Twenty-four years ago, in 1984, long before the creation of the Bowl Championship Series, BYU ascended to No. 1 in the national polls, posted an undefeated season and won the national championship yet played in the then-unheralded Holiday Bowl. In 1996, the Cougars won 13 regular-season games but were denied a berth in the lucrative Fiesta Bowl, settling instead for the Cotton Bowl. In 2001, BYU won its first 12 games but was eliminated from BCS consideration before the end of the regular season and ended up in the Liberty Bowl.
Thanks to congressional hearings and the threat of lawsuits, the BCS was tweaked in order to be more accommodating to non-BCS schools. Ironically, the team that first benefited from the national-respect trailblazing was BYU's archrival, Utah, which crashed the BCS party in 2004. (Boise State and Hawaii have accomplished the feat since then.)
Every 12 years, something monumental happens to the Cougar football program. In 1972, the school hired LaVell Edwards. In 1984, it won the national title. In 1996, BYU played in its first, and only, New Year's Day bowl game. Now, in 2008, after back-to-back 11-2 seasons, is it time for the Cougars to achieve their Quest for Perfection and land in a BCS bowl?