1) What I already know (and don’t know) about my topic
I know that Division IA football is the only sport that doesn’t hold playoffs to determine a champion. I have always been curious to why this is though. I grew up in a household where football was a big deal and have been intrigued by the controversy stirred up about the Bowl system in place. Sometimes I watch the National Title Game and wonder how the teams are chosen. I never really knew how the system worked. I just knew that a panel or committee chose certain teams based on rankings and conferences to determine which game they would play in.
For years I have seen teams go undefeated but not win a national championship. Some of these teams include: 1994 Penn State, 1998 Tulane, 1999 Marshall, 2004 and 2008 Utah, 2004 Auburn, 2006 and 2009 Boise State, and 2010 TCU. Typically if a team has no losses in other sports they are named the champion, but all of these teams failed to be named the National Champions. This is what baffles me and has sparked my interest in this subject. Its like Kanye West taking the mic from Taylor Swift at the MTV music awards. Oh nice season and I’ma let you finish, but Alabama had the best season all time!
After watching college football games through the course of my lifetime I have seen many teams have great seasons, but not make it into the National Title Game. I have always been curious why a committee or a computer had the final say in who the top two teams in the country were in a given year. This doesn’t make much sense because even a playoff model is used in the National Football League (NFL). By researching my topic I hope to shed light upon this question and provide research to show why Division IA doesn’t host a playoff system.
2) Why I want to answer this question or understand this topic.
For many years I have watched the bowl games that are held in December through January. I have never understood the history behind this system and why it is in place. I want to know why there isn’t a playoff system in place like in the other divisions of college football. This topic will require extensive research, but I hope to gain knowledge on why Division IA football is different from the other divisions. I know many other people have the same question I do and hopefully I will be able to explain my findings to my peers.
3) Story of the search
I sat down at my computer and pondered where to start my search. So like every college student the first page I had opened on my Macbook was Google. After searching the history of college football it brought up numerous sites that contained the information I sought. The first website I visited was the official NCAA website.
Then I clicked on the history tab and found out that the first bowl game was in 1902 between Michigan and Stanford. It was a decisive victory for Michigan 49-0, but it wasn’t until 1916 that the game coined “The Rose Bowl” became an annual competition. The idea of bowls came...