College football is ditching the computers and formulas in favor of picking the best team this season when it comes to postseason football.
After 16 seasons and 72 total games, the Bowl Championship Series has been replaced with the long-awaited College Football Playoffs.
Executive Director of the College Football Playoff Bill Hancock took to the podium Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas to discuss the new format and the scenarios that can play out in the next several years.
The new system will pit the “best four teams” in college football in two semifinal games before deciding a National Champion in a final matchup — this season at AT&T; Stadium in Dallas.
“The committee will choose the best four teams, period,” Hancock said. “When teams look equal, there are four broad criteria they use: strength of schedule, head‑to‑head results, results against common opponents and whether the team won the conference championship. “We feel like this gives us the best of both worlds. It preserves the regular season, and ours is the best in sports.
Hancock said the new system will provide the best head-to-head matchups and the biggest stage for college football, including back-to-back triple headers on New Years Eve and New Years Day.
“As you can see, these are terrific match ups,” Hancock said. “This is what the new playoff is designed to do – not only pick the first four, but also set up attractive matchups in the other games, and they would have done that in this first year of the playoff.”
Hancock said he is aware of the challenges facing the selection committee, however. The old BCS system was criticized yearly for its emphasis on analytics, while ignoring the context of week-to-week headlines. The executive director said he hopes the committee’s mission and five classifications — student athletes, coaches, university administrators, media and athletic directors — can help the process reach the appropriate conclusions.
“They know their task will not be easy,” Hancock said. “But they also know they’re going to be disciplined about it and they’re going to have courage and they are going to pick the best four teams.”
The College Football Playoffs will officially begin on Dec. 7 when the committee announces their selections on “Selection Sunday.”