CFP 101: How will the College Football Playoff committee judge teams?


Now that the College Football Playoff committee has finished their edition of a “preseason”, everything’s now been finalized for the inaugural season of college football’s first real postseason. We all know that there will four-team playoff at the end of the year, but how exactly will it all work?

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Let’s first take a look at the most important aspect of it all — how will the committee judge these teams? Gone are the simply practices of using computers for a third of the formula and human eyes for the other two-thirds. Now, it will entirely be judged with human eyes without the use of any formulas.

Here’s what will be looked at according to the CFP protocol press release:

"The committee will select the teams using a process that distinguishes among otherwise comparable teams by considering: — Conference championships won,— Strength of schedule,— Head-to-head competition,— Comparative outcomes of common opponents (without incenting margin of victory), and,— Other relevant factors such as key injuries that may have affected a team’s performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance."

There’s a couple of reasons why the Big 12 should be afraid of this. You would think their mission of producing “One True Champion” would boost up the SOS overall, but that’s not necessarily true. Iowa State may have the seventh toughest schedule in the nation, but according to all the 2014 SOS numbers using the NCAA method, the SEC has four teams (Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas A&M) in the top 10 — and they’re all ahead of the Cyclones.

The question will be how much the committee would factor in the Big 12 champion after a nine-game round robin versus an actual conference championship winner. Essentially, the conference has to play a lot better overall in the opening weeks than it did a season ago. We’re not expecting West Virginia to beat Alabama, but we’re saying at least make it a fight.

Either way, this set up will really favor SEC schools whether we like it or not, but we all are assuming that at least two teams from their conference will be in this every year, right?