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How CFB Playoff teams will be chosen still a question for all

College Football Playoff Announces The College Football Playoff Selection Committee - News Conference Getty Images

One of the big questions college football fans have about the new College Football Playoff is just how the selection committee will choose the top four teams in the country to compete for the national championship in the new four-team playoff model. That question will ultimately have to wait to be answered in December, but we now have a glimpse as to what those who drafted the criteria to be used had in mind.

The College Football Playoff released documents revealing how the CFB Management committee suggested the top four teams be selected. That committee is comprised of FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick. As expected, strength of schedule and overall competition is tops on the list.

“Strength of schedule, head-to-head competition and championships won must be specifically applied as tie-breakers between teams that look similar,” the document reads, according to USA Today. The sanctity of the regular season is preserved under the guidelines outlined by the management committee, which was always one of the goals of limiting the playoff model to just four teams. Winning a conference championship will carry some weight but the management committee did point out there should be flexibility to allow for a non-conference champion to compete in the four-team playoff. For example, it looks as though Alabama would have been strongly considered for a playoff spot if this model was used last season.

But what about the influence placed on national polls? What happens when one team is ranked behind another despite having defeated that higher-ranked team during the season? The management committee has two solutions to hopefully address that. First, all preseason polls will be ignored. Preseason polls have been criticized for years to various degrees, but the College Football Playoff selection committee has already taken care of that problem by developing a plan for its own poll, which will start in late October. This poll should take away much of the influence from any other national poll, like the Associated Press or coaches polls, but those will be hard to completely ignore for long. The management committee has stated that if any other poll is considered for anything by the selection committee, then that specific poll in question should be open and transparent.

It’s all about open transparency, right?

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16 Responses to “How CFB Playoff teams will be chosen still a question for all”
  1. manik56 says: Jun 20, 2014 1:11 PM

    Four of the top five conference champions is all I want to see.

  2. friarjack61 says: Jun 20, 2014 1:19 PM

    How OBJECTIVE will the decisions be made ?
    The fans will learn that in December.

  3. mydixienormus says: Jun 20, 2014 2:07 PM

    Isn’t Tyrone Willingham going to be on the selection committee?

    If so, I am very horrified!

  4. overratedgators says: Jun 20, 2014 2:34 PM

    I’m not trying to get into politics (and will dutifully ignore anyone who responds with a political rant), but as I watch Iraq spiral out of control and think back to just how many things the Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld / Rice team got horribly wrong, I suddenly find myself being a lot more concerned about having Condi Rice on the selection committee.

  5. huck222 says: Jun 20, 2014 2:37 PM

    Once I’ve seen a “non-conference champion” added to the mix… That means, the CFB committie will force feed the nation two SEC teams! They’ll over rank them to bulk up the SEC schedules to make sure they get two in…. It’s just a bunch of bullshit at the end of the day… If you can’t win your conference? You don’t deserve action at the National title…. Now if you make more playoff participants than conference champs, then that will make sense. They (powers that be) are always trying to build revenue through drama of television! Make it right while you have the chance.

  6. scbaby2013 says: Jun 20, 2014 3:09 PM

    Well said huck222

  7. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Jun 20, 2014 3:50 PM

    There are 5 power conferences champions plus a couple of independents who could be considered by the committee. Obviously, only four will be picked. I could conceive of a situation where a conference champion was not selected over a non-conference champ under these circumstances:
    1) A conference champion with more than 1 loss (e.g., Georgia drops two games, but wins the SEC east and then knocks off the SEC West Champ)
    2) Notre Dame, with their usual strength of schedule, has a phenomenal year.
    3) A team is the champ only because the strongest team in their conference is ineligible for post season play.

  8. stairwayto7 says: Jun 20, 2014 4:29 PM

    Will be 2 SEC teams, 1 Big Ten and 1 Pac 12…MARK IT DOWN!

  9. danoregon says: Jun 20, 2014 8:05 PM

    I don’t understand why they’re even putting out polls during the season. The criteria should be simple. It comes down to top four conference champs, with an at-large eligible if they have a proven superiority over one of the top four conference champs (i.e. they’ve beaten them).

  10. ancientcougar says: Jun 20, 2014 8:06 PM

    Come on; how fair can any committee be without a non-power conference representative on the committee. I personally believe the BCS computer got the rankings right. I think that computer should be utilized somehow.

  11. imaduffer says: Jun 20, 2014 8:21 PM

    Entertainment Sports Programming Network, that is all you need to know. Cha-ching !!!!

  12. huck222 says: Jun 20, 2014 9:37 PM


    Great point! If it’s not about the money? Bama should travel to Boise State, USC should head up to Fresno and face them Bulldogs, and some of them other Big name schools need to travel to the schools that don’t have huge stadiums and get it on! The playoff’s should be expanded to 16 teams with in the next 4 years and that way you’ll have 11 conference champs and 5 at-large berths. It’s that simple! Then you can sell us a Playoff package and have Bowl games during the week making a “Holiday College Football Bonanza”! Folks, if you love football then we would all be in football Heaven with NFL still on Sunday…. What do y’all think?

  13. fiverings37 says: Jun 21, 2014 8:19 AM

    winning your conference should be mandatory.

  14. dejadoh says: Jun 21, 2014 12:24 PM

    The NCAA should break down the conferences by region. Crown the champs of the SouthEast (SEC, ACC, Navy, Army), MidWest (BIGTEN, MAC, AAC, ND), PLAINS (BIG12, AAC, CUSA, SunBelt), West (Pac12, MWC, BYU). Then let them play off.

  15. ajarkoski says: Jun 22, 2014 11:38 AM

    this is normal andhealthy as it will show that the playoffs need to be expanded! 8, then 16 orother configurator\ions to allow byes.

  16. dustymeyers123 says: Jun 27, 2014 2:01 PM

    Does it really matter. ESPN will force two SEC schools in, no matter their record, and one ACC school. So if one school in the other conferences wants in, they will have to go undefeated. It pretty much will come down to that. ESPN owns the SEC and ACC, so they have to get a return on their investment.

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