Crazy to think that it has been almost ten years since Maurice Clarrett was known as a running back for Ohio State. He has been prolific and newsworthy in the past decade, but not in the way many had hoped he would be. But this isn’t about Maurice, this is about the run the Buckeyes had to win the whole thing. Ohio State ran the gambit of the Big Ten (which was still an elite league at this time) and avoided the other good league team (Iowa) during the regular season. Their BCS Championship opponents, Miami was dealing with its hubris of CFB dominance. They had lost one game in the past three years, and it was a squeaker at that early in the 2000 season to a very good Washington Huskies team on the road. Not to mention it just seemed like they were growing first round draft picks on Florida orange trees in their backyard and were seemingly rampaging opponents on their way to the first back to back BCS championships. Their hopes and dreams, in the real 2002 season, were dashed by a Maurice Clarrett strip of Sean Taylor on a INT return and a questionable flag on fourth down in overtime.
In the redux, Miami would take it all and it would provide the first Big Ten Championship game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Iowa Hawkeyes. The unfortunate reality of the pre-championship version of the Big Ten was two teams could avoid each other during the regular season and both go undefeated in league play which is what happened in 2002. Iowa lost to their bitter in-state rivals, Iowa State, derailing the BCS title hopes well before the Cyclones did the same to Oklahoma State in 2011. I selected Iowa over USC even though USC destroyed Iowa in the Orange Bowl because these teams would have been picked before the bowls and USC had two losses during the regular season to average teams.
The BCS Playoffs Redux 2002 version would allow for Iowa and Ohio State to solve the Big Ten Championship on the field, which I have picked Ohio State to pull out squeaker. Effectively, Ohio State would have used up the last of their close win mojo and lose to an overly talented Hurricane team, who gets their act together after a close win against Georgia in their semi-final, in the BCS Championship game. So the Miami Hurricanes complete their three-peat and get taken down by the NCAA for program violations because nothing attracts the NCAA law-dogs like winning.
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2002 BCS Playoffs Redux
|Pac 10||Southern Cal, Washington State|
|Big Ten||Iowa, Ohio State|
|# 2||Ohio State|
|Predicted Playoff Winner|
|All Rankings History and Awards From This Season:|
|CFB Reference 2002|