a. Opening statements: Playoff time, it is something that stirs excitement among fans of almost any sport, it is what teams play for all season, and it is perhaps the most exciting time of any sport season. But this exicitement is something that has always been missing in Division I football, and it is something that makes the game unfair for many teams. At the beginning of the season all teams join the hunt for the coveted national championship, they face many roadblocks, some of which have nothing to do with their opponents. Did you realize that a team can win every single game and still fall short of getting into the national title game? Or did you realize that destiny lies in the hands of voters and computers?
b. Thesis/Credibility Statement: I have been an avid college football fan for many years, and I believe that a playoff system in Division I-A football is the best and most viable option for fans and teams alike. In my speech, I’m going to offer a proposal to avoid heavy media bias by offering a solution to crowning a true national champion while addressing the main problems of the current system.
Transition: Although the current system is rather disastrous, it is actually an improvement from the older system, which proved to be completely illogical.
II. Main Point 1: The old crowning system
a. Back in 1968 and 1969, Joe Paterno’s Penn State football team posted two undefeated regular seasons in a row. Despite their undefeated records, they were given no opportunity to attain the national championship. This is due to the fact that voters were strictly given the power to crown a national champion. In 1969, three teams were undefeated going into the final week; the Texas Longhorns, the Arkansas Razorbacks, and Penn State. Texas was to play Arkansas in the final week, showing which team would seemingly be the best in the nation, yet still couldn’t hold true. Richard Nixon, who was president at the time, took an action which defines the kind of bias that happens with such a stale voting system. According to Shelley Anderson, a writer for the post-gazette, he attended the Texas-Arkansas game and crowned Texas the national champions shortly after the game, stating, “In presenting this plaque, I want to say first that the AP and the UPI will name Texas No. 1, as we know, after this game.” Many believe that this was Nixon’s way of trying to grab votes for his election through the southern media, but regardless of his intentions, he left the school up north high and dry. In Anderson’s article, Paterno is quoted as saying, “You tell the president to take that trophy and shove it” and also saying a couple years later, “I’d like to know how the president could know so little about Watergate in 1973 and so much about college football in 1969?” Can you blame the man after doing everything he could for two seasons and being awarded nothing?
Transition: As frustration continued to arise throughout the nation, a new system was installed to “properly” crown a national champion.
III. Main Point 2: The New System
a. The BCS, which stands for the “Bowl Championship series,” is the current day system which was established in 1998. This was established in order to crown a true national champion while preserving the traditions of the many bowl games. According to the official BCS website www.bcsfootball.org, the BCS uses a three way formula to establish a number one and a number two team to compete in the national championship. The first is the USA Today Coaches poll in which a selective amount of head coaches across the nation vote every week on a new top 25. The second is the Harris Interactive Poll, which is a selection of former players and media members who also vote weekly. The third and final factor is the computers, which calculates the best teams through statistics. There were six computers last year that created rankings and averaged together to make the computer portion of the BCS rankings....