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A Cry For Fairness In Ncaa Football

1906 words - 8 pages

A Cry For Fairness in NCAA Football

Today in NCAA Division 1-A football, the national champion is decided by the Bowl Championship Series (known as the BCS). It consists of five bowl games and it's participants are determined using a ranking system. This system currently factors in a poll of coaches, a poll conducted by an internet marketing firm and a compilation of six computer programs to determine where a team is ranked throughout the season. On January 8th the teams ranked number one and two at the end of the season play in the fifth and final bowl game, The National Championship. If the two best teams could be determined on paper, without competing on the field, this system would ...view middle of the document...

It's just like bowl camp, a good time to bond with the guys after a long season. Then when you go to the bowl destination, it's even better. I'm not sure with a playoff system you have that." (MAC player in ESPN The Magazine, Aug. 10, 2010) Host cities of these games are reaping the benefits too, generating astronomical revenue. The total economic impact in the host cities from the five BCS games in January 2009, was estimated at more than $1.2 billion. (The BCS is ... , par.14) With these reasons in mind you would think that the BCS is a good thing. According to, in it's 12 year history the BCS has pitted the two best teams against each other for the national title by BCS standards each year. The problem is that the system the BCS uses to determine who is the best incorporates blatant favoritism toward certain conferences in NCAA Division 1-A and rewards them with big payouts, while essentially snubbing more than half of the schools in the country.
The BCS has determined six of the eleven conferences to be deemed "BCS Conferences." These are the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pacific-10 and Southeastern Conferences. The championship teams in these conferences receive an automatic bid to one of the five bowl games regardless of their end of season rankings. Schools in conferences outside of the previously named conferences are known as non-BCS schools. One champion from one of the non-BCS conferences gets into a bowl game if it is ranked in the top 12 or ranked in the top 16 but higher than a BCS conference champion. (Bakalar, par. 6) Fair? I think not. The stipulations become even more murky when you discuss what happens to teams who are independent of any conference, such as Notre Dame. They go to a BCS Bowl game if they rank eighth or higher in the standings. Yet for some reason, Notre Dame receives $1.3 million in BCS money regardless of their participation in any bowl game. (Bakalar, par. 9) They don't even have to play in one to get the money! This is the most alarming disparity between BCS and non-BCS conferences, the money it involves. The first team in each BCS conference to qualify receives $18 million regardless of the outcome of the game and that money is distributed in that team’s conference. If a second team from a BCS conference qualifies, the conference shares an additional $4.5 million. However, if a non-BCS school finagles it's way into one of these bowl games, they distribute the $18 million dollar payday amongst all five of the non-BCS conferences. Meanwhile, Notre Dame is getting paid no matter what happens. This favoritism also plays an enormous role in the BCS ranking system, lending itself to biased views and a wacky computer system.
At the beginning of each season the BCS releases the rankings for the top twenty five college football programs in the nation before any game is played on the field. This can be an daunting mountain to climb to the top if a team enters the season unranked....

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