Over the last 134 years, there have been 25 major selectors of national champions by way of polls (11), mathematical rating systems (10) and historical research (4). The best-known and most widely circulated of these surveys, the Associated Press poll of sportswriters and broadcasters, first appeared during the 1936 season. Champions prior to 1936 have been determined by retro polls, ratings, and historical research.
Bowl Championship Series formula
The poll component will be calculated based on the average of the ranking of each team in the Associated Press media poll and the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The rankings of each team will be added and divided by two. For example, a team ranked in No. 1 in one poll and No. 2 in the other poll would receive 1.5 points (1+2=3/2=1.5).
|SEC commissioner Mike Slive (left) and ACC commissioner John Swofford (center) were open to playoff talk, but Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe and others were having none of it.|
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Even a four-game playoff scenario was too much for the BCS. Bowl Championship Series officials rejected a plan Wednesday to turn the much-criticized system for deciding a national college football champion into a four-team playoff, starting in the 2010 season.
The BCS format will remain the same until at least the 2014 season.
"After a very thorough, very good discussion among the group, we have decided that because we feel at this time the BCS is in an unprecedented state of health, we feel it's never been healthier during its first decade, we have made a decision to move forward in the next cycle with the current format," Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford said.
During five hours of meetings with the other conference commissioners, Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive presented a plan for a plus-one format, matching the No. 1 team in the nation against No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in the marquee bowl games. The winners would meet about a week later in the BCS title game. The plan also called for creating another BCS bowl game.
In the end, only the SEC and ACC wanted to even continue the discussion of the plus-one.
"I'm not unhappy," Slive said after those meetings with the 10 other conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White at a resort hotel. "There's no such thing as standing pat. I think we've done a service. We owed the fans and media an explanation as to why we're not moving ahead.
"I can't say I'm surprised. There is a bit of disappointment."
There was no vote taken, the commissioners said, but the leaders of the Big East, Big 12, Pac-10 and Big Ten made it clear they did not want to move the BCS toward a playoff in any way.
Any change would've needed approval by university presidents.
In the current BCS format, the top two teams in the BCS standings -- which use polls and computer ratings to grade teams -- after the regular season are matched in the BCS national title game.
The idea behind the plus-one is to alleviate some of the controversy by sending four teams into the postseason with a chance to win the national championship.
The BCS has two years left on its four-year, $320 million TV deal with Fox. Negotiations will likely begin in the fall on a new contract with Fox that will probably run through the 2013 season and lock in the current format.
The decision came as no surprise. It was a long shot at best.
Coming into the meeting, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen had said they were opposed to the seeded plus-one format that Slive was to present.
Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, for the first time, made it known publicly that their leagues were also against moving the BCS in any way toward a playoff.
"There's a strong sense in that room of the slippery slope view that there's never been a collegiate or professional playoff that's stopped at four teams," Delany said.
Tranghese said he favored an unseeded version of a plus-one, which would set the championship game matchup after the four major bowls are played using the BCS standings, over seeding the top four and playing them off.
"The seeded model looked like a playoff, and we don't think a playoff is in the best interest of college football," he said.
The Big Ten and Pac-10's relationship with the Rose Bowl has always been viewed as the major hurdle to changing the BCS.
Turns out it was far from the only obstacle.
The Southern California Trojans and the Texas Longhorns met on opposite sides of the football in the 2005 season's national championship game, but they shared one thing. They were playing for the national title because the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was in place. Without the BCS, USC would have played in the Rose Bowl and Texas would have been in the Fiesta Bowl and the debate about the better team would have raged endlessly.
The BCS was established to determine the national champion for college football while maintaining and enhancing the bowl system that's nearly 100 years old. The BCS has become a showcase for the sport, matching the best teams at the end of the season. The BCS, which runs through the 2009 regular season and 2010 bowl season, consists of the Rose Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, FedEx Orange Bowl, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the Tostitos BCS national championship game. Before the start of the 1998 season, the four bowls joined with the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pacific-10 and Southeastern Conferences and the University of Notre Dame to form the BCS. Conference USA also signed on to the agreement.
Until the early 1990s the selection process for bowl games was disorganized at best; chaotic at worst. Some bowls would effectively make selections after seven or eight games. As a result, the conference commissioners worked to develop a system that not only allows the selection process to be completed at the end of the regular season, but also creates better matchups.
Because of the BCS arrangement, the bowl agreements are more open than they have ever been. Every Division I-A team is eligible to quality for the National Championship game or for one of the at-large berths-all within the framework of the bowl system that is an integral part of college football's grand tradition. Look no further than last season's Rose Bowl matchup as an example of the BCS at its best.
Reflecting the importance of traditional regional considerations, the four BCS Bowls will host the following conference champions: .FedEx Orange Bowl, ACC; Allstate Sugar Bowl, SEC; Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Big 12; Rose Bowl, Big Ten and Pac-10. Should a BCS Bowl's host champion be ranked number one or two in the final BCS standings, those teams will move to the national championship game and the bowl shall select a replacement team from the BCS pool of eligible teams. The pool will consist of automatic qualifiers and all other Division I-A teams that have won at least nine games and are ranked among the Top 14 in the final BCS standings.
By RALPH D. RUSSO
The Associated Press
Jul 12 2005
NEW YORK - The Bowl Championship Series has a new poll, one that begins a month into the college football season and will include former coaches and players, plus media members.
Called the Harris Interactive College Football Poll, it will rank the top 25 teams on a weekly basis, starting Sept. 25. Plans call for 114 voters.
The BCS has said it would like to see the elimination of preseason polls, which some believe give highly touted teams an unfair headstart in the rankings.
''This allows for some games to be played in the current season rather than allow teams to be ranked purely on preseason expectations,'' BCS coordinator and Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg said Monday during a conference call.
The season's first BCS standings will be released Oct. 17.
The new poll replaces The Associated Press poll, which the BCS had used in its formula for ranking teams since 1998. Last season, however, the AP told the BCS it could no longer use its media poll.
In addition to the new poll, the BCS will continue to use the USA Today coaches' poll and a compilation of six computer rankings - each counting for one-third of a team's grade. The coaches will continue with a preseason ballot.
Recently, ESPN pulled out of participating in the coaches poll.
The coaches agreed to have their final ballots made public for the first time this season. The new Harris poll will take the same approach, releasing only the final ballots.
''We thought it was important for there to be consistency with the two human polls,'' Weiberg said. ''To make the ballots public on a weekly basis during the season, we feel the focus would be on who voted for whom and detract from the games being playing.''
Weiberg said voters in the new poll will be allowed to make their votes public at any point in the season if they choose.
The AP preseason poll will be released Aug. 20, with the first regular-season poll Sept. 6. The AP national champion will be crowned after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4. Ballots of AP poll voters are made public all season.
Last season, Southern California and Oklahoma held the top two spots in both the AP and coaches' polls in the preseason and kept those positions throughout undefeated regular seasons.
Auburn, which began the season ranked in the teens in the polls, went unbeaten but never could pass the Trojans and Sooners. The Tigers did manage to tie Oklahoma in the AP poll for one week late in the season.
All three teams finished the regular season unbeaten and USC and Oklahoma played for the national title in the Orange Bowl. Auburn went to the Sugar Bowl, finished the season 13-0 and had to settle for a final ranking of No. 2 behind national champion USC.
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said the preseason rankings put his team at a disadvantage because they had too much ground to make up in the BCS standings before games were even played.
Harris Interactive Inc., a marketing company hired by the BCS last month to coordinate the new poll, is in the process of compiling a panel from 300 possible participants. Voters' names will be made public and all 11 Division I-A conferences and independent teams will be represented in the panel.
Each conference nominated 10 people to be placed into a pool of possible poll voters.
MIAMI -- With no plans for a playoff, the Bowl Championship Series will consider using a committee of college football experts to set the next national title game.
"I have to tell you, I really do not see an NFL-style playoff coming to college football any time soon," BCS coordinator and Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg said Tuesday.
Weiberg also said the BCS will search for a replacement for the Associated Press poll to help rank the top teams.
Five teams took perfect records into this bowl season, prompting many fans, players and even some coaches to call for a playoff format.
Auburn and Utah won their bowl games, and Boise State lost for the first time. Southern California and Oklahoma will play for the BCS title Tuesday night in a matchup of unbeatens in the Orange Bowl.
Weiberg said he is "very interested" in a committee structure that would be similar to the one used to set the field for the NCAA basketball tournaments.
"I'm not prepared to endorse it because I want to hear more about the discussion with my colleagues," he said.
"I think we certainly need to take a look and see whether there are alternatives in terms of whether there is another poll that could perhaps be plugged into the spot that was there for the AP poll," he said.
The men's NCAA basketball tournament uses a 10-person committee made up of conference commissioners and athletic directors to set its field of 65 teams.
A BCS selection committee likely would need more than 10 members, Weiberg said.
"I don't believe it would be an easy assignment, and I think my sense is, though, there would be people that would be willing to serve and that care a lot about college football, that have been tied to it in the past, that are part of institutions now that would likely step forward," he said.
Even if a committee is used to set the 1 vs. 2 game, and possibly even to create a pool of at-large teams for the bowls to choose from, it wouldn't eliminate the need for the BCS standings.
Weiberg said he didn't envision a committee setting all the matchups.
"We still are going to have a need in whatever system we have, even with a committee, to have some sort of standings," he said. "So it would be very likely that even in a committee structure, there would have to be some sort of published standings. How often it would occur, I don't know.
The Associated Press sent the BCS a cease-and-desist letter last month, asking that the AP poll not be used in the BCS formula.
Last year, the BCS decided to emphasize the AP media poll and the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll more than ever before. The two polls each counted for one-third of a team's BCS grade in 2004. A compilation of six computer rankings made up the other third.
The AP said the BCS's unauthorized use of its poll has harmed AP's reputation and interfered with AP's agreements with AP poll voters.
"I don't believe that the coaches' poll and a combination of computers is sufficient," Weiberg said. "I think something else is going to have to happen there."
Speaking at the Football Writers Association of America awards breakfast, Weiberg said other issues BCS officials will address this offseason include:
|AP Poll - 1800||Coaches - 1500||Computers - 100||
|Team||Possible Points||Possible Points||Possible Points||BCS Average|
|Year||BCS No.1||BCS No. 2||Bowl|
|1999||Florida State||Virginia Tech||Sugar|
|2002||Miami (FL)||Ohio State||Fiesta|
Tennessee and Florida State are the results of the first BCS ranking. Their first year 1998 was a complete success. They got the number one and number two team to play for the title. In 2001, and 2003 they had errors, matching the two best teams. They had number one teams on two different polls. The new system should get the two best teams playing for the title. A one third percentage of each poll, AP, ESPN/USAToday and six Computer ratings will make the total percentage points to pick the two best teams in the BCS title game. Tennessee is the first team to win the title with the old BCS system by beating Florida State 23-16.
Notre Dame (8); Oklahoma and Alabama (7); USC (6); Miami-FL and Ohio St.(5); Nebraska and Minnesota (4); Texas (3); Army, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn St., Pittsburgh and Tennessee(2).To look up the past champions click here>> Past NCAA National Champions
In 2001, the four BCS Bowls combined to reach a record television audience of 127 million viewers. The average attendance for the games was 77,765. Overall attendance for all bowl games increased 7.6 percent to 1,291,557.Through a conference revenue sharing plan, the BCS group will distribute over $40 million to non-participating BCS institutions during its 8-year history. Those monies go to Division I-A and I-AA conferences in support of the game of college football. Additionally, the BCS distributes $100,000 per year to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame for calculating and administering the BCS Standings. This coming season, BCS participants will receive between $12.10-14.67 million depending on the conference affiliation of the at-large participants. Should the at-large participants come from outside the original BCS conferences -- ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 or SEC -- those participants will receive $12.10 million. If one or both at-large selections come from within the original BCS group, the first conference participant shall receive $11.78 million and the second participant from that same conference shall receive $6 million. The remaining dollars (the difference between $12.10 million and $6 million) will be split among the originating BCS conferences that have just one participant.
Oct. 15, 2004
The University of Miami and Ohio State University met on opposite sides of the football in the 2003 national championship game, but they shared one thing. They were playing for the national title because the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was in place.
The BCS was established to determine the national champion for college football while maintaining and enhancing the bowl system that's nearly 100 years old. The BCS has quickly become a showcase for the sport, matching the best teams at the end of the season.
The BCS, which runs through the 2005 regular season and 2006 bowl season, consists of the Rose Bowl, Nokia Sugar Bowl, FedEx Orange Bowl and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Before the start of the 1998 season, those bowls joined with the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pacific-10 and Southeastern Conferences and the University of Notre Dame to form the BCS. Conference USA also signed on to the agreement.
Until the early 1990s the selection process for major bowl matchups with affiliated conference champions was totally disorganized and in many cases resulted in a chaotic situation. Some bowls would effectively make selections after seven or eight games. The BCS has worked to develop a system that not only allows the selection process to be completed at the end of the regular season and creates better matchups.
For the first time in college football history the BCS has opened the bowl agreements more so than they have ever been, and in doing so have elevated the possibility of excitement in college football. But, at the same time, it's being done within the framework of the bowl system that has been an integral part of the tradition and success of college football. Look no further than last season's Fiesta Bowl matchup as an example of the BCS at its best.
There are two at-large positions in the BCS that are open to any Division I-A team. This allows any Division I-A school in the nation the opportunity to play in a BCS bowl game, should it qualify to play in the National Championship game or be selected by one of the bowls.
The BCS also notes the importance of traditional and regional considerations regarding team selection. Specifically, the four BCS Bowls will host the following conference champions in the years the national championship game is not played at their site.
These consideration tie-ins include the ACC or Big East champion in the FedEx Orange Bowl, the SEC champion in the Nokia Sugar Bowl, the Big Ten and the Pac-10 champions in the Rose Bowl and the Big 12 champion in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Should a BCS Bowl's host champion be ranked number one or two in the final BCS standings, when such bowl is not hosting the national championship game, the number one- or two-ranked team shall move to the national championship game and the Bowl shall select a replacement team from the BCS pool of eligible teams. The pool will consist of any Division I-A team that is ranked among the Top 12 in the final BCS standings and has achieved at least nine wins during the regular season (excluding NCAA-exempted contests).
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