Though it pains Bill Hancock to hear it, 2013 is a lame-duck season. Like a president in the final days of his term, the Bowl Championship Series is coming to a close. Hancock, who runs the BCS, knows that better than anyone else. He is also running the BCS's replacement, the College Football Playoff, which will become the sport's official postseason event as the confetti flutters onto the Rose Bowl grass on Jan. 6.
"While this will be the last year for the BCS, it won't be a lame-duck season," Hancock said in an email. "Those student-athletes who [are practicing] certainly aren't thinking about the playoff. Their goal is to raise the crystal football in Pasadena."
And there is no question that the school that wins the 16th and final BCS Championship Game will reap the customary benefits. T-shirt sales will soar. So will applications. The players will design ugly rings that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. The history books will record the winner as a national champion, same as the 14 names before it (remember, 2004 is "vacated" everywhere but in the minds of fans who remember what USC did to Oklahoma).
"Of course, we'll be working behind the scenes on the playoff," Hancock said, "but our primary focus will be on the BCS."
To read more of Ivan Maisel's look at the BCS' grand finale, click here.
More from Maisel as he discusses the preseason power rankings with Matt Barrie in the ESPNU College Football Podcast.