Bowl Championship Series


Bowl Championship Series

The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is a selection system designed to give the top two teams in the NCAA FBS Bowl Subdivision System an opportunity to compete in a "national championship game". This championship is intended as a surrogate for a playoff system since the NCAA does not formally determine a champion in this category. [ College rowing is another sport in which the NCAA does not formally recognize a champion and an alternative championship has been created, in this case sponsored by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association.]

The BCS relies on a combination of polls and computer selection methods to determine relative team rankings, and to narrow the field to two teams to play in the BCS National Championship Game held after the other college bowl games. The winner of this game is crowned the BCS national champion, and is guaranteed at least a share of the national championship.

The system also selects matchups for the other prestigious BCS bowl games. The ten teams selected include the conference champion from each of the six BCS conferences plus four others ("at-large" selections). The BCS was created by formal agreement among six conferences, and has evolved to allow other conferences to participate to a lesser degree. It is not formally recognized by the NCAA as a collegiate championship.

It has been in place since the 1998 season, but a number of controversial selections have spurred changes in the system that continue into the present. Prior to the 2006 season eight teams competed in four BCS Bowls. The BCS replaced the Bowl Alliance (in place from 1995–1997), which followed the Bowl Coalition (in place from 1992–1994). As of the 2006–07 season, the BCS will air primarily on FOX while only the Rose Bowl will continue to be shown on ABC.

History leading to creation of the BCS

Prior to the 1992 season, college football had no system that attempted to match the top-ranked teams in a post-season championship game. Not surprisingly, this led to the possibility, and even prevalence, that different human polls would select different national champions. This happened on many occasions.See NCAA Division I-A national football championship for a compilation of past "national champions" since 1869.

To address this problem, five conferences, six bowl games and leading independent Notre Dame joined forces to create the Bowl Coalition, which was intended to force a de facto "national championship game" between the top two teams. By entirely excluding all the other conferences, the Bowl Coalition also made it impossible for a non-BCS Conference team to ever win a national championship as BYU did in 1984. This system was in place from the 1992 season through the 1994 season. While traditional tie-ins between conferences and bowls remained, a team would be released to play in another bowl if it was necessary to form a championship game. However, this system did not include the Big Ten and Pac-10 champions, as both were obligated to play in the Rose Bowl.

The Bowl Coalition was restructured into the Bowl Alliance for the 1995 season, involving five conferences (reduced to four for the 1996 season) and three bowls (Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange). The championship game rotated among these three bowls. It still did not, however, include the Pac-10 or Big Ten champions, the Rose Bowl or any non-BCS teams.

The debate intensified after Michigan and Nebraska split the national championship according to human polls during the 1997 season. After a protracted round of negotiations, the Bowl Alliance was reformed into the Bowl Championship Series for the 1998 season. The Tournament of Roses Association, which operates the Rose Bowl, agreed to release the Big Ten and Pac-10 champions if it was necessary to form a national championship game. In return, the Rose Bowl was added to the yearly national championship rotation. Roy Kramer is considered to have created the BCS. [cite web | url=http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/bowls/2007-12-06-bcs2-football_N.htm?csp=34 | title=Man behind creation of BCS pleased with results | author=Jack Carey | date=2007-12-08 | accessdate=2008-02-18 | publisher=USA Today] The new Bowl Championship Series not only included the Big Ten and the Pac-10 conferences but also teams from mid-major conferences based on performance.

Bowl games

:"For a complete list of bowl games for the 2007–2008 season, see 2007–08 NCAA football bowl games."

In the current BCS format, four bowl games and the National Championship Game are considered "BCS bowl games." The four bowl games are the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena,California, the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, and the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida. In the first eight seasons of the BCS contract, the championship game was rotated among the four bowls, with each bowl game hosting the national championship once every four years.

Starting with the 2007 BCS, the site of the game that served as the last game on January 1 (or if January 1 fell on a Sunday, January 2) in the BCS will now serve as the host facility of the new stand-alone BCS National Championship game played on January 8 of that year, one week following the playing of the traditional bowl game which would follow the Rose Bowl with the exception of the games to be played in 2010. There are also twenty-seven non-BCS bowls.

Initial plans were for the additional BCS bowl game to be held at the site of that year's championship game, such that the additional, non-championship bowl be named after the original bowl (e.g. the Sugar Bowl when the championship is in New Orleans), and have the extra game just be called "The National Championship Game". Later, the BCS considered having cities bid to be the permanent site of the new BCS game, and to place the new game in the title rotation. In the end, the BCS opted for its original plan.

A complicated set of rules is used to determine which teams compete in the BCS bowl games. [ [http://www.bcsfootball.org/bcsfb/eligibility FOX Sports on MSN - BCSFootball - BCS Selection Policies and Procedures ] at www.bcsfootball.org] Certain teams are given automatic berths depending on their BCS ranking and conference, as follows:
*The top two teams are given automatic berths in the BCS National Championship Game.
*The champion of a BCS conference (ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10, and SEC) is guaranteed an automatic BCS bowl bid unless two other teams from their own conference finish #1 and #2 in the final BCS rankings.
*The highest ranked champion of a non-BCS conference will receive an automatic berth if:
** It is ranked in the top twelve, or
** Ranked in the top sixteen and higher than another BCS Conference champion.
*A special case is made for independent Notre Dame, which receives an automatic berth if it finishes in the top eight.
*No more than two teams from any one conference may receive berths in BCS games.
*The third-ranked team will receive an automatic berth if it has not already received one, and if it is a member of a BCS Conference.
*If the third-ranked team did not require an at-large berth, then the fourth-ranked team will receive an automatic berth if it has not already received one, and if it is a member of a BCS Conference.

After the automatic berths have been granted, the remaining berths, known as "at-large" berths, are filled from a pool of teams who are ranked in the top fourteen and have at least nine wins. The actual teams that are chosen for the at-large berths are determined by the individual bowl committees.

If fewer than 10 teams are eligible for selection, then an at-large team will be any Football Bowl Subdivision team that is bowl-eligible, has won at least nine regular-season games and is among the top 18 teams in the final BCS Standings. If fewer than 10 teams are eligible after expanding the at-large pool to 18 teams, then the at-large pool will continue to be expanded by four additional positions in the BCS Standings until 10 or more teams are eligible. [ [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/2007-11-18-coaches-poll_N.htm Kansas, Missouri move up in BCS as showdown looms - USATODAY.com ] at www.usatoday.com]

Despite the possibility of an "at-large" berth being granted to a non-BCS conference team, this didn't happen until the 2004-05 season, when Utah received a BCS bid to play in the Fiesta Bowl, in which the Utes convincingly defeated Pittsburgh 35-7. The extra BCS game will relax requirements to give the rest of the conferences better access to a BCS bowl game, possibly ahead of a higher ranked school from a BCS conference.

Unless their champion is involved in the BCS National Championship game, the conference tie-ins are as follows:
*Rose Bowl - Big Ten champ vs. Pac-10 champ
*Fiesta Bowl - Big 12 champ
*Orange Bowl - ACC champ
*Sugar Bowl - SEC champ

The Big East champion takes one of the at-large spots remaining.

Rankings

For the portions of the ranking that are determined by polls and computer-generated rankings, the BCS uses a series of Borda counts to arrive at its overall rankings. This is an example of using a voting system to generate a complete ordered list of winners from both human and computer-constructed votes. Obtaining a fair ranking system is a difficult mathematical problem and numerous algorithms have been proposed for ranking college football teams in particular. One example is the " [http://rankings.amath.unc.edu/ random-walker rankings] " studied by applied mathematicians Thomas Callaghan, Peter Mucha, and Mason Porter that employs the science of complex networks.

1998-2003

The BCS formula calculated the top 25 teams in poll format. After combining a number of factors, a final point total was created and the teams that received the 25 lowest scores were ranked in descending order. The factors were:

* Poll average: Both the AP and ESPN-"USA Today" coaches polls were averaged to make a number which is the poll average.
* Computer average: An average of the rankings of a team in three different computer polls were gathered (Jeff Sagarin/"USA Today", Anderson-Hester/"Seattle Times", and "New York Times"), with a 50% adjusted maximum deviation factor. (For instance, if the computers had ranked a team third, fifth, and twelfth, the poll which ranked the team twelfth would be adjusted to rank the team sixth.)
* Strength of Schedule: This was the team's NCAA rank in strength of schedule divided by 25. A team's strength of schedule was calculated by win/loss record of opponents (66.6%) and cumulative win/loss record of team's opponents (33.3%). The team who played the toughest schedule was given .04 points, second toughest .08 points, and so on.
* Losses: One point was added for every loss the team has suffered during the season. All games are counted, including Kickoff Classics and conference title games. [ [http://www.fansonly.com/schools//md/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/061098aaa.html New Formula for Football Championship Announced :: Top bowl game to be chosen by polls, computers, formulas. ] at www.fansonly.com]

Before the 1999-2000 season, five more computer rankings were added to the system: Richard Billingsley, Richard Dunkel, Kenneth Massey, Herman Matthews/"Scripps Howard", and David Rothman. The lowest ranking was dropped and the remainder averaged.

Begininning in 2001, The Peter Wolfe and Wes Colley/"Atlanta Journal-Constitution" computer rankings were used in place of the "NYT" and Dunkel rankings, The change was made because the BCS wanted computer rankings that did not depend heavily on margin of victory. [ [http://espn.go.com/ncf/s/2001/0712/1225482.html ESPN.com: NCF - BCS formula still subject of debate ] at espn.go.com] The highest and lowest rankings were discarded, and the remainder averaged. A team's poll average, computer average, strength of schedule points, and losses were added to create a subtotal.

Also in 2001, a quality win component was added. If a team beat a team which was in the top 15 in the BCS standings, a range of 1.5 to .1 points was subtracted from their total. Beating the #1 ranked team resulted in a subtraction of 1.5 point, beating the #2 team resulted in a deduction of 1.4 points, and so on. Beating the #15 ranked team would have resulted in a deduction of .1 points. A team would only be awarded for a quality win once if it beat a Top 10 team more than once (such as in the regular season and a conference championship game), and quality wins were determined using a team's current subtotal, not the ranking when the game was played. The subtotal ranks were used to determine quality win deductions to create a team's final score.

The BCS continued to purge ranking systems which included margin of victory, causing the removal of the Matthews and Rothman ratings before the 2002 season. Sagarin provided a BCS-specific formula that did not include margin of victory, and the "New York Times" index returned in a form without margin of victory considerations. In addition, a new computer ranking, the Wesley Colley Matrix, was added. [ [http://www.dailyorange.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticlePrinterFriendly&uStory_id=22d3b932-8bfc-4123-8def-1c0a962fe5b2 The Daily Orange - Big East takes charge of BCS ] at www.dailyorange.com] The lowest ranking was dropped and the remaining six averaged. Also in 2002, the quality win component was modified such that the deduction for beating the #1 team in the BCS would be 1.0, declining by 0.1 increments until beating the 10th ranked team at 0.1. Teams on probation were not included in the BCS standings, but quality win points were given to teams who beat teams on probation as if they were ranked accordingly in the BCS.

2004-Present

In response to the controversy created by the voters in the AP poll naming USC as the No. 1 ranked team at the end of the year, [cite web | url=http://badgerherald.com/sports/2005/01/17/ap_removes_poll_from.php | title=AP removes poll from BCS formula | publisher=Badger Herald | author=Patrick Klemz | date=2005-01-17 | accessdate=2007-10-08] the formula was completely rewritten. Supporters of USC and the media in general criticized the fact that human polls were not weighted more heavily than computer rankings and this criticism led to the new math.

*AP Poll: A team's AP Poll number is the percentage of the possible points it could receive in the poll. As an example, in the final regular-season poll of 2003, LSU received a total of 1,580 out of a possible 1,625 points from the voters, giving them an AP Poll percentage of 97.2.
*Coaches' Poll: This is calculated in the same manner as the AP Poll number. For LSU, their final regular-season number in this poll would have been 99.4 (1,516 out of 1,525 possible points).
*Computer Average: The BCS used six ranking systems, with the "New York Times" opting not to participate. In the calculation, the highest and lowest ranking for each team are dropped. Then, it will give a team 25 points for a Number 1 ranking in an individual system, 24 points for Number 2, and so on down to 1 point. Each team's set of numbers is then added, conveniently making the number compatible with the percentages from the two polls. To address concerns about loss of the schedule strength factor, the description of the computer rankings explicitly included schedule strength as a consideration.

For USC, dropping their highest and lowest computer rankings would have left them with four third-place finishes, worth 23 points each for a total of 92, while LSU would have had four second-place finishes for a total of 96. The BCS averaged the three numbers obtained above, divided the result by 100, and converted it to a decimal fraction. This system placed twice as much emphasis on human polls than computer rankings, and made it highly unlikely that the top team in both human polls would be denied a place in the title game, as it happened in 2003-04.

The BCS formula for the 2005-06 season was the same as 2004-05, except that the Harris Interactive College Football Poll replaced the AP poll. ref|BCS1 ref|HIP1 The Harris Interactive College Football Poll's maximum point value was 2,825 [http://msn.foxsports.com/id/7894701_37_1.pdf] and for the Coaches' Poll, it was 1,550. The Harris Interactive College Football Poll was created expressly to replace the AP Poll after the Associated Press refused the use of its poll as a component of the BCS formula going forward. Before the 2006-07 season, the maximum point value of the Harris Poll was increased to 2,850 and the USA Today/Coaches' Poll was increased to 1,575.

Controversies

Among the criticisms of the BCS (and the bowl system in general) is that the final ranking of Division I FBS teams, and thus the placement of teams in post-season bowls, is decided by human and computer polls that are controversial. In particular, human polls are unavoidably subjective, and while computer polls utilize objective criteria, observers disagree about which criteria should be used, and how they should be weighted. Moreover, the composition of human polls is controversial: for example, the Associated Press has prohibited the BCS from using its rankings in the BCS formula, and ESPN has removed itself from the USA Today coaches poll. Frustration with polls is exacerbated by the fact that BCS conference teams rarely play more than one or two regular season games against teams from other BCS conferences, making direct comparisons of top teams from different conferences difficult.

A distinct but related criticism is that the BCS uses a tournament system that includes only two teams (the two participants in the national championship game), whereas most other sports, at both the college and professional levels, have larger post-season tournaments. Many fans and sportswriters argue that there should be a "playoff" system, by which they mean that the number of teams in the tournament should be increased from two. Many sportswriters suggest the tournament should include 8 or 16 teams, with the latter including the champions of all 11 FBS conferences. Another idea that has received media attention is a "plus-one" system in which two of the BCS bowl games act as semi-final games, and the winners of those games play in the national championship game a week later. The primary virtue of increasing the number of teams in the tournament would be to reduce the likelihood that a team which many observers believe is the strongest, or most deserving to play for the national championship, is excluded.

Most fans and broadcasters point to the 2003 and 2004 seasons were the most controversial. The 2003 season had three one-loss teams (LSU, Oklahoma, and USC) with a legitimate argument for playing in the championship game. Despite being ranked #1 in both polls, USC was ranked 3rd in the final BCS standings and excluded from the championship game. After USC won its bowl game, it shared the national title with LSU by remaining #1 in the AP poll. The BCS system was changed before the next season, but again a similar controversy arose. Undefeated Auburn was denied a shot at the national championship. USC and Oklahoma (both undefeated) met in the championship game. After USC defeated Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, that left USC, Auburn, and Utah the only undefeated teams in college. Although it was hard to argue for the #4 Utes to be considered to be #1 in the polls because they played in the mid-major Mountain West Conference, that still left undefeated Auburn looking up at the Trojans in the final college football polls.

upport

While there is substantial criticism aimed at the BCS system from coaches, media and fans alike, there is also ardent support for the system. Supporters cite several key advantages that the BCS has over a playoff system. Under the BCS, a single defeat is extremely detrimental to a team's prospects for a national championship. Supporters contend that this creates a substantial incentive for teams to do their best to win every game. Under a playoff system, front-running teams could be in a position of safety at the end of the regular season and could pull or greatly reduce their use of top players in order to protect them from injuries or give them recovery time (this happens frequently in the NFL). This is very unlikely to happen in the BCS system where a team in the running for a #1 or #2 ranking at the end of the year would be nearly certain to be punished in the polls enough for a loss that the team would be eliminated from contention.

Supporters also note that while the BCS routinely involves controversy about which two teams are the top teams, in rare instances there is a clear-cut top two; the BCS ensures these top two will play each other for the championship. For example, USC and Texas in 2005 were the only undefeated teams; both teams had only a couple of close contests and had nearly every other game out of reach for the opponent by the second or third quarter. Under the BCS system, these two teams got to play for the championship. Before the BCS, they would likely have played two other schools, and if they both won, then there would be either two champions, or else #2 Texas would have been denied a championship despite going 13–0.

The NCAA, the governing organization of all collegiate sports, has no official process for determining its FBS (Div. 1-A) champion. Instead, FBS champions are chosen by what the NCAA calls in its official list of champions "selecting organizations". [ [http://www.ncaasports.com/football/mens/history?&_1:col_1=3 History - Past Champions - NCAA.com ] ]

In 1997, pursuant to a legally-binding contract, all 119 FBS universities chose the BCS as its sanctioned selecting organization. The BCS:"...is managed by the commissioners of the 11 NCAA Division I-A conferences, the director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame, and representatives of the bowl organizations."...is a five-game arrangement for post-season college football that is designed to match the two top-rated teams in a national championship game and to create exciting and competitive matchups between eight other highly regarded teams in four other games". [ [http://www.bcsfootball.org/bcsfb/definition FOX Sports on MSN - BCSFootball - The BCS is ] ]

This contract has no effect on any other selecting organization; it operates only on its signatories — the member universities of the FBS. Fans or media might argue, opine and arrive at differing results from those of the BCS, but the universities (teams) are bound by the latter's processes.

History and schedule

1998-99 season

These BCS bowl games were played following the 1998 regular season
* Friday, January 1, 1999 - Rose Bowl Game presented by AT&T: Wisconsin (Big Ten champion) 38, UCLA (Pac-10 champion) 31
* Friday, January 1, 1999 - Nokia Sugar Bowl: Ohio State (at-large) 24, Texas A&M (Big 12 champion) 14
* Saturday, January 2, 1999 - FedEx Orange Bowl: Florida (at-large) 31, Syracuse (Big East champion) 10
* Monday, January 4, 1999 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, (National Championship): Tennessee (BCS #1, SEC champion) 23, Florida State (BCS #2, ACC champion) 16

1999-2000 season

These BCS bowl games were played following the 1999 regular season:
* Saturday, January 1, 2000 - Rose Bowl Game presented by AT&T: Wisconsin (Big Ten champion) 17, Stanford (Pac-10 champion) 9
* Saturday, January 1, 2000 - FedEx Orange Bowl: Michigan (at-large) 35, Alabama (SEC champion) 34 (OT)
* Sunday, January 2, 2000 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska (Big 12 champion) 31, Tennessee (at-large) 21
* Tuesday, January 4, 2000 - Nokia Sugar Bowl, (National Championship): Florida State (BCS #1, ACC champion) 46, Virginia Tech (BCS #2, Big East champion) 29

2000-01 season

These BCS bowl games were played following the 2000 regular season
* Monday, January 1, 2001 - Rose Bowl Game presented by AT&T: Washington (Pac-10 champion) 34, Purdue (Big Ten champion) 24
* Monday, January 1, 2001 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oregon State (at-large) 41, Notre Dame (at-large) 9
* Tuesday, January 2, 2001 - Nokia Sugar Bowl: Miami (FL) (Big East champion) 37, Florida (SEC champion) 20
* Wednesday, January 3, 2001 - FedEx Orange Bowl, (National Championship): Oklahoma (12-0, BCS #1, Big 12 champion) 13, Florida State (BCS #2, ACC champion) 2

2001-02 season

These BCS bowl games were played following the 2001 regular season
* Tuesday, January 1, 2002 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oregon (Pac-10 champion) 38, Colorado (Big 12 champion) 16
* Tuesday, January 1, 2002 - Nokia Sugar Bowl: LSU (SEC champion) 47, Illinois (Big Ten champion) 34
* Wednesday, January 2, 2002 - FedEx Orange Bowl, Florida (at-large) 56, Maryland (ACC champion) 23
* Thursday, January 3, 2002 - Rose Bowl Game presented by AT&T (National Championship): Miami (FL) (BCS #1, Big East champion) 37, Nebraska (BCS #2) 14

2002-03 season

These BCS bowl games were played following the 2002 regular season
* Wednesday, January 1, 2003 - Rose Bowl Game presented by PlayStation 2: Oklahoma (11-2, Big 12 champion) 34, Washington State (Pac-10 champion) 14
* Wednesday, January 1, 2003 - Nokia Sugar Bowl: Georgia (12-1, SEC champion) 26, Florida State (ACC champion) 13
* Thursday, January 2, 2003 - FedEx Orange Bowl: Southern California (10-2, at-large) 38, Iowa (at-large) 17
* Friday, January 3, 2003 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (National Championship): Ohio State (13-0, BCS #2, Big Ten champion) 31, Miami (FL) (BCS #1, Big East champion) 24 (2 OT) NOTES: 1. Southern California and Washington State tied for the Pac-10 championship, but due to the Cougars' victory over the Trojans during the season, Washington St. was extended the automatic berth to the Rose Bowl as league champion. 2. Iowa and Ohio State did not play each other during the season, and both finished at 8-0 in Big Ten conference play. With a better overall record as the tiebreaker (13-0 vs Iowa's 11-1), Ohio State was extended the league's automatic bid to the BCS.

2003–04 season

These BCS bowl games were played following the 2003 regular season
*Thursday, January 1, 2004 - Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi : Southern California (11-1, Pac-10 champion) 28, Michigan (Big Ten champion) 14
*Thursday, January 1, 2004 - FedEx Orange Bowl: Miami (Big East champion) 16, Florida State (ACC champion) 14
*Friday, January 2, 2004 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: #4 Ohio State (10-2, at-large) 35, Kansas State (Big 12 champion) 28
*Sunday, January 4, 2004 - Nokia Sugar Bowl (National Championship) LSU (12-1, BCS #2, SEC champion) 21, Oklahoma (12-1, BCS #1) 14

2004–05 season

These BCS bowl games were played following the 2004 regular season:
*Saturday, January 1, 2005 - Rose Bowl presented by Citi: #5 Texas (11-1, at-large) 38, Michigan (Big Ten champion) 37
*Saturday, January 1, 2005 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Utah (BCS #6, automatic) 35, Pittsburgh (Big East champion) 7
*Monday, January 3, 2005 - Nokia Sugar Bowl: Auburn (SEC champion) 16, Virginia Tech (ACC champion) 13
*Tuesday, January 4, 2005 - FedEx Orange Bowl (National Championship): Southern California (12-0, BCS #1, Pac-10 champion) 55, Oklahoma (12-0, BCS #2, Big 12 champion) 19NOTE: Utah was an automatic selection as it was ranked #6 in the final BCS standings.

2005–06 season

These BCS bowl games were played following the 2005 regular season in chronological order:
* Monday, January 2, 2006 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: #4 Ohio State (9-2, at-large) 34, #6 Notre Dame (9-2, at-large) 20
* Monday, January 2, 2006 - Nokia Sugar Bowl: #11 West Virginia (10-1, Big East champion) 38, #8 Georgia (10-2, SEC champion) 35
* Tuesday, January 3, 2006 - FedEx Orange Bowl: #3 Penn State (10-1,Big Ten champion) 26, Florida State (ACC champion) 23 (3 OT)
* Wednesday, January 4, 2006 - Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi (National Championship): Texas (12–0, BCS #2, Big 12 champion) 41, USC (12-0, BCS #1, Pac-10 champion) 38

NOTE: Due to damage to the Louisiana Superdome because of Hurricane Katrina, the Sugar Bowl was played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.

2006–07 season

These BCS bowl games were played following the 2006 regular season in chronological order:
*Monday, January 1 - Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi: Southern California (10–2, Pac-10 champion) 32, Michigan (11-1, at-large) 18
*Monday, January 1 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Boise State (12–0, BCS #8, automatic) 43, Oklahoma (11-2, Big 12 champion) 42(OT)
*Tuesday, January 2 - FedEx Orange Bowl: Louisville (11–1, Big East champion) 24, Wake Forest (11-2, ACC champion) 13
*Wednesday, January 3 - Allstate Sugar Bowl: LSU (10–2, at-large) 41, Notre Dame (10-2, at-large) 14
* Monday, January 8 - Tostitos BCS National Championship: Florida 41 (BCS #2, SEC champion), Ohio State (BCS #1, Big Ten champion) 14NOTE: Boise State was an automatic selection as it was champion of the Western Athletic Conference and ranked #8 in the final BCS standings.

2007-08 season

These BCS bowl games were played following the 2007 regular season in chronological order:
* Tuesday, January 1 - Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi: Southern California (10-2, Pac-10 champion) 49, Illinois (9–3, at-large) 17
* Tuesday, January 1 - Allstate Sugar Bowl: Georgia (10–2, at-large) 41, Hawaiokinai (12-0, WAC Champion, BCS #10, automatic) 10
* Wednesday, January 2 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: West Virginia (10-2, Big East champion) 48, Oklahoma (11–2, Big 12 champion) 28
* Thursday, January 3 - FedEx Orange Bowl: Kansas (11–1, at-large) 24, Virginia Tech (11–2, ACC champion) 21
* Monday, January 7 - Allstate BCS National Championship: LSU (BCS #2, 11–2, SEC champion) 38, Ohio State (BCS #1,11-1, Big Ten champion), 24NOTES: 1. Hawaiokinai was an automatic selection as it was champion of the Western Athletic Conference and ranked #10 in the final BCS standings. 2. LSU was the first team to be in the National Championship game with two losses and the first team to win a second BCS Championship game.

BCS Bowl wins and appearances by team

BCS Bowl wins and appearances by conference

Future schedules

Changes for 2006–07

The 2006–07 BCS featured major changes from its previous editions.

Television rights shifted from ABC to FOX, while ABC continued telecasting the Rose Bowl. Second, the addition of a BCS National Championship Game matched the top two teams in the BCS rankings (Ohio State and Florida) at the site of one of the BCS games one week after these games have been played (University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, one week after the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl). The addition of a fifth BCS game allowed for the potential addition of two "at large" teams.

Another new rule stated: "...one conference champion from among Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt, and Western Athletic Conferences will automatically qualify to play in a BCS bowl if it is: (1) ranked among the top 12 teams in the final BCS Standings; or (2) ranked among the top 16 teams in the final BCS Standings and ranked higher than the champion of one of the conferences whose champion has an annual automatic berth in a BCS bowl." [cite web | url=http://www.bcsfootball.org/index2.cfm?page=faq | title=Frequently Asked Questions | language=English | format=HTML | date=2006-07-31] In the first year with this new rule, Boise State was able to earn a berth in the Fiesta Bowl by virtue of a 12–0 regular season and #8 ranking in the final BCS Standings. Boise State became the second non-BCS school (after Utah in 2004) to play in a BCS game, and the second to win, defeating Oklahoma 43-42 in overtime.

If the 2006 automatic qualification standards had been in place, the following additional teams would have been guaranteed automatic selection to the BCS during the first eight seasons of the BCS: 1998 Tulane, Conference USA (#10); 1999 Marshall, Mid-American (#12); 2000 Texas Christian, Conference USA (#14); 2003 Miami (Ohio), Mid-American (#11); 2005 Texas Christian, Mountain West (#14). [cite web | url=http://www.bcsfootball.org/bcsfb/whatif | title=What If? | publisher=BCSFootball.org | date=2006-09-01 | access date=2006-12-12 | language=English | format=HTML]

2009 schedule

"To be played following 2008 season."cite web | url=http://www.collegefootballpoll.com/bcs_explained.html | title=BCS Explained | publisher=CollegeFootballPoll.com | date=2006-07-24 | accessdate=2007-01-03 | language=English | format=HTML]
* Thursday, January 1 - Rose Bowl Game presented by citi
* Thursday, January 1 - FedEx Orange Bowl
* Friday, January 2 - Allstate Sugar Bowl
* Monday, January 5 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
* Thursday, January 8 - FedEx BCS National Championship: (Miami Gardens, Florida)

2010 schedule

"To be played following 2009 season."
* Friday, January 1 - Rose Bowl Game presented by citi
* Friday, January 1 - Allstate Sugar Bowl
* Monday, January 4 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
* Tuesday, January 5 - FedEx Orange Bowl
* Friday, January 8 - BCS National Championship presented by citi: (Pasadena, California)

BCS Buster

The term BCS Buster refers to any team not from a BCS conference that manages to earn a spot in a BCS bowl game.cite web | url=http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600103700,00.html | title=Utes had a Fiesta in 2004 | publisher=Deseret Morning News | author=Dirk Facer | date=2005-01-10 | accessdate=2007-10-08] With the exception of independents, it is generally more difficult for a non-BCS team to reach a BCS bowl than for a BCS conference team (see rules above), so becoming a BCS Buster is noteworthy. Even though there have been a number of worthy teams, only three teams have have met the criteria. The University of Utah football program became the first BCS Buster in 2004 after an undefeated season. The Utah Utes played in the 2005 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and beat their opponent, the Pittsburgh Panthers, 35-7.

With the addition of a fifth BCS bowl game in 2006 and the accompanying rule changes, it is now a little less difficult to bust into the BCS. It is unclear whether or not BCS Busters will become more commonplace, but due to the rule change, the first two seasons afterwards have seen BCS Busters. In 2006, Boise State became the second BCS Buster after a 12-0 regular season and subsequent Fiesta Bowl berth against the Oklahoma Sooners. The Broncos won 43-42 in overtime, making non-BCS teams undefeated (2-0) in BCS bowl games. In the 07-08 bowl season, Hawaiokinai also finished the regular season at 12-0, but were defeated by the Georgia Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl.

Had the current criteria been in place in 1998, the five additional non-BCS conference teams would have been invited to a BCS game, including two undefeated teams: the Tulane Green Wave in 1998, and the Marshall Thundering Herd in 1999. TCU is the only team that would have qualifed twice in 2000 and 2005, and would have been the first non-BCS team to qualify as a member of two different conferences. Miami (Ohio) would have qualified in 2003.

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References

See also

*BCS controversies
*NCAA Division I FBS National Football Championship
*Mythical national championship
*AP Poll
*Coaches Poll
*Harris Interactive College Football Poll
*Grantland Rice Award
*Dickinson System
*Bowl Championship Series on television and radio
*College football playoff debate

External links

* [http://www.bcsfootball.org/ Home page of the Bowl Championship Series]
* [http://rankings.amath.unc.edu/ Mathematicians Examine the BCS]
* [http://www.collegebcs.com/bcsfaq.html Comprehensive FAQ about the BCS]
* [http://www.nd.edu/~observer/10182002/Sports/1.html The "Notre Dame" clause in the BCS contract]
* [http://www.thebatt.com/news/2004/03/02/Sports/Bcs-Plans.To.Incorporate.Fifth.Bcs.Bowl-623140.shtml "BCS plans to incorporate fifth BCS bowl"]
* [http://soonerstats.com/football/polls/index.cfm AP Poll and BCS Ranking History]
* [http://www.mreplay.com/view_video.php?viewkey=16d9e1d14bf972262450 Video of 2007-8 BCS Announcements and Celebrations of Selected Teams on mReplay]

;BCS controversies
* [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=2245440 Congress to look into 'deeply flawed' BCS system]
* [http://www.bcs-sucks.com BCS-Sucks.com]
* [http://www.nobcs.net NOBCS.net]


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