Since its inception in 1999, the BCS National Championship Game has featured the top two teams the Bowl Championship Series standings. Those standings are compiled by averaging the USA TODAY Coaches' Poll, the Harris Interactive Poll and the average of six different computer rankings.

At its start, the BCS National Championship Game was rotated among the four BCS bowl games (Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta). However, starting in 2007, the game became a bowl unto itself.

While there has always been some controversy surrounding the BCS, likely the most controversial came after the 2003 season, when Oklahoma, ranked third in the Associated Press poll, was chosen to play in the national championship game over the top-ranked team in the AP poll, USC. Adding fuel to that fire was the fact that Oklahoma had lost to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game.

That 2003 season saw split national champions, as LSU won the BCS title, while USC was crowned champion by the AP.

The 2013 season is the final season under which the national champion will be selected this way. Beginning in 2014, the champion will be crowned via a four-team playoff.

Memorable moments

• In 1999, Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin threw what is still the longest touchdown pass in BCS history, a 79-yard strike to Peerless Price as the Volunteers won the first BCS title 23-16 against Florida State.

• The 2005 game saw USC's Matt Leinart throw for five touchdowns as USC beat Oklahoma 55-19.

• In 2006, Texas quarterback Vince Young put on a show, throwing for 267 yards and running for 200 more as the Longhorns edged USC 41-38.

• Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr. completed the longest kickoff return in BCS history in 2007, taking it 93 yards to the end zone. However, it was for naught, as the Buckeyes fell to Florida 41-14.

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
YEARWINNERSCORELOSERSCORE
1999Tennessee23Florida State16
2000Florida State46Virginia Tech29
2001Oklahoma13Florida State2
2002Miami (Fla.)37Nebraska14
2003Ohio State31Miami (Fla,)24
2004LSU21Oklahoma14
2005*USC55Oklahoma19
2006Texas41USC38
2007Florida41Ohio State14
2008LSU38Ohio State24
2009Florida24Oklahoma14
2010Alabama37Texas21
2011Auburn22Oregon19
2012Alabama21LSU0
2013Alabama42Notre Dame14
* -- USC vacated its 2005 championship.