The University of Virginia’s College at Wise
Dec. 3, 2012
To understand the problem of selecting a national champion in college football, one must first understand the system responsible for awarding teams the right to play in the National Championship. The system is called the BCS, or “Bowl Championship Series”. It was implemented in 1998 with one main goal in mind which is to pick the two best college football teams to play in the big game. Before 1998, the national champion was determined by vote through coaches and media experts. Now, the BCS uses computers and poll data to set the stage for the championship game. A lot of debate has been brought to attention of the BCS system by fans saying that a true champion is not determined by computers and data analysis. Champions are brought about how a team performs on the field. People talk about the BCS like it has taken away from college football through prearranged bowl game berth, weaker conferences getting higher bowl bids compared to more successful teams, and of course the thought of a computer poll ranking the teams. There has been word talking about a new and improved system that would change the BCS in many ways. The talk is about having a playoff system instead of the original BCS. In 2007, Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban created a system called radical football that introduces a playoff system of 12 to 16 teams give or take, giving a chance to every college organization in the country. The two systems of a championship series are set but, there is no come to truce between the two. Each system of play has flaws that have not been dealt with and each system has positive features that can create a successful atmosphere for college football’s fans, coaches and owners.
The BCS has been the big controversy in college football since 1998 when it was created. After the 2003 season, the BCS had to modify the rules about how teams were being ranked after there was a split Championship title because three different BCS conference teams had one loss a piece and only two spots available for the championship game. This was a rule that the BCS officials wanted to rule out but, never got to it until after the 2003 season. The rules included strength of schedule, quality wins, and fan poll. After the 2003 season the BCS changed the rules eliminating team record, and quality wins from the equation, which gives the fan opinion more power. Currently, the new system gives the media poll, coaches’ poll, and the combination of the computer rankings to count for one third of a team’s BCS ranking and the human polls are now two thirds of the BCS ranking. There are six major BCS conferences; Big Ten, Pac-10, ACC, Big East, Big 12 and SEC whose champions have automatic bids in the BCS games. Seeing that these are the strongest conferences with the most popular teams in the nation, why not? They produce extremely high revenues every year and have some of the most elite athletes in the nation. The BCS is a profit motivated system that creates bowl games for under privileged teams to earn financial success for the year even though the bowl game is not considered, “the big game”. Businesses in the cities of an impact region arrange an economic impact in the weeks leading up to the game in order to boost sales. Bowl games are advertised weeks in advance hoping to rouse up a little fan support in short periods of time. Cities in each bowl sponsored game prepare hotels, traveling, and restaurants creating large revenue for their economy. The significance of the Economic impact as a whole is to raise public awareness of the importance of the sport industry and gives the idea to legislative support of a financial investment to determine if it is a worthwhile event (notes ch.7, Economic Impact of Sports). Sponsorship going towards each bowl is blown up everywhere on commercials, ESPN, internet etc. Each...