With the inaugural year of the college playoffs, what criteria/criterion determines who makes the national championship playoff?

Also, does it make a difference if you win your conference, etc.

I searched. And the closest answer was regarding the effect the college football playoff has on the bowls: What will happen to the current Bowl games when the playoff system commences?

1 Answer 1


Jeff Long (chair), Barry Alvarez, Mike Gould, Pat Haden, Tom Jernstedt, Oliver Luck, Archie Manning, Tom Osborne, Dan Radakovich, Condoleezza Rice, Mike Tranghese, Steve Wieberg and Tyrone Willingham.

Those are the people on the selection committee. Whatever four teams they choose will play according to seed. 1vs4 and 2vs3 and then winners. They supposedly will use schedule, record, rankings and many other things to determine the four teams but it comes down to whoever they want in.

I am sure the #1 (AP Poll) is a lock. However past that you could get shut out. Think if the teams that rank #2-7 are all 9-2 from major conferences. They could pick any of them.

It might be far fetched but a team as low as #10 could get put in - although I doubt they would chance that much scrutiny. It really depends on if they are allowed (and from the rules they can do anything) to vote based on how good a team could be versus what they have actually done.

Every year this comes up in NCAA basketball tournament when the selection committee bumps up a team that finished strong or allowed more losses to a team that had a major player injured.

I think what we will see... Is basically as vanilla of selections as possible. The selection committee is made up of an ultra-conservative group. Probably the big question is how they will deal with a really good small conference team. A Boise St. But this year we have Marshall and their schedule is ultra-weak. So I think this year they will be dealing with an array of 2 loss teams for the last spot or two. But the criteria is all the same - whoever they vote for.

  • 3
    This is a lot of speculation. An outside source or two that lays out what we know about the selection criteria would be quite good.
    – wax eagle
    Oct 13, 2014 at 10:28
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    @waxeagle - It is all speculation. That is my point. The selection committee can pick whoever they want just like the NCAA basketball tournament.
    – Coach-D
    Oct 14, 2014 at 0:19

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