NCAA Football

NCAA Football Playoff Criteria

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NCAA Football Playoff Criteria

Championship Trophy
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

For college football fans, the eagerly awaited and highly anticipated college football playoff format has begun to take shape. Out will be the much maligned BCS format of choosing the National Champion, and in will be a four-team playoff arrangement. The NCAA has already established their selection committee of 13 individuals who will work together to select the four teams that will be participating in the playoffs.

Was the easiest step the first? Most likely it was. How hard could it be to find 13 individuals who love college football and would like to have their voice heard regarding who should play for a national championship? Yes, there have been some criticism over some of the individuals selected to contribute to the committee, but fortunately, it can be assumed a thick skin was one of the prerequisites for the job. Finding people to serve on this committee could not be that hard; a line of people wishing just to meet some of the individuals on the committee could stretch several football fields in distance itself.

The Committee may be expanded in the future, because this committee does seem to be lacking in two critical areas. The committee could use some more youth on their panel as well as an analytical specialist. The committee could use a statistical genius to contribute to their selection process as well.

What else should the committee consider when choosing the teams to participate? Here are a few ideas that may be debatable for the committee.

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Injury

Johnny Manziel
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Should a team be left on the outs because of the loss of a key contributor to their team? In College Basketball, a team may miss the tournament in this situation.

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Popularity

Texas
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How will the selection committee feel about the most popular teams in the nation over some of the less popular programs? Will a Boise State team be overlooked in favor of Texas or Ohio State because of their popularity?

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Image

USC
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Will the selection committee find any way they can to exclude teams who are recently coming off a probationary period? Will it help the image of the NCAA to keep these teams out of the playoffs if at all possible?

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Fan Base

Ohio State
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

There are some teams with a fan base who travel very well. There is also research that shows certain fan bases tend to spend more money when they follow their teams to bowl games. Are these potentially contributing criteria for the selection committee?

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Big Story

Tajh Boyd
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Will a team with an individual or situation that has dominated the news be more likely to have their ticket stamped for entrance into the playoffs? For example, people love to watch Johnny Manziel play. Some are watching to cheer against him, while others are watching to cheer for him; either way, there is always a story when he is on the field.

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Exit on a High Note

Nebraska
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Osborne led his Nebraska Cornhuskers to a National Championship over Phillip Fulmer and the Tennessee Volunteers in his final game as a coach. Will the selection committee favor a team with nostalgic memories of a retiring coach or a team that endured a tragedy during the season?

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Streaking Teams

Alabama
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

If a team drops its final game of the season and has no Conference Championship game to participate in, are they eliminated from the playoffs? Also, if a team lost their first three games but has been on a major winning streak since then, will they gain a spot in the playoffs over a team with fewer losses?