There is so much misunderstanding out there of how the process works that I wanted to take a stab at trying to clear some of the basic things up and post the rules and process.
The Selection Committee is often confused with the the NCAA, they are a rotating subgroup (limited term) that follows guidelines set forth by the NCAA to administer the FCS playoffs.
We got that? Selection Committee did not make the rules, they are given these rules to follow in setting the field for the playoffs.
----------------------------------- Guidelines to be followed by the Selection Committee
Section 2•3 Selection Criteria
At-large teams shall be selected by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee, assisted by four regional advisory committees that serve in an advisory capacity only.
The following principles shall apply when selecting at-large teams:
1. The committee shall select the best teams available on a national at-large basis to complete the bracket. Per NCAA Bylaw 31, the basic criteria used in the selection of at-large participants are
(1) won-lost record,
(2) strength of schedule, and
(3) eligibility and availability of student-athletes for the NCAA championship;
2. There is no limit to the number of teams the committee may select from one conference;
3. The won-lost record of a team will be scrutinized to determine a team’s strength of schedule; however, fewer than six Division I wins may place a team in jeopardy of not being selected;
4. The committee may give more consideration to those teams that have played all Division I opponents;
5. If a committee member’s institution is under consideration, that committee member will not be allowed in the room during discussions involving his/her team and may not vote for his/her team during the voting process. Similarly, a committee member from a conference office may not be present during discussions, nor vote for any team from his/her conference.
All pairings will be made by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee. The following principles are applied when pairing teams:
1. The teams awarded the top eight seeds shall receive a bye in the first round and are placed in the appropriate positions in the bracket (Nos. 1, 8, 4 and 5 in the upper half; and Nos. 2, 7, 3 and 6 in the lower half);
2. The remaining 16 teams will play first-round games and will be paired according to geographic proximity and then placed in the bracket according to geographic proximity of the top eight seeds previously placed in the bracket;
3. The NCAA mileage threshold for mandatory team travel via ground is 400 miles;
4. If a conference has four or more teams in the championship, the committee may allow an additional flight in the first or second round in order to avoid a conference having all of its teams on the same side of the bracket.
5. Regular-season non-conference match-ups in the first round of the championship should be avoided, provided it does not create an additional flight(s).
6. Teams from the same conference will not be paired for first-round games (except for teams from the same conference that did not play against each other during the regular season; such teams may play each other in the first round);
7. Once the first-round pairings have been determined, there will be no adjustments to the bracket (e.g., a seeded team may play a conference opponent that advanced out of the first round).
Additional Related Information.
----------------------------------- SIMPLE RATING SYSTEM (NCAA SRS)
The NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee will use the NCAA Simple Rating System (NCAA SRS) as a tool for evaluating teams for selection into the 24-team championship.
The NCAA SRS is a ranking system used to gauge team quality. Within the NCAA SRS, the rating of a team will be calculated largely by two components: a strength-of-schedule measure (SOS) and a win-loss differential (WL).
A team’s SOS measure is simply the average NCAA SRS rating of that team’s opponents for the season.
A team’s WL measure factors whether a game was won or lost; the location of the game (home/away/neutral site); and the NCAA (sub)division of the opponent.
1. In a game between two FCS teams played at a neutral site, the winning team gets one point and the losing team loses one point.
2. In a game between two FCS teams played at a non-neutral site, a home win counts 0.75 for the home team and -0.75 for the losing team. A road team win counts 1.25 for the visiting team and -1.25 for the home team. In other words, there is a bonus/penalty of +/- 0.25 for the home/away teams depending on the outcome.
3. An additional bonus/penalty of +/- 0.1 is added/deducted for games that FCS teams play against FBS/non-Division I opponents. For instance, a home FCS win against a Division II opponent counts only as +0.65 points (0.75 for a home win - 0.1 penalty for playing a Division II opponent). In addition, a road FCS win against an FBS opponent counts +1.35 points for the FCS team (1.25 points for a road win + 0.1 bonus for beating an FBS opponent).
4. The WL measure is then doubled to equalize the contributions of the WL factor and SOS factor toward a team’s NCAA SRS rating.
5. Margin of victory will be factored into a team’s NCAA SRS rating. This component is capped at 21 points.
The teams’ ratings are independent in that one team’s rating depends on its opponents’ ratings, which depend on their opponents’ ratings, etc., based on the “network” of college football games played each week during the football season. The NCAA SRS will also standardize the data in order to equalize the variance in total number of games played (i.e., 11 or 12 regular-season games).
Games against Division III or non-NCAA opponents are not factored into any team’s NCAA SRS rating.
The time of the season in which a game is played (early-season versus late-season games) is also not factored into a team’s NCAA SRS rating.
The NCAA SRS will not “force select” any teams into the championship; rather, it is one of several resources that the Division I Football Championship Committee will have at its disposal when debating the merits of teams under consideration for championship selection.
The NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee will begin reviewing NCAA SRS data during the later portion of the football season as it prepares for championship selections. At that time, NCAA SRS rankings may also be posted on the NCAA website (www.ncaa.com/fcs).