The BCS National Championship Game, or BCS National Championship, was a postseason college football bowl game, used to determine a national champion of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), first played in the 1998 college football season as one of four designated bowl games, and beginning in the 2006 season as a standalone event rotated among the host sites of the aforementioned bowls.
The game was organized by a group known as the Bowl Championship Series, consisting of the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Orange Bowl, which sought to match the two highest-ranked teams in a championship game to determine the best team in the country at the end of the season. The participating teams were determined by averaging the results of the final weekly Coaches' Poll, the Harris Poll of media, former players and coaches, and the average of six computer rankings. The Coaches' Poll was contractually required to name the winner of the game as its No. 1 team on the final postseason ranking; hence, the AFCA National Championship Trophy was presented to the winning team during a post-game ceremony.
The methodologies of the BCS system and its selections proved to be controversial. Although in most years the winner of the BCS National Championship would also be designated as the national champion by other organizations and polls (such as the Associated Press poll), the 2003 season was a major exception, as the BCS rankings chose the AP's No. 3-ranked team, the University of Oklahoma, over the No. 1-ranked team in that poll, the University of Southern California, to participate in the national title game (the Sugar Bowl) despite Oklahoma's loss to Kansas State University in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game. That was the only season during the BCS era when the national championship was split, with Louisiana State University winning the BCS national championship and the University of Southern California winning the AP national championship, plus the football writers' national championship.
The BCS National Championship Game was played for the final time in 2013 after the same organizing group established a new system, the College Football Playoff, a four-team single elimination tournament, as the successor to the BCS.

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