The College Football Playoff committee unveiled its first set of rankings Tuesday, and while there isn’t much dissension about the top four teams in America, there’s one small problem: No. 2 LSU (7-0) plays No. 4 Alabama (7-1) this Saturday.
Given that, might it be wise to wait a little bit longer before unveiling the first set of rankings? After all, there’s still a lot of football left to be played.
“We’ve talked about it,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “We’ve talked about starting two weeks sooner, we’ve talked about going later. You know what, though? The fans love these rankings and I think we’ve hit the sweet spot with starting at the ninth week. It gives us enough games to evaluate the teams but doesn’t wait too late.”
Believe it or not, Hancock said that the committee did not meet until this week.
“They study film, they study the data all during the season,” he said, “but there’s no reason for them to get together and start debating until we have enough games played. Week 9 is the right time for that.”
Committee members receive film each week and can watch a game in roughly one hour. Committee chair Jeff Long has said he watches football for 15-20 hours every weekend.
This creates a lot of good back-and-forth between and among committee members.
“Always respectful, but there are pointed discussions,” Hancock said. “Believe me, they get after each other and that’s what we want.”
Hancock said the committee is serious during meetings but isn’t afraid to have a good time.
“The committee members are all honored to be a part of this,” he said. “They know how important it is and they know how really cool it was that they were selected to do it. But you bet there’s fun. It’s dead serious, but occasionally – just to relieve the tension – somebody will lob a one-liner. You bet we have fun, absolutely.”
Hancock said that Tom Osborne is the funniest committee member.
“Oh, he’s so clever,” Hancock said of the 78-year-old.
Hancock was asked if there’s anyone the committee doesn’t like.
“Other than me, probably not,” he joked. “No, they get along great. It was really fun last year to watch them bond. They’re together in this. It’s kind of a foxhole mentality. They’re in there together, and nobody else in the world knows what they’re thinking and how they react with each other. It’s a remarkable group of smart people who love the game and they’re so dedicated to what they’re doing.”