College Football Playoff glossary

The College Football Playoff galvanized college football fans from coast to coast way before the games were actually played.

That's because selection committee chairman Jeff Long made the weekly rankings announcement must-see TV from Week 7 through the end of the season. It isn't every day a new lexicon is introduced into the American language.

Seriously, did you know "eye test" could be used as a college football term? You do now, and we have Long to thank.

That was only one of the gems he trotted out as a way to explain what appeared to be inexplicable at times. So now that we're going into Year 2 with a College Football Playoff committee, we thought it would be beneficial to provide a little "cheat sheet" for getting through the rankings announcements.

That way you really know what Long means when he says your favorite team looks like eye candy ... I mean, passes the eye test.

The first rankings are set for Nov. 3! Do not disappoint us, Jeff Long!


Commonly thought to be strength of schedule, but really means "Souuthehnness of schedule."

Example: Mississippi State played such a strong SOS with wins over LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn and Kentucky, it vaulted to No. 1 in the first selection committee rankings.

Eye test

You know the eye in the middle of LSU's field? If you've played on that eye, you get moved up in the rankings four spots.

Example: Mississippi State, above.

Game control

Modern twist on outdated "margin of victory" (that's sooooo BCS!). Refers to the state of being up by 20 or more points at all times, in all games.

Example: Even though Florida State won 13 games, the Seminoles' game control was atrocious, so some of those wins really counted as losses.

Body of work

Translation: schedule with a championship game.

Example: TCU lost only one game by three points, but its body of work is nothing compared to Big Ten title game winner Ohio State! (Wait, Ohio State lost by 14 at home to a mediocre ACC outfit? That was clearly before body of work was completed!)

Clean slate

The art of pretending to start over with the evaluations every single week.

Example: Florida State fails the eye test, has no game control, is lacking SOS, and has a body of work that's marginal at best. But to answer the question, of course the Seminoles got a clean slate each week!


Translation: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Example: Wait, Baylor beat TCU head-to-head? What exactly do you mean by head-to-head? We don't follow.