College Football Playoff Committee Gets A New Member
March 28, 2015 

Archie Manning had to leave the committee last season due to health reasons and now he is leaving for good.  He will  be replaced by former Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson.  Manning added ..:

"I was honored when I was chosen to be on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, but as I look ahead to the various commitments I have -- to my family, numerous time obligations around the country and to other conflicting demands -- I have concluded that I won't be able to return to the committee."

"I particularly want to watch Peyton and Eli play, in person when I can, and it's hard to do that when weekends are devoted to watching college games," he added. "This is not an easy choice, but it's the right choice for Olivia and me."

Manning was one of the original 13 members of the committee picked by the FBS conference commissioners who run the playoff. He took a leave of absence during last season to deal with health issues that related to knee surgery he had earlier that year. CFP executive director Bill Hancock had said this year that Manning was expected to return for the 2015 season.

Johnson, 64, played at Clemson and coached Furman (1994-2001) and Vanderbilt (2002-2010).  

Earlier this year, Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt was named to the selection committee as a replacement for Oliver Luck, the former West Virginia athletic director who took a job with the NCAA after last season.

Health Reasons Cited For the Loss of One Committee Member
October 20, 2014

The thirteen person Playoff Committee is now down to twelve.

According the article on from Chris Mortensen, Archie Manning, graduate of Ole Miss, will be stepping down from the College Football Playoff Committee that will determine the four finalists for the 2014 national championship.  Manning underwent knee replacement surgery earlier this year and will require follow-up surgery next month due to complications from the original procedure.

"It is an honor to serve on this committee, and I enjoy the group and was looking forward to the opportunity ahead," Manning said. "My health had to be my primary concern and I intend to be up and about as soon as possible."

The committee has no plans to replace him and will continue with 12 members for the rest of the season, issuing the first rankings October 28. The four teams that will compete in the semifinals -- to be played at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl -- will be announced December 7, and the title game will be January 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The playoff has also adjusted its conference representatives to account for Manning's leave as Mike Tranghese will take Archie's spot to work with Oliver Luck on the Mountain West and Steve Wieberg will join Tom Jernstedt on the Atlantic Coast Conference expert

Odds For Each Big Ten Team To Make the Playoffs
August 9, 2014

Most experts and college fans associated with the Big Ten assume that OSU and Michigan State are the teams to beat in the East and Nebraska and Wisconsin is at the top of the West.  But what about everyone else?  No one had Florida State or Auburn as pre-season favorites last year, yet they reached the championship game.  What are the odds for every team of making the 4-team playoff in 2014?  Brian Leigh of Bleacher Report took on the challenge of calculating those odds.  Click here to see what his thoughts were on this topic and how he come up with his numbers.  And as we always say at Buckeye50, this is for entertainment purposes only!

The New College Football Playoffs - The Analysis
July 17, 2014
By Brent "Bbaver" Baver

Much to the chagrin of Big Ten fans, the committee chairman is an SEC guy, Arkansas AD Jeff Long.  But, the Big Ten is the only conference with two representatives on the 13-member board.  With there being no limit to the number of teams a conference can send to major bowls, the conference “bias” argument is going to be a daily debate on sports talk radio and TV.

If the committee is truly selecting the four “best” teams, as opposed to the four “most deserving” teams, then the selection process is seriously flawed.  An example: The battle for the 4th slot in the playoffs is close between Oregon and UCLA heading into the Pac 12 championship game, where the two teams face off.  Oregon is a huge favorite over UCLA, but UCLA pulls the upset.  Vegas says, if the two teams were to play again, they would still have Oregon as a double-digit favorite.  Is the committee really going to choose Oregon over UCLA after UCLA just beat them….because Oregon is still considered the “better” team?  If so, that would be a travesty.

With the new playoff system, you now are going to have major bowl games played on December 31st, a non-holiday weekday, with two of the three kickoff times that day being prior to 5:00 p.m. ET.  For those like me, who almost can’t take December 31st off from work, this makes things extremely difficult if the Buckeyes are in one of those two games.  Not happy about it.

Although most fans I think are like me and that they welcome the four-team playoff, on the surface, this would appear to make it harder for Ohio State to win a national title.  Had Ohio State not been on probation in 2012, there was a good chance they would have played Notre Dame for title.  Although I didn’t think that Buckeye team was elite that year, I do think they would have had a decent shot at beating Notre Dame.  But if they had to go through (say) Alabama in a semi-final game….I think they would have gotten waxed.  And if a title run this year potentially means having to beat Florida State and Alabama, I can’t see it happening for a school like Ohio State.  And I would almost guarantee that a one-loss Bama squad ends up in the playoffs.  A one-loss Buckeye team, however, likely won’t be part of the 4-team playoff.

The New College Football Playoffs - The Details
July 16, 2014 
By Brent "Bbaver" Baver

The College Football Championship Game will always be played on a Monday that is at least seven days after the semi-final games.  The Monday choice avoids the conflict with NFL playoff games that are played on weekends.  The site for this year’s title game is Arlington, Texas, and like the Super bowl, the game will be played at a different location each year.  This season’s title game will be played on Monday, January 12, 2015.

The Bowl “tie-ins” will remain, when that specific Bowl is not serving as a semi-final host.  The Rose will still match up the Big Ten champ vs. the Pac 12 champ; the Sugar will match up the SEC champ vs. the Big 12 champ, and the Orange will still invite the ACC champ.  The Orange, when not serving a semi-final host, will match the ACC champ vs. the SEC #2 or the Big Ten #2 or Notre Dame.  The highest ranked champion of the five smaller conferences is also guaranteed a spot in one of the six major bowls.

Unlike the BCS, there is no limit on the number of teams each conference can send to a major bowl.  In a sense, you will often have 5 at-large teams headed to major bowls, and theoretically (although unlikely), those 5 teams could all come from the same conference. 

When interviewed, a committee member stated that they will match the 4 “best” teams in the country as opposed to the 4 “most deserving teams”.  More on this in Part 3.

The committee will release its Top 25 rankings weekly on Tuesdays seven times during the season, with the first release being October 28th.  The top four teams in the ranking would theoretically make up your 4-team playoff, if the playoffs were to begin the following week. 

The New College Football Playoffs - The Basics
July 15, 2014 
By Brent "Bbaver" Baver

The 2013 season marked the end of the BCS, and the 2014 season starts the beginning of the new “Plus-One” four-team playoff.  There will be two bowl games every year that will serve as semi-final games, with the winners of those games advancing to the national championship game.  The system is now referred to as the “College Football Playoff” (CFP) with the championship game now referred to as the “College Football Championship Game”.

A 13-member board will decide what four teams will make the playoffs each year.  The board consists of at least one representative from each of the 5 major conferences and includes some notable names, such as: Barry Alvarez, Oliver Luck, Tom Osbourne, Condoleezza Rice, Archie Manning, and Tyrone Willingham.

There will now be six major bowl games each year, with two of those bowl games serving as semi-final playoff games.  The major bowls will be: The Rose, The Sugar, The Orange, The Cotton, The Fiesta, and The Peach.  The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will host this season’s semi-final games, followed by the Orange and Cotton next season, followed by the Fiesta and Peach the following year.  That rotation will continue after completion of the three-year cycle. 

The 6 major bowls will now be played over a two-day period, generally on December 31st and January 1st, with a tripleheader each day.  These games are now being referred to as the “New Year’s Six”.  The playoff semi-final games will be on January 1st this year, but that will not always be the case.  Some years will see the semi’s played on December 31st.  The board members will seed the four teams, 1 through 4, matching the #1 seed vs. the #4 seed, and the #2 seed vs. the #3 seed.

The contract for the new playoff system is a 12-year deal, running through the 2025 CFB season.  Of course, the contract could be renegotiated and the format and/or number of playoff teams could be changed.

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