This year, the College Football Playoff selection committee has a tougher job than normal.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, there haven’t been very many nonconference games, and some conferences are playing league-only schedules. Oh, and every conference is at different points in their schedules.

Ahead of the first CFP rankings of the season on Tuesday night, the Playoff released a Q&A list explaining what its process will be this year. First, they said they’ll rank teams without consideration for how many games they’ve played:

How will the first selection committee ranking consider the disparity in the number of games between top teams? By November 24, Clemson, for example, is scheduled to have played nine games, while Oregon is scheduled to have played three. How are you taking this into consideration?

There is no minimum game requirement to be eligible for the College Football Playoff. The selection committee`s job is to select the top four teams beginning November 24 and continuing through the final rankings December 20. The number of games and wins by each team is certainly important in weighing its ranking, but it is not the only factor.

Then, they said they’ll use the same criteria as always to rank teams:
How will the selection committee factor in conference-only schedules? How will you decide between top teams without inter-conference head-to-head competition or shared opponents?
The protocol for ranking the teams has not changed. The selection committee will continue to watch games, assess every team, and use the available data. A lot of football has been played and remains to be played, even with mostly conference-only schedules. The selection committee will continue to use factors such as wins against top 25 teams, wins against teams with winning records, and their expertise to come together and select the best four teams week by week.
The wait is almost over. We’ll soon know how the Playoff rankings look.