NEW YORK — The penultimate Bowl Championship Series gave college football a national championship matchup low on controversy and loaded with star power.
No. 1 Notre Dame against No. 2 Alabama in Miami on Jan. 7 for the national title. No complaints.
That Fiesta Bowl with No. 5 Oregon against No. 7 Kansas State looks good, too.
After that, well, you can see why so many fans are so eager to get rid of the BCS.
No. 4 Florida goes to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans to face No. 22 Louisville, a Big East team that was unranked as recently as last week.
Then again, at least the Cardinals are ranked. Big Ten champion Wisconsin will be the first five-loss team to play in the Rose Bowl when it faces No. 8 Stanford in Pasadena, Calif.
Then there's the Orange Bowl in Miami, where No. 13 Florida State will face No. 16 Northern Illinois, the Mid-American Conference champion that took advantage of the lackluster Big Ten and Big East champions to slip into the BCS with a 12-1 record.
"It's a great story," Orange CEO Eric Poms said Sunday night, trying to put the best spin possible on a matchup that looks like a potential mismatch. "I think we'll be just fine."
Meanwhile, here's a list of teams that won't be playing in the BCS
— No. 3 Ohio State. The Buckeyes' postseason ban helped put the Badgers in the Rose Bowl.
— No. 6 Georgia, No. 9 LSU, No. 10 Texas A&M and No. 11 South Carolina couldn't get in because of the rule that permits no more than two teams from one conference.
— No. 12 Oklahoma was all but a lock for the Sugar Bowl, before NIU took the backdoor to being a BCS buster.
"We're 12-1," Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch told ESPN. "We faced tons of adversity this year. We won tons of games. ... We definitely deserve to be in there."