College Football Playoff: The Protocol
So, you want to know how the College Football Playoff process works? You want your questions answered? Here you go with the College Football Playoff protocol
Taken straight from the College Football Playoff, below is the protocol for how the whole thing works
– Bowl & College Football Playoff Selection Rules & Breakdown
1. Mission. The committee’s task will be to select the best teams, rank the teams for inclusion in the playoff and selected other bowl games and then assign the teams to sites.
2. Principles. 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.
3. Voting Process.
The voting process generally will include seven rounds of ballots through which the committee members first will select a small pool of teams to be evaluated, then will rank those teams, with the top-ranked teams being placed in the rankings in groups of three or four. Individual committee members’ rankings will be compiled into a composite ranking. Each committee member will independently evaluate an immense amount of information during the process. This evaluation will lead to individual qualitative and quantitative opinions that will inform each member’s votes.
4. Number of Teams to Be Ranked. The committee will rank 25 teams. If no champion of a non-contract conference is among that group on Selection Day, then the committee will compare the five conference champions against each other. The highest ranked of those five teams will be the representative.
5. Meeting Schedule. The committee will meet in person weekly beginning generally at mid-season to produce interim rankings before selection weekend.
The corresponding dates for the fall of 2016 will be as follows:
Monday and Tuesday, October 31-November 1
Monday and Tuesday, November 7-8
Monday and Tuesday, November 14-15
Monday and Tuesday, November 21-22
Monday and Tuesday, November 28-29
Friday-Sunday, December 2-4
6. Point Persons for Gathering Information. The committee has assigned two members to be the “point persons” to gather material about the teams in each conference and the independent teams. The process will assure that the committee fully reviews each team and that no information is overlooked. The point persons will ensure that (1) the committee has complete, detailed information about each team, and (2) the conferences and independent institutions have an effective and efficient channel for providing facts to the committee.
The committee wishes to be clear about the role of the point persons. They are not and will not be advocates for teams in any conference or for any independent institution. They will not speak on behalf of any conference or institution during the committee’s deliberations or represent any conference’s or independent institution’s interests during those deliberations. Their function is to gather information and ensure that it is available to the committee. Their role as a liaison to a particular conference or independent institution is purely for the purpose of objective fact-gathering.
The point persons will communicate with conference staff members on three information-gathering teleconferences during the regular season: one before the first ranking, one before the fourth ranking, and one the week before selection Sunday. During these teleconferences, the point persons will accept objective, factual information from a conference and may actively seek such information from a conference. They may take subjective viewpoints provided by a conference comparing the performance of one conference institution to another. They will ensure that all information provided by a conference is presented to the committee for its consideration. Outside of the three teleconferences, there will be no contact between the point persons and any conference staff member, or vice-versa, but the conference may relay information to the committee through the CFP
Following are the point persons for the 2016 season:
American – Barry Alvarez and Jeff Bower
Atlantic Coast – Condoleezza Rice and Rob Mullens
Big Ten – Jeff Long and Tyrone Willingham
Big 12 – Steve Wieberg and Barry Alvarez
Conference USA – Rob Mullens and Tom Jernstedt
Mid-American – Bobby Johnson and Condoleezza Rice
Mountain West – Tyrone Willingham and Herb Deromedi
Pac-12 – Tom Jernstedt and Bobby Johnson
Southeastern – Dan Radakovich and Steve Wieberg
Sun Belt – Jeff Bower and Dan Radakovich
Independents – Herb Deromedi and Jeff Long
7. Metrics. There will not be one single metric to assist the committee. Rather, the committee will consider a wide variety of data and information.
8. Participants. There shall be no limit on the number of teams that may participate from one conference in the playoff semifinals and the associated bowl games.
9. Pairings for Semifinals.
A. The team ranked No. 1 by the selection committee will play team No. 4 in the semifinals. Team No. 2 will meet team No. 3.
B. When assigning teams to sites, the committee will place the top two seeds at the most advantageous sites, weighing criteria such as convenience of travel for its fans, home-crowd advantage or disadvantage and general familiarity with the host city and its stadium. Preference will go to the No. 1 seed.
10. Pairings for Selected Other Bowl Games.
A. All displaced conference champions and the highest ranked champion from a non-contract conference, as ranked by the committee, will participate in selected other bowl games and will be assigned to those games by the committee. If berths in the selected other bowl games remain available after those teams have been identified, the highest ranked other teams, as ranked by the committee, will fill those berths in rank order.
(Note: A “displaced conference champion” is a champion of a contract conference that does not qualify for the playoff in a year when its contract bowl hosts a semifinal game.)
B. The committee shall create the best matchups in these bowl games in light of the following considerations. None of these considerations shall affect the ranking of teams. Also, none of these considerations will be controlling in determining the assignment of teams to available bowl games.
* The committee will use geography as a consideration in the pairing of teams and assigning them to available bowl games.
* The committee will attempt to avoid regular-season rematches when assigning teams to bowls.
* To benefit fans and student-athletes, the committee will attempt to avoid assigning a team, or conference, or the highest-ranked champion of a non-contract conference, to the same bowl game repeatedly.
* The committee will consider regular-season head-to-head results when assigning teams to bowls.
* The committee will consider conference championships when assigning teams to bowls.
11. Selection Sequence.
* Selection committee will rank teams 1-25.
* Selection committee will place teams in the playoff semifinals bowls.
* Contract bowls will fill their berths in accordance with their contracts.
* Selection committee will assign teams to remainder of the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowl berths.
12. Recusal Policy.
If a committee member or an immediate family member, e.g., spouse, sibling or child, (a) is compensated by a school, (b) provides professional services for a school, or (c) is on the coaching staff or administrative staff at a school or is a football student-athlete at a school, that member will be recused. Such compensation shall include not only direct employment, but also current paid consulting arrangements, deferred compensation (e.g., contract payments continuing after employment has ended) or other benefits.
The committee will have the option to add other recusals if special circumstances arise. A recused member shall not participate in any votes involving the team from which the individual is recused.
A recused member is permitted to answer only factual questions about the institution from which the member is recused, but shall not be present during any deliberations regarding that team’s selection or seeding.
Recused members shall not participate in discussions regarding the placement of the recused team into a bowl game.
Following are the recusals for the 2016 season:
Arkansas – Jeff Long
Central Michigan – Herb Deromedi
Clemson – Dan Radakovich
Duke – Tyrone Willingham
Oregon – Rob Mullens
Southern Mississippi – Jeff Bower
Stanford – Condoleezza Rice, Tyrone Willingham
Texas Tech – Kirby Hocutt
Wisconsin – Barry Alvarez
13. Terms. Generally, the members shall serve three-year terms. Until the rotation has been achieved, certain terms may be shorter or longer. Terms shall be staggered to allow for an eventual rotation of members. Members will not be eligible for re-appointment, but a member’s term may be extended one year if the member would serve as chair in what otherwise would be his/her final year.
Terms Expire February 2017
Terms Expire February 2018
Terms Expire February 2019
14. Committee Chair. The Management Committee selects the chair of the committee.