Next week the 2014 Regular NCAA Football season gets underway on Thursday, August 28th. That means it’s time we take a look at the new College Football Playoff system, including the committee participants and the controversy.
An awaited playoff system is here finally, and some seem to think it does not include enough teams. However, it’s a benchmark as it is the first ever tournament/playoff to determine a college football champion at its top level.
So let’s start with the basics, with the no nonsense name, the College Football Playoff that is a four team playoff that incorporated some six major bowls that will take turns hosting the semifinals game close to New Years Day.
This coming 1st of January 2014 the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will be the hosts for the semifinals with the Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl hosting in 2015-16, then the Fiesta and the Peach Bowl host the games in the season of 2016-17!
The committee members we mentioned early will select the semi-finalist with their 13 committee members and select the 1-4 seeds. They will select the No. 1 team to play the No. 4 team and the No. 2 team to play the No. 3 team. The No. 1 seed will play in the bowl game nearest their fan base and will not permit the No. 4 team to enjoy home field advantage. Then the winners of these two semi-final games will play for the National Championship.
This same committee will decide on the site for the Title game via a bid process similar to what they use for the Super Bowl. The 2014-15 Title game will be played at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on the 12 of January 2014. The 2015-16 title game at Glendale, Arizona and the 2016-2017 game will be in Tampa, Florida.
Apart from the teams from bowl games that qualify for the semi-finals there will be some 72 college teams that play in 36 different bowl games, thus meaning that in total 76 teams of the 128 FBS teams will play in postseason bowl games.
Then I’m sure you will ask who’s on the committee? The 13 members consist if coaches and dignitaries with Arkansas AD Barry Alvarez the Chairman of the selection committee. The committee does not permit conference commissioners, coaches or media members, especially those that are paid by a school or maintain a relationship, professionally with participating colleges.
The playoff game fields are selected based on broad criteria that include conference winners, schedule strength, statistics that include win-loss records and head to head stats.
It is the intention of the committee to meet during the season and weekly release a Top 25 beginning this season on October 28th, 2014. The committee’s protocol for selecting the Top 25 is very different from the traditional top 25 rankings. Through this process the committee will pick the four playoff teams and the teams will be announced on the Tuesday after the conference championships have been determined.
The committee has not set a limit on the number of teams from one conference that can be invited, and they have said that conference champions will not receive an automatic playoff berth. The best four teams will be select by only the committee.
Has the Controversy ended? Not a chance -- many think they should allow all major conferences to be in the playoffs, plus they would like to see some at-large teams involved in the playoffs!