BCS National Championship Game

The BCS National Championship Game, or BCS National Championship, is the final bowl game of the annual Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and is 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 are the two highest-ranked teams in the BCS standings at the end of the regular college football season, currently (until the end of the current BCS television contracts in 2013) 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 have been 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 is the only season, to date, since the inception of the BCS in which the national championship has been 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 2011 season at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA was held on January 9, 2012, sponsored by Allstate, and televised on the ESPN television network. The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the LSU Tigers 21-0 in the first shutout in BCS National Championship history. The game was also the first time that two teams from the same conference (and, very controversially, also from the same division of the same conference) met for the BCS National Championship. This controversial result is largely credited as having been the catalyst to the swift decision in the 2012 off-season to move to a 4-team playoff which will replace the BCS single-game championship format after the 2014 season.

Read more about BCS National Championship Game:  History, Game Records, Criticisms and Controversy, Future, Related National Championship Selections

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