So the big news yesterday was that the conference commissioners have reached a consensus on a four-team playoff, and they want a committee with a preference for conference champions to select the field. All around the internet, people are abuzz.
Pardon us for not being too excited, but really? We’ve known since April that we were looking at a four-team playoff that had to be approved by the presidential oversight committee. And now, what’s the big news telling us? We’re getting a playoff (after the presidential oversight committee approves it, which could take until September)!
The big news here isn’t the “consensus on a playoff,” but the consensus on a selection committee. In the end, a selection committee was the only method flexible enough to handle whatever crazy situation might arise regarding rematches, contradictory rankings, and who-beat-whom arguments amongst the top teams. You can add stipulations about the top six or some number of wild-cards, but as we’ve already seen in the first few years of our Picking the Field series, no rigid method is going to pick the four most-deserving teams every year. A selection committee, not bound by ranking orders, computer formulas, or conference-champion exemptions, could be the best way to pick the playoff field.
“Could” is the operative word here, since there are some obvious issues that will need to be addressed for the committee:
- What will the official the committee’s official instructions be for choosing the field (the difference between the words “best” and “deserving” come to mind)?
- Who will be on the committee, and will potential biases be addressed?
- How big will the committee be?
- How often will the committee meet? Will they put out weekly rankings?
- Will committee members be held accountable for watching relevant games?
- Will there be a college football version of the RPI that selectors can reference?
- How transparent will the selection process be?
- HOW DO WE APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP?!
But okay, enough wet blanket talk. Yes, we’re once again officially* getting a playoff. It’s a time to celebrate, to imagine the excitement, pageantry, and finality the new postseason will bring. We’ll be back with our ideal selection committee characteristics next week, and more thoughts on whatever the next news on the playoff front happens to be. In the meantime, leave any thoughts about any of our selection committee questions (or anything else) in the comments, and enjoy another iteration of V-BCS day!