DALLAS — The College Football Playoff era has certainly arrived.
Bill Hancock, executive director of the playoff committee, rolled through possible bowl scenarios over a three-year stretch while at the podium Tuesday for Big 12 Media Days. Call it an educational seminar into how a national champion will be crowned in 2014 and beyond.
Out with the old and in with the new — but not entirely, Hancock said.
A BCS tradition that will carry on is the release of weekly team rankings on a nationally televised studio show.
“The unintended, really great consequence of the BCS was what it did for the regular season,” Hancock said. “Our regular season is a treasure. It is the best one in sports... Part of that that was a product of the weekly BCS standings announcements.”
Starting Oct. 28, just after week eight in the college football world, ESPN will host a program each Tuesday night until the completion of the regular season. The playoff committee — comprised of former coaches, student athletes, administrators, journalists and current athletic directors — will rank college football's top-25 teams.
The committee will create the list though numerous votes on secret ballots, Hancock said, with ultimate decisions based on a wide range of factors.
“We didn’t want to just drop four teams out of the sky onto the fans on Dec. 7,” Hancock said. “We wanted there to be some transparency so the fans would know what the committee was thinking.”
The idea is to keep the masses informed. But that’s not the only desired outcome.
“With an event this popular, there will always be contention,” Hancock said. “There will always be hot-stove, corner-drugstore debate about who ought to be where.”
One place the discussion will surely land is the idea that four teams just aren’t enough. It’s an argument Hancock said he’s heard plenty since embarking on a nationwide tour this summer spreading knowledge about the new playoff system.
“We’re prepared for every comment people are going to have for us,” Hancock said. “People are going to love it, but they’re going to be unhappy if their team doesn’t make it... There is a threshold beyond which the playoff size would erode the regular season. We don’t want to play too many games. We just can’t cross that threshold.”
Hancock said he looks forward to the firestorm of conversation that’s sure to follow each rankings show. Most notably, the discussion of who deserves that fourth and final spot in the playoffs.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Hancock said. “It just exemplifies the passion that there is for the game.”