College Football: Will We Ever See a BCS Champion Repeat?
The Auburn Tigers were this years BCS Champion, but almost no one is picking them to repeat next year.
In a sport where every game matters to the most extreme measure, no team has ever won the BCS National Championship in back-to-back seasons.
This could be because of the parity in college football, or it could be because of how difficult it is to be perfect two years in a row.
This slideshow features three reasons why a team will repeat at some point and three reasons why we wont see a repeat champion.
Feel free to comment below with your own reasons why we will or will not ever see a BCS champion win two titles in a row.
Why We Will: Every Other College Sport Has Repeated Champions
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Speaking at a strictly college athletics standpoint, in almost every collegiate sport there has been a champion who has repeated.
The second biggest revenue sport after college football is college basketball, and on both the men's and women's side we have seen a repeat champion in the past ten years.
The University of Connecticut women did it just last year, when they won the 2010 National Championship after winning the 2009 National Championship. This was actually their second time in the century to repeat, as they did it in 2002, 2003 and 2004 as well.
On the men's side we have the University of Florida, who won in 2006 and 2007.
For a more historic example, UCLA enjoyed a run from 1967-1973 when they won seven National Championships in a row.
Obviously there are differences between college basketball and college football, mainly the playoff system, but it seems as though if it has happened in a bunch of other college sports it is bound to happen in college football as well.
Why We Wont: Impossible To Be That Perfect
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The way the BCS is set up forces a team to be perfect every single week if they want to have a shot at the National Championship.
In no other sport is every regular season game as crucial to reaching the title game as it is in college football.
To ask twenty year old kids to be perfect for one year is a lot, but obviously one team does that every year.
To ask those kids to then be perfect for a second year in a row is nearly impossible.
There have been a lot of times when teams have been picked to repeat, but these teams have failed to duplicate the perfect season, and failed to defend their title.
Why We Will: The Rich Get Richer
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There is no salary cap in college football, and no trades or free agents either. For the most part teams are built by recruiting the top high school players in the country.
It is no coincidence that the best programs every year seem to land the best recruiting class the following year. It happens because in college football the rich get richer.
If you were the best recruit in the country why wouldn't you want to go play where you have the best chance of winning a National Championship.
Keeping this in mind it seems logical that some school will consistently bring in good enough recruiting classes to win back-to-back titles.
Why We Wont: Best Teams Play Each Other
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Another reason that it seems unlikely a team will ever repeat as champion is that the teams that win the National Championship play in the best conferences, and therefore have to play against the best teams.
For Auburn to repeat next year they will need to beat Alabama and LSU, who should be two of the top three teams in the nation come next fall.
In order to reach the National Championship a team must have quality wins. And in order to get quality wins they must play in one of the best conferences in the country.
It becomes incredibly difficult to repeat when you have a bulls-eye on your back every week and are playing the best competition week in and week out.
Why We Will: Dynastys In Other Sports
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In every sport, whether it be college or professional, there has been one team that has been able to dominate the sport over a span of years.
In an earlier slide the UCLA men's team and the University of Connecticut women's team were mentioned.
In baseball there is the New York Yankees, in basketball there was and still is the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. In hockey there was the Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders and in NASCAR there is Jimmie Johnson.
Every other sport has had a team that has rose above the rest of the pack to be champion for years in a row.
It seems as though college football is bound to have a dynasty of its own one day.
Why We Wont: Too Many Good Teams
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A lot of people think that the main reason there will never be a champion who is able to win two years in a row is because there are too many good teams in college football.
Conferences like the SEC and Big 12 usually have at least two or three contenders, the Big Ten throws in a few more and one from the Big East and ACC seem to emerge every year.
There are countless storied and top-dog college football programs, and because of this the chances of a team winning the National Championship are about 1/30. Then multiply that for back to back years and the chances of a team winning twice in a row is 1/900.
With 117 teams competing for the same goal, there are just too many teams for one team to be able to hold onto the title for more than a single year.
Verdict: Will Or Wont We?
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With all of the past slides in mind, the question of a repeat champion is a tough one to answer.
On one hand you could argue that there have been so many close calls. In the 2003-2004 season USC was awarded the AP National Championship, but did not participate in the BCS National Championship. They went on to win the BCS National Championship in the 2004-2005 season. They may be the closest team to repeat in the history of the BCS.
Another team that was close was Florida, who won in 2007 and in 2009.
On the other hand it is easy to understand why no team had won back-to-back. In the 12 years that the BCS has been around 10 different teams have won, with only two repeat winners.
My final opinion is that we will see a repeat champion one day, and not that far away. In a sports league that rewards teams for being good year after year (through recruiting and preseason ranking) it seems as though one team will break through and create their own little college football dynasty.
But then again, who knows how long the BCS will be around, maybe college football will go to a bracket system and this entire debate will be a non-issue.