College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.
American football (known as football in the United States and gridiron in some other countries) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football) down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the football to the opposing team. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown, kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal or by the defense tackling the ball carrier in the offense's end zone for a safety. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sport of rugby football. The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under rules resembling rugby and soccer. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, eleven-player teams and the concept of downs, and later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone and specified the size and shape of the football.
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 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 Coaches' PollUSA Today, 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 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.
In North America, a bowl game is one of a number of post-season college football games that are primarily played by teams from the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The term "bowl" originated from the Rose Bowl Stadium, site of the first post-season college football games. The Rose Bowl Stadium, in turn, takes its name and bowl-shaped design from the Yale Bowl, the prototype of many football stadiums in the United States. In turn, the NFL's "Super Bowl" is a reference to college football bowl games.
Prior to 2002, bowl game statistics were not included in players' career totals and the games were mostly considered to be exhibition games involving a payout to participating teams, which had to meet strict eligibility requirements. As the number of bowl games has grown (in 2010, in terms of team-competitive games, there were 35), a bowl game has become a season-ending event for virtually every team with a non-losing record and the games have gained increased importance for the revenue they bring to participating programs and the opportunity to recruit new players to the teams. In recent years, the term "bowl" has become synonymous with any major American football event, generally collegiate football with some significant exceptions (such as the Super Bowl). One example is the Iron Bowl, a nickname given to the annual game between the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn University Tigers.
The college football playoff debate is a hot topic of discussion, concerning college football in the United States, among fans, journalist conference representatives, government officials, university administrators, coaches, and players concerning whether or not the current postseason format of the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) should be changed or modified. Playoff proponents argue that a bracket-style playoff championship should replace the current Bowl Championship Series, while others advocate for a Plus-one format, which would create a single national championship game with participants selected after the conclusion of the traditional bowl season. This debate has been ongoing since at least 1971.
The BCS system was established prior to the 1998 NCAA Division I-A football season to select two participants to compete for college football's FBS division (formerly division I-A) national championship. There have been numerous controversies about the teams that should play for the college football national championship.
Southern California, often abbreviated as SoCal, is a megaregion or megapolitan area in the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include the Greater Los Angeles, and Greater San Diego. The region stretches along the coast from about Santa Barbara to the United States and Mexico border, and from the Pacific Ocean inland to the Nevada and Arizona borders. The heavily built-up urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura, through the Greater Los Angeles Area, the Inland Empire and down to San Diego. Southern California is a major economic center for the state of California and the United States.
Southern California's population encompasses eight metropolitan areas, or MSAs: the Los Angeles metropolitan area, consisting of Los Angeles and Orange counties; the Inland Empire, consisting of Riverside and San Bernardino counties; the San Diego metropolitan area; the Bakersfield metropolitan area; the Oxnard–Thousand Oaks–Ventura metropolitan area; the Santa Barbara metro area; the San Luis Obispo metropolitan area; and the El Centro area. Out of these, three are heavy populated areas: the Los Angeles area with over 12 million inhabitants, the Riverside-San Bernardino area with over 4 million inhabitants, and the San Diego area with over 3 million inhabitants. For CSA metropolitan purposes, the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura are all combined to make up the Greater Los Angeles Area with over 17.5 million people. With over 22 million people, southern California contains roughly 60% of California's population.