It’s over. The controversial system that finally pitted #1 vs. #2 gave college football a definitive national championship for the past 16 years. The BCS (Bowl Championship Series) has served its purpose. But it is time to evolve. Many will say that an 8-team Playoff is paradise, but for now an expanded 4-team playoff is in place with a $7.3 BILLION agreement over a 12-year period ($608M/year) that will make up the College Football Playoff (CFP).
How Will It Work?
-The CFP will be a rotating effort of 6 Bowls + a National Championship Game. The Title Game will be chosen in a bidding process, like the NCAA does with the Final Four. The 6 Bowls are: Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, Cotton, and Chick-fil-A. Each year 2 of the 6 Bowls will be Semi-Final Games. A city may host its annual bowl & championship game in the same year, but may not host a semi-final and championship game in the same season.
-There are two types of Bowls within the 6 that are involved in the playoff: Contract & Non-Contract Bowls.
-Contract Bowls have agreements with leagues: Rose (Big Ten #1 vs. Pac 12 #1), Sugar (SEC #1 vs. Big 12 #1), Orange (ACC #1 vs. SEC #2, Big Ten #2, or Notre Dame).
-Non-Contract Bowls are at-large for remaining non-champions from the ACC, Big XII, Big Ten, PAC, and SEC and also the Highest Ranked Conference Champion from the “Group of FIVE” conferences (AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC, and Sun Belt). Fiesta, Cotton, & Chick-fil-A.
-The highest ranked from the “Group of Five” will have a guaranteed spot, and the committee will select the remaining at-large schools based on their final rankings.
-The Big Ten & SEC Champion, if not selected for the playoff during years where the Sugar & Rose host the semifinal will NOT play in the Orange Bowl & will instead be up for the Cotton, Fiesta, or Chick-fil-A.
-The SEC & Big Ten are guaranteed at least 3 appearances during the non-playoff seasons, Notre Dame can appear just ONCE during that time.
-The Orange Bowl may elect to skip a regular season re-match between two ACC schools and select the next highest ranked team. The rejected school will be placed in one of the 3 at-large bowls.
The Selection Committee
-A Selection Committee comprised of 13 individuals will choose the top 4 teams, seed the top 4 teams & then will select the pairings in the remaining 4 bowl games as well. The committee will start turning over Members starting in February 2016 and new members will serve 3-year terms on the committee.
Each of the 5 “Power Leagues” (ACC, BIG, Big XII, PAC, and SEC) will have an athletic director on the selection committee. The remaining 8 selectors are:
–Lieutenant General Michael C. Gould: former Superintendent, player and coach at Air Force.
–Tom Jernstedt: former NCAA Executive VP was instrumental in creating the modern version of the NCAA Basketball Tournament & worked with Team USA Basketball until 2004…Jernstedt also played Football at Oregon.
–Archie Manning: Former Saints & Ole Miss QB, Founder of the Manning Passing Academy, & parent of two NFL QBs.
–Tom Osborne: Former Nebraska Head Coach & AD, 3 National Championships, 1990s Coach of the Decade, & CFB HOF’er.
–Condolezza Rice: Former U.S. Secretary of State, University of Denver Grad, MPS from Notre Dame, Ph.D PS from University of Denver, former Stanford Provost, and current Direcor of Global Center for Business & the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
–Mike Tranghese: Former Big East Conference Commissioner, most UofL fans are familiar with Tranghese.
–Steve Wieberg: Former USAToday journalist covering College Football for 30 years, Missouri Graduate, currently Writer/Editor for the Public Affairs Department of the Kansas City (MO) Public Library, USBWA HOF’er.
–Tyrone Willingham: Former Head Coach at Stanford, Notre Dame, & Washington, currently volunteer assistant coach for the Women’s Golf team at Stanford. Former Player & Graduate at Michigan State.
The committee will meet 3-5 times during the season and will release updated rankings after each session. Ballots of individual members will not be made public. Current ADs of member schools will leave the room while their representative is being discussed, but will remain while schools from the same conference are discussed.
The committee will be asked to consider strength of schedule, conference championships, head-to-head results, team records, weather, and injuries. The Polls (AP, Coaches, Harris, and Computers) will not be used to make the selections. The committee will rank 25 teams.
When seeded #1 will play #4 in a semifinal, and #2 vs. #3 in the other. The top 2 seeds will play their game in the most advantageous location based on the two semifinal locations in a given year.
There is no limit on teams represented by conference in the Top 4, however, the remaining bowls outside of the Playoff will be based on conference tie-ins.
The Official Selection will take place the Weekend of December 6-7, 2014.
How would it Have Looked In 2013?
Using 2013 as an example (with next season’s Bowl rotation)
Sugar: 1) Florida State (ACC Champ) v. 4) Michigan State (Big Ten Champ)
Rose: 2) Auburn (SEC Champ) v. 3) Alabama (at-large)
Orange: Ohio State v. Clemson (OR OREGON, would likely be a committee decision)
Cotton: South Carolina v. Oklahoma
Fiesta: Baylor (Big XII Champ) vs. Stanford (PAC 12 Champ)
Chick-Fil-A: UCF vs. Missouri