The wait for a FBS college football playoff finally ended on Tuesday.
Since Rutgers beat Princeton 6-4 in the first American football game on Nov. 6, 1869, major college football didn't have a playoff to decide who the best team was.
That all changes in 2014 after a committee of university presidents approved the BCS Commissioners' plan for a four-year playoff.
No longer will a team -- given it's ranked among in the top four by a selection committee -- have a gripe for being left out of playing for a national championship.
Since 1998, the year the BCS became the formula to decide which two teams played for the crystal ball, controversy rose more times than not over who the best two teams in the country were.
In '98, Tennessee was the clear-cut No. 1 team in the country after the regular season, but who was the second-best was up for debate. Upset losses by UCLA and Kansas State on the final Saturday of the regular season put the BCS to the test in its first year. The Bruins, Wildcats, Ohio State and Florida State all had one loss. Even Tulane, who was undefeated, wanted to stake a claim.
The Seminoles probably weren't the No. 2 team in the country at the end of the regular season because their starting quarterback -- future Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke -- was injured in midseason and missed the rest of the year.
Still, All American linebacker Al Wilson would've led the Volunteers to victory over any team on that Arizona night in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 4, 1999. Hopefully former Beacon sports editor Colin Skinner, a noted Buckeyes fan, would agree Ohio State, most likely the second-best team in the country, couldn't beat Tennessee.
The only other time UT has been in the running for the BCS National Championship was 2001. Then, all the 11-1 Vols had to do was beat an 8-4 LSU in the SEC title game. Led by second-year coach Nick Saban and a tight ends coach named Derek Dooley, the Tigers upset Tennessee. That loss began the Vols' downfall from national prominence, which they're still trying to return to.
Tennessee could've impacted the BCS title game two other times. In 2004, the Vols played an undefeated Auburn team in the SEC Championship Game. A UT win would've allowed USC and Oklahoma to play for the national title with no controversy. Instead, Auburn won that game and the Sugar Bowl and remains the only undefeated team from a BCS conference to not play for the national championship.
In 2007, LSU's 4th quarter rally against the Vols send the Tigers to the national title game. That LSU team remains the only two-loss team to ever play for, and win, the national championship.
With the SEC winning the last six BCS National Championships, a playoff increases the league's chances of having two conference teams play for the title. Though, that happened last year when LSU played Alabama, in a rematch from the regular season. A game that send the rest of the country outside the south into a frenzy.
But the BCS has send fans, including the SEC, into a frenzy since 1998.
Luckily, that's changing in 2014.
— Matt Dixon is a senior in journalism and electronic media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.