College Football Playoff committee makes ruling on game requirement for eligibility
The effects of COVID-19 have rippled through the sports world, with leagues across the country having to make adjustments to schedules and games on the fly.
But plans for postseasons are being discussed as well.
While the College Football Playoff committee has announced that there will be no changes to the playoff format for this season, there are some changes in terms of criteria for evaluating teams.
The committee released a statement on Sunday.
“There is no minimum game requirement to be eligible for the College Football Playoff,” the committee announced. “The selection committee’s job is to select the top four teams beginning November 24 and continuing through the final rankings December 20. The number of games and wins by each team is certainly important in weighing its ranking, but it is not the only factor.
There are conferences like the B1G who require a minimum number of games to compete in their championships (six games), the CFP’s non-requirement for a minimum number of games could potentially set up a 7-0 conference champion in the playoff.
Should Ohio State, who are 4-0 and have three regular season games remaining, finish their season undefeated and win the B1G Title game, they could end the season at 8-0. Comparatively, Notre Dame, with their three games left on the schedule, could finish 12-0 before the final rankings are released.
Both teams would be weighed equally in terms of criteria for the playoff, and the Buckeyes would not be penalized for the fewer games on their completed schedule.
Over in the Pac-12, the eventual conference champion is likely to have only six games on their regular season record, as the league was hit hard by COVID-19 issues. The league’s top team, USC sits at 3-0, and with winning out their schedule could only finish 7-0, if they manage to play, and win, all their games.
However, the committee said the conferences are not ranked, the teams are ranked.
“The committee ranks teams, not conferences,” the committee said. “The more games played, the more chances a team has to prove itself to the committee. If the committee feels the 7-1 team has more quality wins despite one loss, it will factor that into its rankings. If it feels the 3-0 team’s undefeated start is more impressive, it will factor that into its rankings. The protocol and the 13 members will continue to assess the teams and use what they have seen on the field week after week to rank the top twenty-five teams.”
The first College Football Playoff rankings of the season are scheduled to be revealed on Tuesday, Nov. 14.