What do conference-only schedules mean for the College Football Playoff?
The good news is that college football power brokers are trying to ensure a 2020 season by altering schedules to give conferences more flexibility to navigate COVID-19. The semi-bad news is that we’re going to get conference-only schedules from the Power 5. The Big 12 remains the only Power 5 Conference not to announce that model (yet).
The SEC became the latest conference Thursday to announce a 10-game conference-only scheduling format for this fall. The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 have all previously announced a similar format.
So, what does this all mean for the College Football Playoff? How will the Selection Committee be able to pick the 4 best teams? Playoff executive director Bill Hancock spoke to ESPN on the subject.
“Since there won’t be as many non-conference games as normal, certain tools used by the committee, such as head-to-head results and results against common opponents, will have limitations this year,” Hancock said, via ESPN. “Evaluating strength of schedule will also be different.
“I don’t see the potential difference in the number of games teams play as a significant factor,” he added. “Fact is, the committee has dealt successfully with that nearly every season.
“The fundamental mission has not changed — that is, rank the best four teams based on the schedules that the conferences play. And that is why the committee comprises these 13 football experts.”
I do not envy the Selection Committee this year. It will be a tough, tough job considering the scheduling, but it sure will create some great debates and discussion.