* A good half of College Football programs are de facto ineligible for the BCS Championship game before a single down is played. "Mid-Major" teams (those not in the oldest and largest conferences) cannot ascend high enough in the computer poll rankings because the teams they play are not good enough to satisfy the strength of schedule requirement. They cannot play elite teams because they must schedule the games years in advance, before the Mid-Major knows if their team will be any good that season. And then when they ''do'' play those elite teams ''and win'', it almost always occurs at the beginning of the season, which poll voters have forgotten by the time they are ready to pick the Championship pairing. Utah, Hawaii, and Boise State have all gone undefeated in recent years without a realistic chance of playing for a National Title. The disparity has gotten so bad that it has spawned congressional hearings to investigate it. Whether this is UnwinnableByMistake or UnwinnableByDesign (keeping the big $ in the BCS) is a matter of intense debate.
** The "By Design" theory got stronger in 2010: The first official BCS poll (the top two in the poll at the end of the season played for the championship) came out in late October. The top team was... Oklahoma, who was #3 in both human-voted polls. Oregon was #2 (1 in the human polls), Boise St. was #3 (#2). When Oklahoma lost the following week, that week's new BCS #1 was... Auburn - again, ranked #3 in the human polls.
* Somewhat applies for College Basketball (men's and women's) as well. The major schools are able to recruit the best high school players, thus colleges named after states (or "X State") fill the annual March Madness tournament year after year (oh, and Duke). But sometimes colleges get lucky and pull off the inexplicable upset in the tournament, thwarting the conventional wisdom. But if your college finishes with a regular-season record barely above .500 and wins your conference tournament by surprise, expect a free trip to a random arena to lose by at least 10 points.
** Only a partial example. Some relatively mediocre teams do get quite a number of the better high school players. However, these players rarely spend the same amount of time or effort training as the players at the better known schools. It is common in more academically prestigious schools that some of their players will do the absolute bare minimum to keep their scholarship, but otherwise focus on academics. Generally speaking, players that focus primarily on sports pick their college based on which of the schools they are accepted to has the best record.
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