With the BCS now a thing of the past, the 2014 season will be a little different with the introduction of the College Football Playoff. Though the 2014 season is seven months away, fans who are looking ahead may not be entirely clear on all the ins and outs of the new playoff system, so many of those questions were addressed on the official website of the College Football Playoff.
First, a Selection Committee will rank the top 25 teams in the FBS based on factors like win-loss record, strength of schedule and head-to-head results, among others, and then “select and seed the best four teams” to compete in the playoff.
The committee will also select the other bowl games and no conferences will have automatic bids into the playoff. The voting process will include ballots from committee members, who will each serve one three-year term. The ballots will “be compiled into a composite ranking,” and “will be made available to the public.” The committee will also publicize its rankings as the season progresses.
Beyond the top four, the committee will have its hands full when selecting teams to participate in specific bowls, especially with pre-existing bowl contracts still in effect.
All conferences negotiated individual bowl contracts for their champions. Five conferences have arranged contracts for their champions to play in New Year's bowl games -- Atlantic Coast (Orange), Big Ten (Rose), Big 12 (Sugar), Pac-12 (Rose), and Southeastern (Sugar).
The highest ranked champion of the other five Football Bowl Subdivision conferences (the American Athletic, Conference-USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt), as determined by the selection committee, will play in one of the six New Year's bowls. Other available berths will be awarded to the teams ranked highest by the committee. The committee will assign teams to bowls.
When the Fiesta, Cotton and Atlanta bowls are not hosting semifinal games, their participants will come from three sources: (1) The highest ranked champion among the five conferences listed in the paragraph above, (2) conference champions that are displaced when their contracted bowls host semifinals and (3) the remaining teams ranked highest in the committee's rankings.
The committee will assign teams to the non-playoff bowls to create the most compelling matchups, while considering other factors such as geographic proximity, avoiding rematches of regular-season games and avoiding rematches of recent years' bowl games.
Got all that? The rest of the FAQ's are definitely worth consulting to get all of the details on next season's system.
Some interesting scenarios can definitely play out that will lead to similar controversy seen with the BCS. The BCS certainly wasn’t perfect, and it remains to be seen whether the College Football Playoff system will be seen in a more positive light among teams, fans and the media.
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