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Bracket lessons for football playoff

Football selection committee faces different -- and more difficult -- task in 2014

Updated: March 18, 2013, 11:02 AM ET
By Brad Edwards | ESPN Insider

The 24 hours after the unveiling of the NCAA basketball tournament bracket are always a time of passionate debate.

Usually, the hot topic involves which jilted bubble team was more deserving of making the field than a team that received an at-large bid. This season, however, is one of the rare occasions when there was more conversation about which teams received the regional No. 1 seeds and, consequently, which teams did not.

Selection committee chairman Mike Bobinski told ESPN's Andy Katz on Sunday evening that choosing the four No. 1 seeds -- specifically the fourth one -- was the biggest challenge the committee faced. Gonzaga got it. Miami didn't. But don't expect to hear much more about that by the time Tuesday arrives.

That's because, in the grand scheme of things, being a No. 2 seed isn't a big blow to a team's national title chances. And that is the major difference between what the basketball selection committee does and what the college football selection committee will be asked to do, starting in the 2014 season.

With only four teams in the college football playoff, the committee won't have to worry about trying to differentiate between several mediocre teams to fill the final few spots in the field. And it won't have to deal with applying procedural guidelines to keep teams from the same conference from being too close to each other on the bracket. What it will have to deal with, however, is far more contentious.


To read more about how the NCAA basketball tournament bracket selection differs from that of a future football playoff, become an Insider today.

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