Confused About The Inaugural College Football Playoff?

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Confused About The Inaugural College Football Playoff?

The first ever College Football Playoff is finally here!  Shortly, football fans will know the 2014-15 Bowl Game invitees and which four teams are invited to the College Football Playoff. Which means the world will know what four teams, the only four teams, in college football that have a shot at the 2015 College Football National Championship. Click here for live college football odds.

But what exactly is the College Football Playoff?  How will the teams be decided? And how much weight will be given to the traditional factors such as strength of schedule?

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Confused About The College Football Playoff?

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The College Football Playoff Selection Committee

The Selection Committee will have one task and that’s to find the very best four college football teams for the College Football Playoff. The Committee is made up of thirteen professionals who have experience from at least one of five specific categories: 

  1. Coaches
  2. Student-athletes
  3. Administrators
  4. Journalists
  5. Sitting Directors of Athletics.

To ensure that there is no bias, members are not allowed to vote for a team if a) the school pays them or pays a family member, b) they provide professional services to the school, c) they are a coach, administrator or student-athlete at the school.

The Selection Committee’s criteria are somewhat general. The Committee does not have a set of rules by which it decides the Top 4 teams for the College Football Playoff. Instead, the Selection Committee chooses the Top 4 based on:  conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, comparative outcome of common opponents, and other relevant factors. The Selection Committee is not supposed to take into account the amount of points scored.

Although it has not been stated, the Selection Committee appears to be determined to have representation from the Five Power Conferences:  Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC and ACC. The Selection Committee also has a lot of leeway as to how much weight they assign to each one of the criteria. For example, TCU lost to Baylor 58 to 61, but TCU beat Texas 48 to 14 last week while Baylor had trouble beating Texas Tech, a team that TCU scored over 80 points on, by only 2 points, 48 to 46. TCU is ranked third in the latest College Football Playoff poll while Baylor is ranked sixth.

College Football Playoff Process

The Selection Committee will decide, based on their own Top 25 poll, which teams play in the New Year’s Day bowl games. The Top 4 will play two semi-final games in two of the New Year’s Day bowl games. The semi-final games will rotate among the following bowls:  the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Cotton Bowl and the Peach Bowl. This season, the two semi-final bowl games are the Rose and Sugar.

Once the winners of the two semi-final games are decided, a National Championship game will take place a week later at a pre-determined site. This year’s National Championship game will be on January 12 in North Texas.