BCS National Championship Game
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2014)|
|BCS National Championship Game|
AFCA National Championship Trophy, awarded to the BCS National Champion.
|Stadium||Four-year rotation between:
University of Phoenix Stadium
Sun Life Stadium
|Location||Four-year rotation between:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Miami Gardens, Florida
|Previous stadiums||Sun Devil Stadium (1999, 2003)|
|Previous locations||Tempe, Arizona (1999, 2003)|
|Payout||US$23,900,000 (2014 game)|
|Preceded by||Bowl Alliance (1995–97)
Bowl Coalition (1992–94)
|Succeeded by||College Football Playoff (2014)|
|No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn (Florida State 34–31)|
The BCS National Championship Game, or BCS National Championship, was the final bowl game of the annual Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and was intended by the organizers of the BCS to determine the U.S. national champion of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as NCAA Division I-A). The participants were the two highest-ranked teams in the BCS standings at the end of the regular college football season, determined by averaging the results of the final weekly USA Today Coaches' Poll, Harris Interactive Poll of media, former players and coaches, and the average of six participating computer rankings.
Since the formation of the Bowl Championship Series, there were several controversies regarding the schools selected to participate in the BCS National Championship Game. Most notably, following the 2003 season, the BCS ranking system selected the #3 ranked school in the Associated Press writers' poll, the University of Oklahoma, over the #1 ranked school in that poll, the University of Southern California, to participate in the National Championship Game (the Nokia Sugar Bowl) despite Oklahoma's decisive loss to Kansas State in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game. 2003 was the only season during the BCS era in which the national championship was split, with Louisiana State University winning the BCS national championship and the University of Southern California winning the AP national championship and the FWAA national championship.
The BCS National Championship for the 2013 season at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA was held on January 6, 2014, and televised on the ESPN television network. The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Auburn Tigers, 34–31.
A four team system, the College Football Playoff, will replace the BCS single-game championship format beginning with the 2014 season.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2010)|
The first BCS Championship Game was played at the conclusion of the 1998 college football season in accordance with an agreement by the Big Ten Conference, the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Conference, and the Rose Bowl Game to join the "Bowl Alliance" system. The expanded format was called the Bowl Championship Series.
The Bowl Alliance and its predecessor, the Bowl Coalition, featured championship games for the 1992 through 1997 seasons. However, these could not always ensure a matchup between the top two ranked teams because of the lack of participation by the Big Ten and Pac-10.
The BCS National Championship Game was initially rotated among the four participating bowl games: the (Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Sugar Bowl). However, beginning with the 2006 season, the BCS National Championship Game became a separate bowl game unto itself, following New Year's Day. The BCS National Championship Game rotated its location among the Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, and Rose Bowl venues; however, the BCS National Championship Game was not coupled with those Bowls. For example, the 2011 Fiesta Bowl was a separate event from the 2011 BCS National Championship Game.
- For Bowl Coalition championship game results from 1992–1994, see: Bowl Coalition
- For Bowl Alliance championship game results from 1995–1997, see: Bowl Alliance
Records by team
Records by conference
Conference affiliation as of season of game
* The American Athletic Conference was known as the Big East from its first football season in 1991 until June 30, 2013. Because of a split between the non-FBS schools and FBS schools, the conference adopted its present name July 1, 2013. Miami and Virginia Tech moved to the ACC in 2004. Nebraska moved to the Big Ten in 2011.
** LSU's loss in the 2012 BCS Championship Game was to fellow SEC member Alabama.
*** Alabama's win in the 2012 BCS Championship Game was over fellow SEC member LSU.
† USC vacated their win in the 2005 Orange Bowl.
|Team||Performance vs. Opponent||Year|
|Most points scored||79, Texas vs. USC||2006|
|Fewest points allowed||0, Alabama vs. LSU||2012|
|First downs||30, Texas vs. USC||2006|
|Rushing yards||289, Texas (36 att.) vs. USC||2006|
|Passing yards||374, Oregon vs. Auburn||2011|
|Total yards||556, Texas (289 rush, 267 pass) vs. USC||2006|
|Total plays||85, Auburn vs. Oregon||2011|
|Largest comeback||18, Florida State vs. Auburn||2014|
|Individual||Performance, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|Total offense||467, Vince Young, Texas (267 pass, 200 rush) vs. USC||2006|
|Rushing yards||200, Vince Young (QB), Texas (19 att.) vs. USC||2006|
|Rushing TDs||3, Vince Young (QB), Texas vs. USC||2006|
|Passing yards||363, Darron Thomas, Oregon vs. Auburn (28-41-2, 2 TD)||2011|
|Passing TDs||5, Matt Leinart, USC vs. Oklahoma||2005|
|Receptions||11, Kellen Winslow Jr., Miami vs. Ohio State (122 yards, 1 TD)||2003|
|Receiving yards (tie)||199, Peerless Price, Tennessee vs. Florida State (4 rec., 1 TD)||1999|
|Receiving yards (tie)||199, Andre Johnson, Miami vs. Nebraska (7 rec., 2 TD)||2002|
|Receiving TDs||3, Steve Smith, USC vs. Oklahoma||2005|
|Field goals||5, Jeremy Shelley, Alabama vs. LSU||2012|
|Tackles||18, James Laurinaitis, Ohio State vs. LSU||2008|
|Sacks||3, Derrick Harvey, Florida vs. Ohio State||2007|
|Interceptions||2, Sean Taylor, Miami vs. Ohio State||2003|
|Long Plays||Performance, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|Touchdown run||65, Chris "Beanie" Wells, Ohio State vs. LSU||2008|
|Touchdown pass||79, Tee Martin to Peerless Price, Tennessee vs. Florida State||1999|
|Kickoff return||100, Levante Whitfield, Florida State vs. Auburn (TD)||2014|
|Punt return||71, DeJuan Groce, Nebraska vs. Miami (TD)||2002|
|Interception return||54, Dwayne Goodrich, Tennessee vs. Florida State (TD)||1999|
|Punt||63, A.J. Trapasso, Ohio State vs. LSU||2008|
|Field goal||46, David Pino, Texas vs. USC||2006|
|Pass||81, Darron Thomas to Jeff Maehl, Oregon vs. Auburn||2011|
Heisman Trophy winners in BCS title games
|2000||Chris Weinke||Florida State||L||51-25-2 274, 0 TD; 4-7 rush|
|2001||Eric Crouch||Nebraska||L||15-5-1 62, 0 TD; 22-114 rush|
|2003||Jason White||Oklahoma||L||37-13-2, 102, 0 TD; 7-(-46) rush|
|2004||Matt Leinhart||USC||W||35-18-0 332, 5 TD; 2-(-11) rush||Win later vacated|
|2005||Reggie Bush||USC||L||13-82 1 TD; 6-95, 0 TD rec||Heisman later vacated|
|2006||Troy Smith||Ohio State||L||14-4-1, 35, 0 TD; 10-(-29) rush|
|2008||Sam Bradford||Oklahoma||L||41-26-2, 256, 2 TD; 2-(-18) rush|
|2009||Mark Ingram||Alabama||W||22-116, 2 TD|
|2010||Cam Newton||Auburn||W||34-20-1, 265, 2 TD; 22-64 rush|
|2013||Jameis Winston||Florida State||W||35-20-0, 237, 2 TD; 11-26 rush|
Criticisms and controversy
Critics of the BCS championship argued against the internal validity of the BCS National Championship, which was awarded to the winner of a single postseason game, the BCS National Championship game. Critics lamented that the participants in this game were decided based upon polls, computers, popularity, and biases, and not by previous on-field competition as was the case in other major sports and every other level of college football, which employ playoff format championships. Often, the BCS system led to controversies in which multiple teams finished seasons with equal records, and voters had to distinguish the worthiness of their participation in the BCS National Championship game with no set formal criteria or standards. The end of the 2010 season was one of the best examples of this. Without providing any objective criteria for evaluation of these teams, the BCS also forced voters to impose their own standards and tiebreakers. Critics noted that the system inherently fostered selection bias, and therefore, lacked both internal validity and consistency of data and external validity.
Controversies concerning inclusion in the BCS National Championship Game were numerous. In 2001, for example, Oregon, second ranked in the AP poll, was bypassed in favor of Nebraska despite Nebraska's loss in its final regular season game to the University of Colorado in a blowout with a score of 62-36. In 2003, USC was not included in the BCS Championship Game, but beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl and ended up #1 in the Associated Press final poll. The following season, in 2004, undefeated Auburn University, Boise State University, and University of Utah teams were left out of the National Championship Game (the FedEx Orange Bowl), although those teams were undefeated as well. In 2008, the University of Utah was excluded from the BCS championship for a second time despite being the only undefeated Division I-A team at the end of the season and finished second behind 13–1 Florida. In 2009, five schools finished the regular season undefeated: Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, Texas Christian University, and Boise State; however, the BCS selected traditional powers Alabama and Texas to participate in the BCS National Championship Game as they were the top two teams in the BCS rankings.
In 2010, three teams, Oregon, Auburn, and TCU, all finished with undefeated records. While TCU statistically led the other two teams in all three major areas, having been ranked 1st in defense, 14th in offense  and 13th in special teams  the teams from the two automatic qualifying conferences, Oregon (PAC-12) and Auburn (SEC), were selected over the Horned Frogs for the 2011 National Championship game. Many voters cited TCU's membership in the non-automatic qualifying Mountain West Conference, which is perceived as having a weaker overall schedule, as one significant reason for their exclusion, despite TCU's undefeated record in 2010 and also having won all their 2009 regular season games as well, with their only loss coming in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. Adding to the controversy were comments made by the president of Ohio State University, Dr. Gordon Gee, whose statement that teams that played "the little sisters of the poor" instead of the "murderer's row" of the automatic qualifier conference teams did not deserve any National Championship game consideration. Dr. Gee issued a statement of retraction and apology after TCU defeated Wisconsin in the 2011 Rose Bowl, Wisconsin having previously defeated Ohio State convincingly during the regular season.
Many critics of the Bowl Championship Series favored a larger championship tournament with eight to sixteen teams, similar to that administered by the NCAA for its Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, and Division III football championships. Others favored adopting the incremental step of adding a single post-bowl championship game between the winners of two BCS games among the top four ranked teams in the BCS standings, the so-called "plus one" option. The SEC and ACC conferences pushed for some form of playoff system. On June 24, 2009, the BCS presidential oversight committee rejected the Mountain West Conference's proposed eight-team playoff plan.
In 2009, the NCAA ruled that former USC running back Reggie Bush was retroactively ineligible for the 2004 BCS National Championship Game, the 2005 Orange Bowl vs. Oklahoma, for receiving various illegal benefits. In May 2011, the NCAA rejected all appeals of USC's penalties, which included Bush's ineligibility and a two-year bowl ban. On June 6, 2011, the University of Southern California became the first school to lose a Bowl Championship Series National Championship due to NCAA sanctions, as the BCS President's Oversight Committee stripped USC of the 2004 title. As a result, there is no 2004 BCS champion, although USC retained its 2004 AP National Title.
In addition, the BCS also nullified USC's participation in the 2006 Rose Bowl. (See attributions 1 and 2.)
During 2012, the BCS actively considered changes to the format that would begin with the 2014 football season that would extend the season by one game by either establishing a four-school semifinal round that would determine the participants in the National Championship Game or by selecting the participants in the National Championship Game after the season's bowl games have been completed. On June 26, 2012, the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee approved a four-school playoff format, in which the participants will be determined by a selection committee. The semifinals will be played in existing bowl games on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The final will be played approximately six to ten days later at a neutral site, selected through a competitive bidding process.  The new format, known as the College Football Playoff will be in effect from the 2014-15 college football season through the 2025-26 season.
It was announced on January 8, 2013, that the first College Football Playoff semifinals games will be held on January 1, 2015 in Pasadena, CA (Rose Bowl), and New Orleans, LA (Sugar Bowl). The following semifinals host rotation order was announced: Year 1 - Rose and Sugar; Year 2 - Orange and Cotton; Year 3 - Fiesta and Chick-fil-A. The first College Football Playoff Championship Game will be on Monday night, January 12, 2015.
From 1999 through 2006, ABC broadcast eight BCS National Championship Games pursuant to broadcasting rights negotiated with the BCS and the Rose Bowl, whose rights were offered separately. Beginning with the 2006–07 season, FOX obtained the BCS package, consisting of the Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and the BCS National Championship Games hosted by these bowls, with ABC retaining the rights to the Rose Bowl and BCS National Championship Games hosted by the Rose Bowl (such as the 2010 edition)
|Year||Network(s)||Bowl||Play-by-play announcer||Color analyst(s)||Sideline reporter(s)||Studio host(s)||Studio analyst(s)||TV Rating|
|1999||ABC||Fiesta Bowl||Keith Jackson||Bob Griese||Lynn Swann||John Saunders||Todd Blackledge||17.2|
|2000||ABC||Sugar Bowl||Brent Musburger||Gary Danielson||Lynn Swann and Jack Arute||John Saunders||Terry Bowden||17.5|
|2001||ABC||Orange Bowl||Brad Nessler||Bob Griese||Lynn Swann and Jack Arute||John Saunders||Terry Bowden||17.8|
|2002||ABC||Rose Bowl||Keith Jackson||Tim Brant||Lynn Swann and Todd Harris||John Saunders||Terry Bowden||13.9|
|2003||ABC||Fiesta Bowl||Keith Jackson||Dan Fouts||Lynn Swann and Todd Harris||John Saunders||Terry Bowden||17.2|
|2004||ABC||Sugar Bowl||Brent Musburger||Gary Danielson||Lynn Swann and Jack Arute||John Saunders||Terry Bowden and Craig James||14.5|
|2005||ABC||Orange Bowl||Brad Nessler||Bob Griese||Lynn Swann and Todd Harris||John Saunders||Craig James and Aaron Taylor||13.7|
|2006||ABC||Rose Bowl||Keith Jackson||Dan Fouts||Todd Harris and Holly Rowe||John Saunders||Craig James and Aaron Taylor||21.7|
|2007||FOX||2007 BCS National Championship Game||Thom Brennaman||Barry Alvarez and Charles Davis||Chris Myers||Chris Rose||Eddie George, Emmitt Smith and Jimmy Johnson||17.4|
|2008||FOX||2008 BCS National Championship Game||Thom Brennaman||Charles Davis||Chris Myers||Chris Rose||Eddie George, Urban Meyer and Jimmy Johnson||17.4|
|2009||FOX||2009 BCS National Championship Game||Thom Brennaman||Charles Davis||Chris Myers||Chris Rose||Eddie George, Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson||15.8|
|2010||ABC||2010 BCS National Championship Game||Brent Musburger||Kirk Herbstreit||Lisa Salters and Tom Rinaldi||Chris Fowler and Rece Davis||Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, Pete Carroll, Lou Holtz and Mark May||17.2|
|2011 BCS National Championship Game||Brent Musburger||Kirk Herbstreit||Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi||Chris Fowler||Desmond Howard, Urban Meyer and Nick Saban||16.1|
|2012||ESPN||2012 BCS National Championship Game||Brent Musburger||Kirk Herbstreit||Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi||Chris Fowler||Lee Corso, Gene Chizik and Chip Kelly||14.0|
|2013||ESPN||2013 BCS National Championship Game||Brent Musburger||Kirk Herbstreit||Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi||Chris Fowler||Urban Meyer and Desmond Howard||17.5|
|2014||ESPN||2014 BCS National Championship Game||Brent Musburger||Kirk Herbstreit||Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi||Chris Fowler||Lee Corso, Nick Saban and Desmond Howard||15.7 |
As part of ESPN's exclusive contract with the BCS, ESPN Deportes provided the first Spanish U.S. telecast of the BCS National Championship Game in 2012.
From 1999 to 2014, the BCS National Championship Game was broadcast on ESPN Radio.
|Year||Network||Play-by-play announcer||Color analyst(s)||Sideline Reporter|
|1999||ESPN Radio||Ron Franklin||Mike Gottfried||Adrian Karsten|
|2000||ESPN Radio||Ron Franklin||Mike Gottfried||Adrian Karsten|
|2001||ESPN Radio||Ron Franklin||Mike Gottfried||Adrian Karsten|
|2002||ESPN Radio||Ron Franklin||Mike Gottfried||Adrian Karsten|
|2003||ESPN Radio||Ron Franklin||Mike Gottfried||Adrian Karsten|
|2004||ESPN Radio||Ron Franklin||Mike Gottfried||Adrian Karsten|
|2005||ESPN Radio||Ron Franklin||Mike Gottfried||Erin Andrews|
|2006||ESPN Radio||Ron Franklin||Bob Davie||Dave Ryan|
|2007||ESPN Radio||Brent Musburger||Bob Davie and Todd Blackledge||Lisa Salters|
|2008||ESPN Radio||Brent Musburger||Kirk Herbstreit||Lisa Salters|
|2009||ESPN Radio||Brent Musburger||Kirk Herbstreit||Lisa Salters|
|2010||ESPN Radio||Mike Tirico||Jon Gruden and Todd Blackledge||Wendi Nix|
|2011||ESPN Radio||Mike Tirico||Jon Gruden||Joe Schad|
|2012||ESPN Radio||Mike Tirico||Todd Blackledge||Holly Rowe|
|2013||ESPN Radio||Mike Tirico||Todd Blackledge||Holly Rowe and Joe Schad|
|2014||ESPN Radio||Mike Tirico||Todd Blackledge||Holly Rowe and Joe Schad|
Related national championship selections
Since there is no NCAA Division I FBS playoff, the BCS National Championship game was one of several national championship selection processes in existence.
The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) participated in a weekly Coaches' Poll published by USA Today; for its final poll of the season, the AFCA was contractually bound to select the BCS National Champion as the national champion Thus, the winner of the game was awarded the AFCA National Championship Trophy in a postgame ceremony.
The Associated Press and the Football Writers Association of America are independent; their national championship trophies may have been awarded to a school other than the BCS National Championship Game winner.
- College Football Bowl Schedule. Collegefootballpoll.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-24.
- Eight-team playoff would be ideal for college football – columnist – ESPN. Sports.espn.go.com (May 20, 2008). Retrieved on 2010-11-21.
- Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2010 FEI RATINGS, SPECIAL TEAMS. Football Outsiders. Retrieved on 2014-05-24.
- FEI Offensive Rankings By Team, FBS, 2010 http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/feist2010
- FEI Special Teams Rankings By Team, FBS, 2010 http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/feist2010
- TCU lost the highly controversial 2010 Fiesta Bowl to Boise State, in which two non-AQ teams were paired against each other to avoid the possibility of two AQ teams losing to "BCS Busters"
- College football: BCS presidents reject playoff plan, Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2009
- BCS Playoff TV Deal Worth At Least $3 Billion. Forbes (2012-05-29). Retrieved on 2014-05-24.
- BCS presidents approve four-team major college playoff –. Usatoday.com (2012-06-27). Retrieved on 2014-05-24.
- Dates for playoff games announced, BCSfootball.com, January 8, 2013
- ESPN, BCS agree to four-year deal for television, radio, digital rights
- bcsfootball.org – TV Ratings
- O'Toole, Thomas. (January 14, 2009) Role of coaches' poll in BCS under review. Usatoday.Com. Retrieved on 2010-11-21.
- MacArthur Trophy at the National Football Foundation