They shouldn't even be compared with the best teams in their own history.
Georgia doesn't rate with its 1980 championship team unless there's a time machine that allows freshman Herschel Walker to walk through the front door.
The three teams that survived to the final weekend represent the warmed-over best a flawed system can produce.
Notre Dame, a day after capping a 12-0 season, clinched its first regular-season BCS title.
The Fighting Irish are No.1 in this week's anticlimactic standings, followed by Alabama and Georgia, which play for the second BCS title-game spot at next weekend's Southeastern Conference title game in Atlanta.
This year's BCS parlor game is officially closed.
Any number of other left-out schools can be proud and considered serious title threats in any sport with a playoff.
Oregon lost one game, at home, in overtime, to Stanford, and paid the ultimate price.
Florida played its most inspired game of the year at Florida State only hours before Notre Dame's win deflated the Gators faster than a USC equipment kid with a football in his hand.
Texas A&M might be the best team playing right now, with the likely Heisman Trophy winner playing quarterback.
The Aggies lost their SEC opener to Florida by three points in Johnny Manziel's collegiate debut. The kid, it turned out, would steadily improve. Texas A&M also lost at home to Louisiana State, by five points, in a game the Aggies pretty much gave away.
Stanford is a play or two against Washington and Notre Dame from being undefeated and No. 1.
The teams that can still win the BCS title have long histories but also shortcomings.
Alabama will be without Kenny Bell, the team's third receiver lost to injury this year.
It's a shame, for sure, but Coach Nick Saban's motto is no two football days are ever alike.
"This is a process what we do," he said Sunday. "There is no continuum in success. It's an ongoing process."
The schools in the big mix have resiliency in common and also stellar defense. Alabama, Notre Dame and Georgia have combined to surrender 37.25 points per game.