Bowden

Notable players: QB Chris Weinke, RB Travis Minor, WR Peter Warrick, DT Corey Simon, LB Tommy Polley, DB Mario Edwards

Florida State's season: After losing the 1999 Fiesta Bowl to Tennessee, the Seminoles brought back a host of key contributors. The closest game throughout FSU's season was a six-point win over Georgia Tech and to get to the Sugar Bowl, the Seminoles beat No. 4 Florida by 7 on the road. Weinke threw for 3,103 yards and 25 touchdowns.

No. 2 Virginia Tech (11-1)

Coach: Frank Beamer

Notable Players: QB Michael Vick, RB Shyrone Stith, WR Andre Davis, DE John Engleberger, DB Ike Charlton

Virginia Tech's season: This was Vick's team. As a redshirt freshman he threw for 2,065 yards and ran for 682. Davis averaged over 25 yards a catch and Stith ran for over 1,200 yards too, but the storyline was the emergence of Vick, who would be the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NFL draft. The Hokies won a close game 22-20 at West Virginia and won every other game by at least 13 points.

No. 3 Nebraska (12-1)

Coach: Frank Solich

Notable Players: QB Eric Crouch, RB Correll Buckhalter, DE Chris Kelsay, DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, LB Carlos Polk, DB Mike Brown, DB Ralph Brown

Nebraska's season: The Cornhuskers' national title hopes were derailed with a loss at Texas. After escaping in overtime against Colorado in the final game of the regular season, Nebraska got revenge on the Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship Game and went to the Fiesta Bowl.

No. 4 Alabama (10-3)

Coach: Mike DuBose

Notable Players: QB Andrew Zow, RB Shaun Alexander, WR Freddie Milons, DB Marcus Spencer, DB Reggie Miles

Alabama's season: For as much as Virginia Tech was Vick's team, Alabama was Alexander's team. Alexander ran for 1,383 yards and 19 touchdowns. Zow threw for 1,799 yards and 12 scores. The Crimson Tide lost to Louisiana Tech at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. and also to Tennessee before losing to Michigan in the Orange Bowl.


The 2000 Sugar Bowl: The first title game post-Y2K was the Vick, Warrick and Weinke show. The Hokies came back to get a 29-28 lead, but Florida State scored the final 18 points for a 46-29 win. Warrick finished with six catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns. On top of that he had a 59-yard punt return for a score. Weinke finished with 329 yards passing and four touchdowns, while Vick threw for 225 and ran for 97.

The Playoff matchups: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Alabama, No. 2 Virginia Tech vs. No. 3 Nebraska

Just missing out: No. 5 Tennessee, No. 6 Kansas State

The semifinals: Zow, Alexander and Milon or Weinke, Minor and Warrick? With all due respect to how good Alexander was at Alabama, this one is an easy decision. Florida State's defense would bottle him up and the Noles roll. The other semifinal is a lot more intriguing. In Crouch and Vick it would feature the two most dynamic running quarterbacks. We're going with the Nebraska triple-option and betting its defensive talent shuts Vick down.

The final: There's no way that Florida state is being derailed. FSU was even better in 1999 than it was in 1998. Nebraska was good too, but this isn't one of Tommie Frazier's teams. Nebraska keeps it close for the first half and Florida State takes over in the second half. Perhaps even on a Warrick punt return.

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Previous years: 1998

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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