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The College Football Playoff is shiny and new this season and comes with a trophy to match.

Tony Gutierrez • Associated Press,

Chart: College Football Playoff primer

  • August 24, 2014 - 11:23 PM

How does this thing work?

A 13-member selection committee will release weekly rankings beginning in late October. In the final ranking, the top four teams will be assigned to the semifinals. The team ranked No. 1 will play the No. 4 team; No. 2 vs. No. 3 in the other semifinal. The semifinals this year are the Sugar Bowl (New Orleans) and Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.), both on Jan. 1. The semifinals and championship rotate. The Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl will host semifinals in 2015, the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl in the 2016 season. The first three national championship games will be held in Arlington, Texas (Jan. 12, 2015); Glendale, Ariz.; and Tampa. Cities bid to host the national title game.

 

How will teams be ranked?

This will lead to much debate. The committee will not use one single metric in ranking teams. Members will weigh strength of schedule, conference championships won, head-to-head matchups, results against common opponents and other “relevant factors,” including key injuries that affected a team’s season or likely would affect its postseason success.

 

Will there be conference battles?

There is no limit on how many teams a conference can have in the playoff, a change from the BCS bowls model. If four teams from a particular conference are ranked Nos. 1-4, four teams from that conference will be in the playoff.

 

Who's on the committee?

• Jeff Long, committee chairman, Arkansas athletic director

• Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin athletic director

• Mike Gould, former superintendent at Air Force

• Pat Haden, USC athletic director

• Tom Jernstedt, former NCAA executive vice president

• Oliver Luck, West Virginia athletic director

• Archie Manning, former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints quarterback

• Tom Osborne, former Nebraska coach and athletic director

• Dan Radakovich, Clemson athletic director

• Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State and Stanford provost

• Mike Tranghese, former Big East Commissioner

• Steve Wieberg, former USA Today college football writer

• Tyrone Willingham, former coach at Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington

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