College football fans will say goodbye to the BCS system this year, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be any easier to predict a national champion in the newly-adopted playoff format. Let’s take a closer look at the process the committee will utilize in determining the final four teams.
The committee’s mission is to start ranking the top 25 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in midseason, with no conferences having a limit on the number of teams that can participate, but there’s also no automatic bids being offered.
NCAA football fans and bettors alike will be watching how this process works during its infancy period, with the members potentially relying on the “eye test,” rather than metrics, that was often scrutinized in the old BCS system.
There’s no real surprises in regards to the different types of data that the committee will be reviewing, with the main items being win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents and conference championships.
In mentioning the “eye test” earlier, I believe this will be the biggest determining factor, considering members aren’t expected to attend games in person, but will be required to watch video extensively.
The new system has caused many to rethink their tiebreakers in determining representatives to advance to league championship games, with the main player being the Southeastern Conference.
Due to its dominance in the old format, the SEC is leaning towards using a cross-divisional schedule strength to break ties, which could help in landing two spots in the playoff format in the future.
Implications in the futures market
Sports bettors are starting to shape the market in a regional way, as the four favorites to win the championship game all hail from different conferences.
I believe this is the right approach for readers to take in the first year of the playoff format, considering the committee may succumb to outside pressure of selecting a diverse field.