The Bowl Championship Series (BCS), in American football, is a selection system that creates five bowl match-ups involving ten of the top ranked teams in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), including an opportunity for the top two to compete in the BCS National Championship Game.
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 American Football Coaches Association is contractually bound to vote the winner of this game as the BCS National Champion and the contract signed by each conference requires them to recognize the winner of the BCS National Championship game as the official and only Champion. The BCS was created to end split championships and for the Champion to win the title on the field between the two teams selected by the BCS. Despite this objective on one occasion it failed to produce a consensus champion, as the 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with a split title.
The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is a selection system designed, through polls and computer statistics, to determine a No. 1 and No. 2 team in the NCAA Division-1 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). After the final polls, the two top teams are chosen to play in the BCS National Championship Game which determines The BCS National Champion, but not the champion for independent voting systems (most notably the AP poll). This format is intended to be "bowl-centered" rather than a traditional play-off system, since numerous FBS Conferences have expressed their unwillingness to participate in a play-off system. However, due to the unique and often esoteric nature of the BCS format, there has been controversy as to which two teams should play for the national championship and which teams should play in the four other BCS bowl games (Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, and Sugar Bowl). In this selection process, the BCS is often criticized for conference favoritism, its inequality of access for teams in non-Automatic Qualifying (non-AQ) Conferences (most likely due to perceived strength of schedule), and perceived monopolistic, "profit-centered" motives. In terms of this last concern, Congress has explored the possibility on more than one occasion of holding hearings to determine the legality of the BCS under the terms of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and the United States Justice Department has also periodically announced interest in investigating the BCS for similar reasons.