How are college football teams ranked

The Selection Committee made this decision because ...

Gary Barta, the new chairman of the Selection Committee of the College Football Playoff Organization, was available to ask questioners after the announcement of the first ranking table to explain the decisions made.

Gary Barta:
Well, the first placements for the 2020 College Football Playoff season are behind us. The committee really enjoyed meeting. Before I talk about these leaderboards, I'll explain a little bit general. The committee knew, of course, that a lot would be different this year and of course we knew that we had to evaluate teams that had played three games in the same way as teams that had played up to nine. It sure has been a challenge. But everyone accepted it. Alabama is # 1, Notre Dame is # 2, Clemson is # 3, and Ohio State is # 4. As every year, we've taken another blank sheet and looked at each team's profit / loss record. We evaluate the strength of the schedule, the games themselves and finally we evaluate the conference champions. We know that all decision-making processes are subjective. There are 13 experts on our committee, some of whom are Athletic Directors like me. We have former coaches, two former NFL players and a former journalist in our ranks.

Question:
When you were just asked about BYU on the ESPN show, you mentioned their schedule. For you, what are the main differences between the schedule they played that made them rank where they are and the schedule Cincinnati played that allowed them to be number 7 ?

Gary Barta:
Well, when you look at the schedule, first of all look at the teams as I mentioned earlier tonight. Currently BYU's highest quality win against Boise State BYU has played against three teams whose WIN / Lost record was better than 50 percent. But Cincinnati played against four teams that started with a 50 percent or better record. And Cincinnati is a top 20 team on both defense and offense.

Question:
Why Was Ohio State Set Before Clemson?

Gary Barta:
Ohio State has a very dynamic offense led by Justin Fields that uses many weapons. They score around 45 points per game. However, we rated three opponents from Ohio State as relatively weak, because these opponents have only recorded a total of two wins. Ohio State is a very good football team, but clearly not number 1, 2 or 3.

Question:
Georgia and Oklahoma have already lost twice, but they have been ranked relatively high. What makes the two teams better than Georgia, Miami, or Indiana?

Gary Barta:
Oklahoma lost at the beginning of the season, but then they played five very good games. They won against Texas and Oklahoma State. The lost games were only lost by a total of 10 points. So the games were very close and they missed some important players at the start, like RB Rhamondre Stevenson and DE Ronnie Perkins. That's why we put Oklahoma in 11th place.

Question:
How do you rate Clemson's schedule and that QB Trevor Lawrence was injured when the Tigers played Notre Dame?

Gary Barta:
Notre Dame has clearly dominated and clearly won many games. Among them were well-known teams such as Miami. We noticed, of course, that Clemson took place against Notre Dame without QB Trevor Lawrence. Two or three defense players were also missing. In addition to the victory against Clemson, the consistently high level that Notre Dame has shown week after week was also decisive for us.

Question:
How do you deal with the question that some teams will play more games than others?

Gary Barta:
We discussed this question, of course. We cannot rate the absolute number of games this year. So we are evaluating the games that have taken place this year. Something like that is always important, but this year it is more important than ever. We also evaluate the strength of the pairings and the unambiguity of the victories. We want to rate the top 25 teams based on their skills and how they find solutions to win games.

Question:
What lessons did you learn from the Georgia case?

Garty Barta:
The important thing was the win against Auburn Well, to begin with, one of the things, we liked their win over Auburn. Georgia lost to Florida and Alabama. These are higher rated teams, so Georgia has a very tough game plan. Georgia's problem was that they haven't shown a consistent performance over the entire season so far.

Question:
Marshall is unbeaten and plays in Conference USA, AP rates Marshal four ranks higher than the Selection Committee. Why?

Gary Barta:
First of all, Marshall has a strong defense and is undefeated. No opponent could score more than 17 points against Marshall. Marschall is very well balanced and is in the top seven or eight when it comes to defense and offense ratings. But Marshall doesn't play against such high quality teams and their schedule is not as demanding compared to other teams. Marshall is still playing a very good season for his standards this year.

Schlueter - November 25th, 2020

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