For the first time this season, the College Football Playoff rankings and simulated BCS top teams were almost identical. Instead of controversy at the top, both systems released an identical top seven.
At the top, Georgia continues to lead the way in both the CFP and BCS. After the Bulldogs, the Ohio State Buckeyes jumped the Alabama Crimson Tide for the second spot. Finally, the Cincinnati Bearcats finally were slotted in the CFP — ranked No. 4 by both the CFP committee and BCS.
Two of the biggest games from this weekend feature the teams on the outside looking in. Michigan takes on Ohio State, while Oklahoma State takes on Oklahoma. On the other hand, Notre Dame has an easier matchup — the Fighting Irish are facing the 3-6 Stanford Cardinal.
From the BCS to the College Football Playoff
Prior to the current CFP system, college football was governed by the BCS. The final rankings were computer generated, and two teams faced off in the national championship to conclude the season.
The system also created matchups for four additional prestigious bowl games: the Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl.
The BCS formula used a number of factors to produce its list. There were three components to the rankings, with a mix of human and computer generated thoughts — the Harris Poll, the Coaches Poll and the computer rankings. All three parts were weighted equally.
Beginning in 2014, the College Football Playoff replaced the BCS. Two semifinal games are played around New Year’s Day, and the games take place on a rotating basis at six of the country’s top bowls — the Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The two winners advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship, played on a Monday night in the second week of January.
The CFP selection process is more subjective than the BCS. The teams are decided upon by 13 people and there is no longer a strict computer component. The selection committee is composed of athletic directors, former coaches and student-athletes, and others in the college administration world.
Additionally, there is a board of governors made up of presidents and chancellors from the 10 FBS conferences plus Notre Dame which governs the administrative actions of the CFP.
College football remains the only college sport in the country without an officially NCAA-sanctioned championship. At its core, the CFP is really a television contract currently owned by ESPN.