Sports

Why we need to fix college football championships

A national championship is decided in most other NCAA sports by a postseason playoff. This is even the case in the lower divisions of soccer. However, the college football postseason playoff series consists of only two teams chosen by the BCS. Undefeated teams are often left out of the championship game, sparking a discussion that is found nearly every year. Formats for other types of postseason playoffs have been proposed but never recognized. Barack Obama’s appearance on Monday Night Football showed his opponent’s position in the sport’s computerized ranking system for deciding bowling games. According to Obama, he is not in favor of the BCS and believes that a tiebreaker should be created for the top eight teams. President-elect Obama then reemphasized his position on the eight-team tiebreaker in response to Steve Kroft’s question in an interview in Sixty Minutes.

The selection and seeding of the BCS has become very controversial externally. The Conference USA Championship was claimed by Tulane University’s Green Wave during the 1998 season which ended with eleven wins and zero losses. They also became Conference USA’s representatives at the Liberty Bowl after the BCS consistently denied them any consideration for postseason Bowl Games. They won the Liberty Bowl. As an advocate for academic standards for athletes, former University of Connecticut football player and Tulane president Scott Cowen organized a campaign to make changes to the BCS regarding the participation of teams in non-conference conferences. They belong to the BCS. His team in 1998 would have been more than qualified under the rule reforms that went into effect in 2005. Cowen later redirected his attempts to support a trade for a playoff system currently used by the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision and Division II instead of the BCS.

In 2005, BCS added a fifth game to its structure, allowing ten BCS entrants instead of eight. This has allowed teams like Boise State, Hawaii, and Utah to play in BCS games, instead of the Liberty Bowl like Tulane did in 1998. Boise State and Utah win to finish the season undefeated. The next step in climbing the BCS hurdle for these small teams is the national championship game one day.

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