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The Journal of SPORT

Abstract

The Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) continues to grow in popularity. However, the current system of selecting teams to play for the national championship remains a much-debated and controversial issue. The thoughts of university presidents, athletic directors, football coaches, and even United States congressmen regarding the current Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system are numerous and well-documented. However, the opinion of the actual participating student-athlete is generally absent within the popular and scholarly discussion. The purpose of this study was to investigate the views of active Division I FBS student-athletes regarding the BCS and post-season play through a forced-choice certainty survey. Specifically, a forced-choice certainty method survey approach was used to explore both the directional and certainty judgment of 79 football student-athletes in order to compare points of interest (i.e., BCS v. Playoff Alternatives). Statistical results from the study showed participants questioned the fundamental fairness of the current BCS system and generally would prefer a playoff system because the current BCS system does not produce a ―true‖ champion in their opinion. Finally, this study importantly offers a serious attempt to begin collecting information on this topic from an understudied group important in college football.

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