The legendary Vince Lombardi once noted that, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." Seeing as how undefeated seasons are pretty rare in sports these days, he’s probably right on the perfection front, but that doesn’t stop fans from holding out hope for that elusive unblemished mark.
Fortunately, for college football enthusiasts, the opportunity to finish the entire year unscathed is actually quite possible. In fact, it’s happened 14 times since 2000 alone, though just half of the teams finished the year with a national title. With the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship game looming ahead, the countdown is officially on to see if the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish will become the first team to accomplish both feats since Auburn in 2010.
Joining the squad in the ranks of the unbeaten this season was Ohio State, but despite a sweep through the competition, the Buckeyes will not be appearing in the postseason due to their bowl ineligibility. After dropping its season opener, Northern Illinois went on to win 12 straight to close out the regular-season slate, tying the Buckeyes and Irish for the longest active winning streak in the country. The accomplishment earned the Huskies a trip to the Orange Bowl, which will mark the first-ever BCS bowl game appearance for the Mid-American Conference.
The road to perfection is never easy, especially once the media takes hold. One outlet in particular has been known to do a number on streaking teams, players, and the like, though it appears the Sports Illustrated cover jinx may have finally met its match with the Irish. At 11-0 with one game to go in the regular season, Notre Dame was featured on the cover of SI in anticipation of the showdown at USC. As you know by now, the Irish defied the “curse,” prevailing over USC to both finish the regular season undefeated and earn a BCS title game berth for the first time since 1988.
Their esteemed opponent, the Crimson Tide of Alabama, knows a thing or two about perfection itself, as the squad went 14-0 en route to claiming the 2009 BCS National Championship, and also claimed victory in last year’s title game, but not without a loss earlier in the season.
Game day will be here before you know it, so head to the Vivid Seats marketplace for an affordable selection of 2013 BCS National Championship tickets for one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year on Jan. 7 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.