College Football Playoff season is officially here. From here on out, the selection committee's 12 members will release a weekly top 25 on an ESPN channel every Tuesday night, after meeting to discuss the teams each Monday. Expect chairman Jeff Long, the Arkansas athletic director, to represent the committee on camera each week and answer a few questions about tougher decisions.
A final show on December 7 will announce the four teams selected for the Playoff's semifinal games, the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, and the eight teams that make the rest of the so-called New Year's Six bowls, the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, and Peach.
Here's the TV info and schedule for the season's broadcasts. The shows are also available online and can be streamed at WatchESPN. SBNation.com's college football hub will also post the rankings in full as soon as they're announced, with analysis to follow.
|Date||Time (ET)||TV channel|
|Tues, Oct. 28||7:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Tues, Nov. 4||7:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Tues, Nov. 11||7:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Tues, Nov. 18||7 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Tues, Nov. 25||7 p.m.||ESPN|
|Tues, Dec. 2||7 p.m.||ESPN|
So, what else do we know and not know about how the committee works?
We don't know if the committee show will also release an updated look at the Playoff picture each week, since the New Year's bowls have complicated stipulations*. (But we know that we at SB Nation will!)
College Football Playoff
* The Orange Bowl will take the top-ranked non-Playoff team from the ACC and the top-ranked non-Playoff team from among the Big Ten, SEC, and Notre Dame; at least one New Year's bowl must include a champion of a non-power conference; and conferences whose champions would go to the Rose (Big Ten and Pac-12) and Sugar (Big 12 and SEC) are guaranteed one New Year's spot each, if they don't make the Playoff. Also, the committee will give extra weight to conference championships, which obviously won't be a factor until the final set of rankings.
As for how it produces those rankings, we know the real committee will be avoiding quality stats, much like the BCS. We know, based on recent history, that the top three teams will likely be fairly obvious, with only the fourth stirring controversy. We know that the committee will take efforts to avoid conflicts of interest; many of the committee members have current or former financial ties to schools or conference that will be involved in the discussion, and those committee members will have to recuse themselves from discussing those teams.
The main takeaway from what we know so far about the selection committee's process? We don't know much at all.