Well, some, anyway. There’s now a CFP official website, and somebody decided it was a good idea to set up a FAQ page there. What you’ll find there is about what you’d expect from the likes of Bill Hancock – a lot of high-minded stuff that really says less than what it sounds like. In fact, as is usually the case, it raises as many questions as it attempts to discuss.
Take for example, this part:
What criteria will the selection committee use to rank the teams?
Selection committee members will have flexibility to examine whatever data they believe is relevant to inform their decisions. They will also review a significant amount of game video. Among the many factors the committee will consider are win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents and conference championships. Each committee member will evaluate the data at hand, and then the individuals will come together to make a group decision.
Will there be ballot votes to determine the top four teams? What about the other New Year’s bowls?
The voting process will include a series of ballots through which the committee members first select a pool of teams to be considered, then rank those teams. Individual ballots will be compiled into a composite ranking. Each committee member independently will evaluate an immense amount of information during the process. This evaluation will bring about individual qualitative and quantitative opinions that will lead to each member’s vote.
The first thing that comes across there is how incredibly subjective the process seems. The members can look at whatever they want and consider whatever they want. No common standards at all. Second, I presume all these folks have day jobs. To do what these answers suggest – more specifically, to do them right – strikes me as requiring a significant time commitment. Especially since the committee, for some unknown reason, is expected to rank the top twenty-five teams. We all know what a lot of coaches did when faced with a similar issue. The committee members don’t have SIDs to pass the ballots to for completion. Color me skeptical.
And the reality is they already recognize that the members aren’t going to be able to devote full attention to the field, even if they won’t come right out and admit that.
Will committee members have specific assignments, i.e. specific conferences?
Yes, committee members will gather information on conferences and will provide reports on the conferences’ teams to the full committee, but all committee members will be expected to study all teams and be prepared to discern among all the information available, including video, to make evaluations.
That’s a crutch, however you want to spin it.
Then there’s the most amusing Q&A on the page.
Why are athletics directors on the committee?
The directors of athletics (ADs) have some of the best institutional knowledge of college football, and the selection committee is much stronger with their participation. Many ADs have careers spanning more than one conference and many have worked at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level as well. The goal was to make the selection committee the best and strongest it can be, which is why ADs are included. Like all selection committee members, ADs will act in the best interest of the game.
CFP, please. We know why they’re there.
But have no fear. It’s all going to work out because transparency. Or something.
The selection committee process will be as transparent as possible, and both the selection committee and management committee will deliberate and determine the most appropriate ways to achieve that. We want to create an arrangement that allows for maximum disclosure, while also allowing the committee to deliberate among themselves in a thoughtful and effective manner…
“As possible” leaves a hole big enough to drive a Mack semi through. And they will. Look on the bright side, though. Think about how much broadcast fodder it’ll give ESPN.