IRVING, Texas -- Questions and answers about the College Football Playoff selection committee’s recusal plan and rankings schedule for the 2014 season.
Q: Who makes up the 13-person selection committee?
A: Chairman Jeff Long (Arkansas athletic director), Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin AD), Mike Gould (former Air Force superintendent), Pat Haden (USC AD), Tom Jernstedt (former NCAA executive vice president), Oliver Luck (West Virginia AD), Archie Manning (former Ole Miss quarterback), Tom Osborne (former Nebraska AD/coach), Dan Radakovich (Clemson AD), Condoleezza Rice (former Stanford provost and U.S. Secretary of State), Mike Tranghese (former Big East commissioner), Steve Wieberg (former USA Today college football reporter) and Ty Willingham (former coach at Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington).
Q: What is the recusal policy?
A: Committee members will be prohibited 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. The committee will have the option to add other recusals if special circumstances arise.
Q: So what individuals will not be allowed to vote for which schools?
A: Those were not officially released Wednesday, but we know at least these members can’t vote for these schools: Alvarez (Wisconsin), Haden (USC), Long (Arkansas), Luck (West Virginia), Radakovich (Clemson) and Rice (Stanford). The recusal policy is virtually identical to the NCAA men’s basketball selection committee policy. At a later date, the CFB Playoff will publicly release which schools each individual may not vote for or discuss.
Q: Will individuals be allowed to vote for schools at which they were previously employed?
A: Yes. So Osborne can vote for Nebraska, Tranghese can vote for former Big East schools, Manning for Ole Miss, Willingham can vote for Notre Dame, Washington or Stanford, etc. Individuals can also vote for their alma mater, as long as they are not receiving compensation from that school.
Q: What will the selection committee actually do?
A: They will rank the top 25 teams, assign teams to the semifinals and to the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach bowls in years when those bowls are not hosting semifinal games. It’s not as simple as each person ranking the top 25 teams and then combining all 13 ballots to get their cumulative Top 25 rankings. It’s much, much more complicated.
Q: How will the voting be done?
A: It’s a five-step process: (1) Each committee member will list their top 25 teams, in no particular order. Teams listed by three or more members will remain under consideration; (2) each member will list their top 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. Three teams receiving the fewest points will become the top three seeds. The three teams 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. All votes will be by secret ballot.
Q: What information will the committee members consider when voting?
A: "I think you’re going to get 13 different views," said Long, the committee chairman. The members will emphasize win-loss records, strength of schedule, conference championships won, head-to-head results and results against common opponents.
Q: When will the rankings be revealed?
A: Each Tuesday, starting Oct. 28. All rankings will be televised exclusively on ESPN. The Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and Nov. 11 rankings will be at 7:30 p.m. ET; the Nov. 18, Nov. 25 and Dec. 2 rankings will be at 7 p.m. The final ranking will be revealed Sunday, Dec. 7, on ESPN at a time to be determined.
Q: How will the seeding committee determine which teams play in which semifinal?
A: In theory, priority will be given to placing the No. 1 seed in the bowl geographically closest to its campus. For instance, if Florida State is No. 1, it would play in the semifinal at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, which would send the No. 2 team to the Rose Bowl.
Q: What is this season’s College Football Playoff schedule?
A: The semifinals will be held at the Rose and Sugar bowls on Jan. 1, 2015. The championship is Jan. 12, 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Orange Bowl, which will pit an ACC team against a team from either the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame, will be Dec. 31. The Fiesta (Dec. 31), Peach (Dec. 31) and Cotton (Jan. 1) will feature the next highest-ranked teams and the highest-ranked champion from the Group of Five conferences (American Athletic Conference, C-USA, MAC, MWC or Sun Belt). This season, the selection committee will determine the matchups for every bowl except the Orange Bowl.