A majority of college football fans may not realize this, but there was a Division 1 college football champion other than Auburn crowned on the field a couple of weeks ago. This champion actually earned the title in a playoff tournament. On January 8 in San Francisco, Texas Eastern Washington defeated Delaware to win the FCS Division championship.
There was no room for debate as to whether another team that was left out of the championship game (TCU anyone?) truly deserved to be called champion. In the FBS Division, 16 teams are named each year to participate in the playoffs, and a true champion is determined on the playing field, just as in NCAA Divisions 2 and 3 and in the NAIA Divisions 1 and 2.
For many fans, it is difficult to figure out a rational reason why all other championships in all other sports, including football, are determined by playoffs and yet the FCS championship is subject to the vagaries of human opinion and computer programs. Roland S. Martin wrote an excellent piece on this recently at CNN.com.
Greg Tyler, MPA, JD, MLIS
Mr. Tyler is the Director of the Library/Archivist at the United States Sports Academy. He is also a former practicing attorney.