War Eagle Extra

SEC media days: College Football Playoff director explains new format

HOOVER, Ala. — At this point, concrete details on the criteria for making the new College Football Playoff are still a mystery.

Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, tried to clear up some of the confusion with his presentation Wednesday at SEC Media Days.

There have been questions about how the committee would weigh certain aspects and accomplishments of the season. How much will winning your conference matter? Is strength of schedule important?

One thing is certain: Hancock believes the committee will get it right.

“The committee will select the best four teams, period, no strings attached,” Hancock said. “It’s important to keep that in mind. We think the playoff gives us the best of both worlds. Our goal with the BCS going into this was to maintain the best regular season in sports. We’ve done that with the playoff

Hancock also sort of cleared up another big question surrounding the playoff: Will it expand anytime soon? The belief is once the money begins to roll in, the playoff would grow to eight or possibly 16 teams.

“Four teams in not too many. It does not go too far. It goes just far enough,” he said. “It also preserves the bowl system and the bowl experience for student-athletes top to bottom, which is very important to us.”

Rematches possible?

Remember how insane the Iron Bowl ending was? Well, Hancock said had the playoff been in place last season, the two in-state rivals would have played in the semifinal. Imagine the chaos if these two powerhouses would have collided again.

Hancock was asked if the committee could potentially drop one of the teams a seed line to avoid that type of situation.

“They would not. They won’t monkey with the pure seeds,” Hancock said. “If the pure seeds are 1,2,3,4, Auburn is 2, Alabama is 3, they’ll leave them right there and there will be a rematch. There’s no dropping of lines in the College Football Playoff.”

Another interesting question raised was the possibility of a third meeting between conference teams if they were to meet in the regular season, conference championship game and the playoff.

“That’s really a good question. We role-played all of this,” Hancock said. “The concept of the third game has come up. It sounds a lot like (NCAA basketball) Duke-Carolina, doesn’t it? The fact is it’s absolutely based on the pure seeding, 1,2,3,4. If that yields a rematch, or a third game even, then that’s the way it will be.”