1. Each committee member will create a list of the 25 teams he or she believes to be the best in the country, in no particular order. Teams listed by more than three members will remain under consideration. Any “recused” member can participate in Step No. 1 but cannot list the team for which he or she is recused. “Recused” teams receiving at least three votes in Step No. 1 will remain under consideration.
2. Each member will list the best six teams, in no particular order. The six teams receiving the most votes will comprise the pool for the first seeding ballot. A recused member can participate in Step No. 2 but cannot list the recused team. If a recused team is within one vote of advancing to the pool, that team will be pooled with the team (or teams) receiving the fewest votes. A “tie-breaker” ranking vote will be conducted among those teams to identify the team or teams that would be added to the pool.
3. In the first seeding ballot, each member will rank those six teams, one through six, with one being the best. The three teams receiving the fewest points will become the top three seeds. The three teams that were not seeded will be held over for the next seeding ballot. A recused member cannot participate in Step No. 3 if the recused team is in the pool.
4. Each member will list the six best remaining teams, in no particular order. The three teams receiving the most votes will be added to the three teams held over to comprise the next seeding ballot.
5. Steps No. 3 and 4 will be repeated until 25 teams have been seeded.
Between each step, the committee members will conduct a thorough evaluation of the teams before conducting the vote. After the rankings are completed, any group of three or more teams can be reconsidered if more than three members vote to do so. Step No. 3 would be repeated to determine if adjustments should be made. After the first nine teams are seeded, the number of teams for Steps No. 2, 3 and 4 will be increased to eight and four, respectively. At any time in the process, the number of teams to be included in a pool may be increased or decreased with approval of more than eight members of the committee. All votes will be by secret ballot.
The committee’s emphasis will include won-loss records, strength of schedule, conference championships won, head-to-head results and results against common opponents. They will identify small groups of teams that will then be evaluated against each other in a detailed and deliberative manner. The committee will then vote the teams into the rankings of 25 teams in a combined selection-and-seeding process. Committee members will be recused from participating in votes involving a school’s team if they or an immediate family member receives compensation from the school or has a professional relationship with that school. The committee will have the option to add other recusals if special circumstances arise. A recused member shall not participate in any votes nor be present during deliberations involving the team’s selection or seeding, but may answer factual questions about the institution from which the member is recused. The recusal policy is virtually identical to the NCAA men’s basketball selection committee policy.
The committee is charged with selecting the top four teams for the playoff, ranking them and assigning them to semifinal sites; ranking the next group of teams to play in other New Year’s bowls if berths are available; selecting the highest-ranked champion from the five conferences without New Year’s bowl contracts; assigning teams to New Year’s bowl, with the priorities of creating competitive matchups, attempting to avoid regular-season rematches and repeat bowl appearances, and considering geography.
The committee will review video, statistics and their own expertise. The College Football Playoff has retained SportSource Analytics to provide “countless” pieces of statistical information on every team. The data will allow the members to compare and contrast every team on every level possible. The committee will NOT use a single particular formula, such as the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) that is used for NCAA championships.
Bracket: The team ranked No. 1 will play the team ranked No. 4. The teams ranked second and third will play each other.
Advantages: The No. 1 seed will be given the most advantageous site, weighing criteria such as convenience of travel for fans, home-crowd advantage or disadvantage, and general familiarity with the host city and its stadium. There are no restrictions on number of teams from a certain conference eligible for the four-team bracket. Rematches from the regular season are not prohibited in the semifinals.