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Golden Nuggets: '04 Bears are the best team to miss a BCS bowl

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With the end of the BCS, Stewart Mandel reflects on the beloved system.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated answered a few BCS-based questions this week since we're quickly approaching the end of the BCS system. One such question looked at the best team that didn't get to play in a BCS game. Being Cal fans, we all know the answer to this question.

As for the best, it's a tough call between 1998 Kansas State ... and 2004 Cal, which went 10-1 and appeared destined for the Rose Bowl until Texas controversially passed the Bears for the No. 4 spot in the BCS standings on the final weekend of the season. I'm going with the Bears, who featured Aaron Rodgers at quarterback and both J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch in the backfield. Cal's lone loss came on a goal-line stand on the road against eventual national champion USC. (I covered that game. Rodgers completed 23 consecutive passes at one point. Somehow, 23 NFL teams watched that tape and yet passed on him in the next draft.) Some may disagree, citing the fact that the Bears subsequently lost to 7-4 Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl. But we'll never know how they would have played if granted a more favorable opportunity.

THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, MACK BROWN.

With all the New Year celebrations, there's not a lot of news going on in the Cal world. May 2014 treat us all better than 2013 did!

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