College Football Playoff (yawn) gives procedures for selection process

College Football Playoff (yawn) gives procedures for selection process
College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Sixteen seasons of the complicated, convoluted and some-would-say catastrophic Bowl Championship Series have been replaced by a new streamlined system to settle college football’s national championship.

And least that's what I thought until Wednesday.


Details on how the 13-person selection committee will choose four playoff teams starting next year were released this week by the BCS replacement company: College Football Playoff.

The sub-headline on the news release alone was enough to cure insomnia: "Frequency of Rankings, Voting Procedures, Recusal Policy and Other Information on Selection Committee Operations Provided."

It makes the Affordable Care Act read like a spy thriller.

Years ago, I followed former Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne on the campaign trail when he was running for United States Congress.

At the end of a long day, Osborne spoke at a soybean factory in his hometown of Hastings, Neb.

And I thought that was mind numbing...

"The information released today will help fans, the media and others in the college football community better understand how the committee will conduct its deliberations," College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock promised in the news release.

The detail that went into this Bill of Playoff Rights was intended to prove just how seriously the committee is taking the responsibility of choosing the playoff teams.

You'd think it wouldn't be that hard for 13 people to pick four teams, but detail is important when you anticipate holy hell breaking loose between team No. 4 and No. 5.

That's why the disclaimers and policies look like the fine print on the back of a medicine bottle.

Let's stick to the basics: The easy part is that the committee will release a weekly top 25 starting Oct. 28 and ending Dec. 2.

There were inside people opposed to this but the alternative was not giving any advance warning before the final release on Dec. 7.

Here's a switch: The rankings will come out on Tuesday, not Sunday.

More bullet points:


Data: Committee members will use video, statistics and "their own expertise to guide them in their deliberations."

Voting Procedures: The committee will rank the top 25 and assign teams to the semifinals and to the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls in years when they are not hosting semifinal games.

Recusal Policy: Members will be recused from participating in votes involving a school’s team if “they or an immediate family member receives compensation from the school or has a professional relationship with that school.” (Translation: USC Athletic Director Pat Haden, who is on the committee, can’t vote the Trojans No. 4 ahead of UCLA, which is not represented on the panel.)

The recusal policy is the same one used by the NCAA men’s basketball selection committee.

For a complete understanding of the rules, try the Q&A primer provided by ESPN, which is underwriting the new system. Or this one provided by USA Today.

Then feel free to slip into a temporary coma.

"The committee's mission is to select the best teams, rank the top 25 teams for inclusion in the playoff and selected other bowl games, and then assigns the teams to sites," the news release states.

Good luck with that.