The BCS is the best format to match up college football’s number one and two teams while preserving the heritage and success of the bowl system.
- Prior to the formation of the BCS and its predecessors, the number one and number two teams met in bowl games only eight times in 56 seasons. Thanks to the BCS format, the top two teams have played each other 12 times in 12 years by BCS measurements and 9 times in the last 12 years according to the AP poll–including the last six years in a row. The BCS is the best format ever devised to match up the nation’s top two teams in a bowl game.
College Football is More Popular than Ever:
Thanks to the BCS, regular-season college football has become a true national sport. And the great traditions and great rivalries continue.
- Attendance has shot up 35 percent since the BCS’s inception from 27.6 million in 1998 to 37.4 million in 2008.
- BCS television ratings regularly surpass the NCAA basketball finals, the NBA playoffs and the World Series. In 2010, 30.8 million viewers watched college football’s title game between Alabama and Texas; 17.6 million watched the 2009 NCAA basketball championship game between North Carolina and Michigan State. An average of 19.3 million viewers watched each game of the 2009 Yankees-Phillies World Series; game six had a peak audience of 22.3 million viewers. In the NBA, an average of 14 million people watched each game of the 2009 championships between the LA Lakers and the Orlando Magic.
Fans and Players Love Bowls:
The bowl experience is special for the athletes, bands, cheerleaders and fans; it’s a unique multi-day celebration they’ll savor the rest of their lives. No other sport has anything like it. The 2003 Fiesta Bowl, 2006 Rose Bowl, and 2007 Fiesta Bowl are widely hailed as the greatest college football games of all-time. Through the years, athletes have cited bowl trips as the highlight of their sports careers. Why mess with success?
- From the first Rose Bowl in 1902 to the 34 bowls played today, the college bowl season is a unique American holiday tradition.
- The bowl experience is enjoyed by 68 universities each year with more than 7,000 student athletes and another 10,000 students participating as band members or in other on-the-field ways. In absence of the bowl system, many student-athletes would lose the opportunity. A playoff would put the great traditions of the bowls at risk.
Every conference has an opportunity to earn annual automatic qualification into the BCS. At the beginning of every season, every team has an opportunity to earn a spot in a BCS Game, including the National Championship Game.
- The BCS has increased the access for all teams into major bowl games.
- Teams from conferences without annual automatic qualification have played in the BCS in four of the last five years.
- Compare that to the previous 54 years, when only six teams that are currently members of those conferences got a similar chance: BYU in the 1974 Fiesta Bowl, Wyoming in the 1976 Fiesta Bowl, Rice in the 1961 Sugar Bowl, Wyoming in the 1968 Sugar Bowl, Air Force in the 1971 Sugar Bowl and Rice in the 1947 Orange Bowl.
- Before the BCS’s creation in 1998, only the teams and their conferences that participated in the major bowl games received revenue from those games. In the first 11 years of the BCS, more than $120 million was distributed to conferences that do not have annual automatic berths in the BCS bowls.
- The revenue for each conference that sends one team to the BCS is approximately $18.5 million and $19 million. Each conference divides the money according to its own formula.