O'Driscoll, with 26 Championship tries and a Grand Slam under his belt, had forever etched himself in RBS 6 Nations folklore regardless of the outcome of the final round. And as fitting as his last chapter proved, Ireland left the 2014 Championship clutching silverware and promising more to come with Joe Schmidt's revolution gathering pace.
Their campaign started brightly enough with a 28-6 victory over Scotland, slowly cranking through the gears with Andrew Trimble, Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney all surging over the whitewash at the Aviva Stadium. But it was in the tournament's second week that the men in green truly fired a warning shot after dispatching reigning champions Wales by 26-3 in such ruthless fashion. To beat Wales was one statement but to hold them to three points was quite another as only a second-half Leigh Halfpenny penalty prevented a shutout. In attack Jonathan Sexton was both pulling the strings and kicking the points - 14 in total - while Chris Henry and Paddy Jackson electrified Dublin with scores in each half.
However, Schmidt's troops had not yet left Ireland and in week three faced the prospect of England at Twickenham.
After a nip-and-tuck first half Kearney's quickfire score had seemingly set the visitors on their way, only for a Danny Care breakaway try and the boot of Owen Farrell to deny them in a 13-10 defeat. Down but definitely not out, Ireland vented their frustration against Italy as O'Driscoll, on his last appearance at the Aviva Stadium, set-up three tries in a crushing 46-7 win. There were six try-scorers in total - Sexton striking twice - to set up a three-way shoot-out between Ireland, England and France in the final round.
France had beaten England in their opener in a 26-24 thriller at the Stade de France, meaning no Grand Slam was on the cards in 2014. A disastrous start by the Red Rose saw Yoann Huget cross twice in the first 20 minutes and while eventual Player of the Championship Mike Brown and Luther Burrell did wrestle tries back, replacement Gael Fickou struck a late hammer blow.
Fast forward to the finale and Ireland were in the driving seat with a points difference advantage of 49 points over England. They only needed a victory in France to secure the Championship, despite the Red Rose's 52-11 victory against Italy earlier in the day.
Paris was the city in which O'Driscoll famously grabbed a hat-trick back in 2000 but this time the name of the game was stifling a mercurial French team who had already seen off England on the same turf. The impressive Sexton dished out the damage by scoring 17 of Ireland's points allied with a Trimble try and though Dimitri Szarzewski's score threatened a bubble-bursting comeback, O'Driscoll and company emerged triumphant 22-20.
Elsewhere, Wales' aim of three RBS 6 Nations on the bounce ultimately fell short in round four, as Care and Burrell tries spearheaded a 28-19 England victory at Twickenham. All of Wales' points came via Halfpenny from the tee but they did sign off from the Championship in emphatic style, racking up seven tries against Scotland in a 51-3 triumph.
Scotland did produce one great moment of joy for their legion of fans however as Duncan Weir's drop-goal clinched a last-gasp 21-20 victory over Italy, who ended the tournament without a win. And the Scots were so close to lighting up Murrayfield after stunning France with early Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour tries in week four, as the visitors had to rely on a late Jean-Marc Doussain penalty of their own to escape with a 19-17 win.