CFP committee chair asked about recency bias, head-to-head for Alabama, Texas
Texas and Alabama enter Championship Weekend on the outside looking in. The Longhorns and Crimson Tide have long been slotted at Nos. 7 and 8, which remained the case after Rivalry Week. Ohio State suffered its first loss, but only fell to No. 6, taking Oregon’s old spot, with the Ducks moving up to No. 5.
In the first 9 seasons of the CFP, No. 6 has been the cut-off in the penultimate rankings to make the final 4. This year, though, has a different feel, with 7 of the top 8 teams playing in conference championship games. After Tuesday’s reveal, CFP executive director Bill Hancock and selection committee chair Boo Corrigan took questions from media members.
While many pundits have said that Alabama looks like a different team than it did in Week 2 against Texas, Corrigan confirmed that a head-to-head win’s importance is not tied to when it occurred.
Q: Does Texas’s head-to-head win against Alabama carry as much weight as it would if it would have happened later in the season? Does it still carry that same amount of weight even though it happened in week two, or does it carry less week because it happened earlier in the season?
BOO CORRIGAN: Head-to-head is head-to-head, no matter when the game is played, and that’s how we look at it.
The question was a follow-up to one about recency bias in the rankings.
Q. Then on the recency bias part?
BOO CORRIGAN: Yeah, we make sure that we do talk about that. That’s something that is brought up and made sure — specifically I remember the conversation of some teams lost early, some teams lost in the middle, some teams lost late, and making sure that we’re checking all that at the door as we go through this and looking at everything and looking at — 13 weeks is what’s important, and from the very beginning of the committee, the first, second, third week matters as much as it does at the end, but you’ve got to look at overall where they are after 13 weeks.
Committee members, though, could ultimately point to non-head-to-head tiebreakers when figuring out Alabama and Texas after Championship Weekend, something Hancock noted.
Q. Could either one of you give me a sense of the pecking order of criteria that the committee will use next week when determining the top 4? I know this is a hypothetical, but should Alabama and Texas both finish 12-1 with one spot available, how do you determine which one gets in?
BILL HANCOCK: Thank you for asking. Those tiebreaker criteria are not prioritized, so it’ll be up to the judgment of each committee member which of the tiebreakers are more important to him or her. There’s just no established priority for the tiebreakers.
Before worrying about rankings, Alabama and Texas have to take care of business. The fight for the 4 CFP spots adds to the drama of Championship Weekend.