- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Wednesday that he expected college football's four-team playoff selection committee to put an emphasis on strength of schedule and be able to analyze every FBS team's season.
Swarbrick said the details of the committee have yet to be determined, but there have been some parameters established.
"We want it to be big enough so that every football team, all 121 FBS schools, are viewed," Swarbrick said on "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on ESPN 1000. "There's somebody who's actually spent the time having watched some games and understand them.
"We want the sort of sophisticated analysis that says you know this team lost their first game, but their quarterback didn't play the last three quarters. The rest of their season they were undefeated, so if you factor that in, maybe they're a top-four team in the country. We want to have that level of sophistication."
Much like the NCAA basketball tournament's selection committee, Swarbrick expected the football one to value a team's strength of schedule, especially its nonconference one.
"One of the things we like so much about that is as much as this happened in basketball in the past decade, the selection committee will send a real message about strength of schedule," Swarbrick said. "If you choose not to challenge yourself, especially in the pre-conference games, it's going to impact your rating. That's another way we think we're contributing to the vibrancy of the regular season through this process."
Swarbrick said he thought the committee could consist of 12-15 members.
"I think we'll probably have a model where each conference has a representative and then there are a group of the independent people who have no affiliation but who are clearly identified as football knowledgeable," Swarbrick said.
Swarbrick also reiterated there were no plans to make an eight-team playoff before the contract for the four-team one ends in 2025.
"We really do not view this as a step," Swarbrick said. "The things that led us to this conclusion are things that aren't going to change. For example, we didn't want any game preparation or games occurring before first semester ended, and we didn't want any games being played after second semester started, so that limits the calendar.
"With all we're all learning about concussions and player safety, we didn't want to add another round of games even if we had time on the calendar. And most importantly, what we see all the time in any collegiate sports is sort of bigger and broader the postseason the harder it is to maintain a really vibrant regular season, and college football has the best regular season in the world. One of the reasons we're going with a 12-year deal with all the elements of this is we don't plan on even considering a change during that 12-year period."
Swarbrick also thought Chicago's Soldier Field could be a destination for the championship game. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last month Chicago could be considered for a future Super Bowl.
"Absolutely, Chicago could," Swarbrick said. "That's one of the things we're most excited about -- the championship game is going to be bid out like the Super Bowl is. Indianapolis just had a great experience last year hosting. New York is going to host the Super Bowl this year. We want to take college football to those places, too. The championship game can be anywhere."
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