College Football Playoff Committee Could Face Biggest Challenge Yet

JP-Priester

The uphill battle college football officials have faced regarding the 2020 season has been well documented. 

There is a month until the scheduled start of the 2020 campaign, and still, no one knows what a potential season may look like. Only the ACC has announced a potential schedule format that includes which teams will play one another. 

Assuming that the season is played in full, one of the biggest challenges may lie with the College Football Playoff committee. With all of the potential pitfalls that come from playing in a pandemic, the Power 5 conferences likely won't play the same number of games. That could pose some problems for the committee responsible for choosing the four teams that will play for a national title. 

The goal has always been to get the four best teams and the criteria used by the committee has mostly remained unchanged since the inception of the CFP. They tend to look at conference championships, the strength of schedule, head-to-head meetings, and common opponents, and so far have done a pretty good job, despite the human element that's involved.

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Although, what happens if there are two unbeaten teams and one team has played more games than the other? The committee has always said the more data points they have the better. 

That is something Texas Tech athletic director and former Chairman of the Selection Committee Kirby Hocutt recently discussed with "The Dallas Morning News."

“How they will view a team that’s had a chance to play 12 games vs nine games?" Hocutt asked. "I don’t know. The more opportunities you have, the more opportunities you have to impress the committee. I think everything would be in play."

Any type of unbalance in scheduling could potentially have a major impact on Clemson. The ACC has generally been perceived as one of the weaker Power-5 conferences, and if the league isn't markedly improved over what it was last season, the Tigers could have little to no margin for error. 

Even if the conference is improved, there won't be many chances to prove it. Changing the narrative that has developed in the media over the last couple of years without having the number of opportunities teams typically get with out-of-conference games will be difficult, especially if there are no out-of-conference games at all.

CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock recently told CBS Sports that he doesn't see it as that big of an issue. He is fully confident in the abilities of the committee, and under any circumstances.

”They can tell,” Hancock said. “They can discern. ‘Hey, they’re good.’ That’s why we have a committee. If this were simply a data-driven system, I’d have my doubts. If there wasn’t a human committee, I wouldn’t be as confident as I am.”

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