This year, NCAA Division I football is hosting a four-team bracket playoff system for the first time. A selection committee made up of 13 elected collegiate professionals who represent various conferences decides who will participate in the four-team playoff.
Since 1998, the college football championship games have been determined by the Bowl Championship Series ranking system.
Throughout the season, the BCS system would use polls to determine a ranking of the top-25 college teams in the nation. The system would take into account overall record, strength of schedule and performance to determine where schools would be ranked.
In previous years, at the end of each season the top two teams competed in the BCS National Championship game to determine the best team in college football.
This format caused teams to be ranked lower than they should because of a minor factor such as strength of schedule. The change to a four-team bracket provides a solution.
This year’s semifinal games are scheduled to take place at the Sugar Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Jan. 1. In the past, the Sugar Bowl has hosted the Southeastern Conference champion against the Big 12 Conference champion. Under this year’s new format, semifinal games will determine the two teams who will play in the National Championship.
The college football championship game is scheduled to be played Jan. 12 at the Rose Bowl, which usually hosts the Pac-12 Conference champion against the Big Ten Conference winner.
There are mixed feelings about the four-team format among some students at California Baptist University.
“I don’t think four teams is enough,” said Austin DeFalkenberg, sophomore kinesiology major and University of Michigan football fan. “I think it should be an eight-team playoff or more. It would make it a lot more exciting,”
Andre Dixon, sophomore mechanical engineering major and a fan of Washington State University, said he is excited but wants more teams.
“I’m excited. Hopefully in the future they make it like March Madness — 64 teams,” Dixon said.