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About the Rankings

Calendar

  • October 28 – 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN (First set of rankings released)
  • November 4 – 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN
  • November 11 – 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN
  • November 18 – 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2
  • November 25 – 6 p.m. CT on ESPN
  • December 2 – 6 p.m. CT on ESPN
  • December 7 – 11:45 a.m. CT on ESPN (Selection Sunday and Playoff Semifinal teams announced)

Sunday, December 7

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will announce the Playoff Semifinal pairings and semifinal bowl assignments live on ESPN at 11:45 a.m. CT. At 1:45 p.m. CT, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee will announce the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowl pairings, as well as the final top 25 rankings. At this time, the Orange Bowl pairing will also be announced.

About the Rankings

Frequency of Rankings

The Selection Committee members will meet weekly, in person, on Mondays and Tuesdays to produce rankings. The committee will issue its first rankings Tuesday, October 28, after the completion of the ninth week of the regular season.  The committee’s rankings will be announced on ESPN each Tuesday evening beginning October 28 and continuing for the next five weeks.

Data

Selection Committee members will have a wealth of information including review of video, statistics and their own expertise to guide them in their deliberations. They will emphasize obvious factors like win-loss records, strength of schedule, conference championships won, head-to-head results and results against common opponents. The playoff group has retained SportSource Analytics to provide the data platform for the committee’s use. While the details of the platform have not been finalized, it is anticipated that it will include countless pieces of statistical information for every Football Bowl Subdivision team. It will also include general information such as each team’s opponents’ record and opponents’ opponents’ records. The platform will allow the committee members to compare and contrast every team on every level possible.

It should be noted that the committee will not use a single data point such as the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) that is used for NCAA championships.

Voting Procedures

The committee will rank the top 25 teams in the country and assign teams to the semifinals and to the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls in years when they are not hosting semifinal games. The full voting protocol is attached to this release, but in summary the committee will identify small groups of teams that will then be evaluated against each other in a detailed and deliberative manner. The committee will then vote the teams into the rankings in a combined selection-and-seeding process.

College Football Playoff Selection Committee

Voting Protocol

  1. Each committee member will create a list of the 25 teams he or she believes to be the best in the country, in no particular order. Teams listed by three or more members will remain under consideration.
  2. Each member will list the best six teams, in no particular order. The six teams receiving the most votes will comprise the pool for the first seeding ballot.
  3. In the first seeding ballot, each member will rank those six teams, one through six, with one being the best. The three teams receiving the fewest points will become the top three seeds. The three teams that were not seeded will be held over for the next seeding ballot.
  4. Each member will list the six best remaining teams, in no particular order. The three teams receiving the most votes will be added to the three teams held over to comprise the next seeding ballot.
  5. Steps No. 3 and 4 will be repeated until 25 teams have been seeded.

Notes

  1. Any “recused” member can participate in Step No. 1, but cannot list the team for which he or she is recused. “Recused” teams (i.e., teams for whom a member has been recused) receiving at least three votes in Step No. 1 will remain under consideration.
  2. A recused member can participate in Step No. 2, but cannot list the recused team. If a recused team is within one vote of advancing to the pool, that team will be pooled with the team (or teams) receiving the fewest votes. A “tie-breaker” ranking vote will be conducted among those teams to identify the team or teams that would be added to the pool.
  3. A recused member cannot participate in Step No. 3 if the recused team is in the pool.
  4. Between each step, the committee members will conduct a thorough evaluation of the teams before conducting the vote.
  5. After the rankings are completed, any group of three or more teams can be reconsidered if more than three members vote to do so. Step No. 3 would be repeated to determine if adjustments should be made.
  6. After the first nine teams are seeded, the number of teams for Steps No. 2, 3 and 4 will be increased to eight and four, respectively.
  7. At any time in the process, the number of teams to be included in a pool may be increased or decreased with approval of more than eight members of the committee.
  8. All votes will be by secret ballot.