Forget firsts. The 2013 college football season is more about lasts, leading off with the final year of the BCS ratings that match No.1 against No.2 for the national championship.

Forget firsts. The 2013 college football season is more about lasts, leading off with the final year of the BCS ratings that match No.1 against No.2 for the national championship.

Which two teams will it be? Alabama and Ohio State, ranked 1-2 entering the season, will need luck to get there, then will need to wrestle history to win the title game.

The Crimson Tide is going for its third consecutive national championship. The last time a team went back-to-back-to-back during the modern poll era (1936-present) was never. Nebraska won something called the National Championship Foundation vote in 1993, '94 and '95, but the last time a school had a shot at an officially recognized three-peat was Nebraska in 1994-95, when the Associated Press (media) and USA Today/CNN (coaches) polls voted the Cornhuskers No. 1. Alas, Nebraska fell short of winning three straight when Florida defeated Florida State for the 1996 title.

But a team has to win three in a row at some point, right? Not necessarily.

"The law of averages doesn't mean something becomes more likely as time goes on," said Mark Berliner, a professor in the Department of Statistics at Ohio State. "Just because you've never seen three (national titles) in a row doesn't make it more probable. In my mind it becomes even less likely. It's an indication of how hard it is to do."

Mathematics, then, might be Alabama's toughest opponent this season.

Ohio State, meanwhile, has never posted consecutive undefeated/untied seasons. The Buckeyes finished 12-0 last year. Are they due for another round of perfection? It might help if the football program was birthed 10 million years ago.

"If an event has some positive probability of occurring, if given enough opportunities, eventually it will occur," said Bill Notz, who also works in the OSU Department of Statistics. "So it's possible, but the chance is very small."

Chris Huston likes to play oddsmaker, too, although his probabilities are based more on human nature than on statistical analysis, which explains why Huston practically guarantees that Archie Griffin will remain the only college player to win multiple Heisman trophies.

Huston, who created, concludes that even if Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel plays an entire season - the sophomore's off-field issues bring that into question - he will not repeat as the Heisman winner.

"To win it once, everything needs to fall into place perfectly, so asking it to fall into place again is like expecting lightning to strike twice in the same place," said Huston, whose weekly survey of Heisman voters, of which he is one, has proved accurate in predicting the winners.

"The nature of publicity and fame is such that people get oversaturated, and there is a bit of fatigue with anyone who is well-known," Huston said, referring to Manziel. "It's like a wave. It only crests so long before it has to crash and people look to see the next, sweeter one coming."

Huston instead picks Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller to win the Heisman.

"He'll have his Heisman moments, just like Manziel did last year, which were helpful," Huston said.

And Miller's wave is just beginning to crest, according to Huston, explaining how the OSU quarterback should excel in the second season of coach Urban Meyer's offense.

One last last. Let's end where we began, with the final edition of the much-maligned Bowl Championship Series. Do not shed a tear for the confounding contraption. It served its purpose and delivered worthy champions despite getting pounded for its process.

Instead, a moment of silence to remember how the BCS created a lot of healthy noise. Fans booed it. Media bad-mouthed it, and coaches and players complained how it was unfair. The system got people not just talking but shouting. Beginning in 2014, a four-team playoff rides in to quiet the crowds. A committee will pick the teams, which is better but more boring.

So celebrate this last season by kicking a computer. It's the last time you'll have the BCS to blame.

Rob Oller is a sports reporter for The Dispatch.