home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 8, 2016

Kirby Hocutt

Grapevine, Texas

GINA LEHE: Good evening, and welcome to the weekly selection committee teleconference. Joining us tonight is Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, along with Kirby Hocutt, College Football Playoff selection committee chair.

At this time please welcome Kirby Hocutt for opening remarks.

KIRBY HOCUTT: Thank you, Gina. Good evening, and thank you for joining us tonight. We have completed our work, and the conversation again this week was in depth. The discussions about teams 1, 2 and 3 was clear-cut, and the deliberations over much of the rest of the rankings were long and detailed.

Looking at rankings 7 through 19, there are 10 two-loss teams, a one-loss West Virginia team, and a Florida State team that has three losses and a very difficult schedule.

The differences among these 12 teams is small. There were very close calls throughout the rankings at virtually every level. We spent considerable time with teams 20 and below because it was that close a week.

Here are our rankings. The No. 1 ranked team is Alabama; No. 2 is Clemson; No. 3 is Michigan; and the fourth ranked team is Washington.

Alabama, Clemson and Michigan are clearly 1, 2 and 3. They play well on both sides of the ball and have beaten three or more teams in our top 25. The committee has continued to be impressed with Washington's complete and consistent play. At this point in the season, the Huskies have handled everything that has been put before them.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a pack of 7-2 teams, all with small differences among them. Every season is different, but it's worth pointing out that last year at this time, there was only one 7-2 team in the top 15. This year, there are nine.

As usual, there was considerable discussion of the quality of play that we see on the field. Perhaps our toughest calls were in the drop in the rankings for Florida and LSU. We spent a lot of time talking about it.

LSU took Alabama into the fourth quarter at 0-0, but ultimately lost by 10, handing LSU their third loss of the season. Arkansas's win over Florida was significant, helping them into the 25th position, nudging Florida out of the top 25 this week.

There were a lot of close calls, and we made them. There also is a lot of football to be played, and I appreciate the committee's hard work. It's clear every member of this committee pays close attention to these games, and they come prepared to discuss every team in great detail.

Thank you again for joining, and I look forward to taking your questions.

Q. Kirby, I think most reasonable college football fans won't have any problem with Washington at No. 4, obviously, but can you help explain to people the inconsistency and the reasoning behind it, and the inconsistency, I guess, in the justification or the process? It seems like you do X one week and say one thing; it's only natural to assume, well, this is going to happen this week because of what they did last week, and then it doesn't happen. How do you explain that inconsistency to people on the outside?
KIRBY HOCUTT: As you know, we start each week with a clean sheet of paper, and Washington has been consistent week in and week out of this college football season. They have had tremendous execution in all phases of the game. The committee continues to be impressed with what we see on the field with Washington.

Last week there was a close margin between the No. 4 team and No. 5, and at that particular time, the one-loss team that Washington was being compared to, their only loss was to Alabama. This week the one-loss team in that No. 5 position below Washington is Ohio State, and their loss is to Penn State. That's the difference in the eyes of the selection committee.

But more than anything, it's the consistency that we've seen week in and week out with Washington and what they've shown on the field.

Q. I was just wondering, how close was the call between Washington and Ohio State, and when you talk about quality of loss versus quality of win, how do you kind of decipher between which ones are more important at times, because it seemed like last week that Texas A&M's wins over .500 teams played a big role in you guys' decision. Ohio State has three wins over top-20 teams, and two were blowouts.
KIRBY HOCUTT: Yeah, we spent considerable time over the last two days talking about No. 4 Washington and No. 5 Ohio State. It was a small margin between No. 4 and No. 5. Obviously two very talented teams. Ohio State, convincing win last week, three wins versus College Football Playoff top-25 teams, and I think as we go forward, we will place quality wins, a high value on those teams that are ranked in the College Football Playoff top 25.

The committee is watching these games and following all of these teams week in and week out. You know, a loss is a loss, but obviously the quality of opponent varies, and the selection committee reviews that in detail team by team and discussion by discussion.

Q. Kirby, USC is in the ranking at No. 20 and Washington plays USC. If Washington beats USC and they fall out of the ranking, how does the committee regard that opponent, because I mean, it was a skinny minute they were ranked, right, but they beat an opponent that was ranked at the time. How does the committee regard those rankings when teams are in one week and out the next?
KIRBY HOCUTT: Yeah, we don't look forward and don't care to speculate on how that particular game and match-up is going to play out on Saturday. I will say that the selection committee has continued to look at Southern California. It's a team that has continued to improve each week. It's a team that has seen significant improvements since they made a change at the quarterback position. They have five consecutive wins coming into this week, and I will let you inside our selection committee room; the coaches that serve on this committee specifically have been very impressed with Southern California and what they've seen on the playing field the last number of weeks as well as the talent on that roster.

Q. I wondered your thoughts on how far you decided to slide Texas A&M down from 4 to 8, what the factors were, and also to what extent their head-to-head win over Auburn, granted it was early in the season, if that's still playing a factor now.
KIRBY HOCUTT: Yes, Texas A&M suffered a bad loss last week to a 4-5 football team, but as the committee deliberated this week's rankings, the head-to-head win over No. 9 Auburn was a significant component for the selection committee. I would say at this point in the season with lots of football left to be played that the committee is still seeing value in that head-to-head win for Texas A&M over Auburn.

Q. Oklahoma State had a controversial loss this year to Central Michigan due to a misinterpreted rule that allowed another play to occur and the winning touchdown to occur. How is the committee dealing with that Central Michigan game when evaluating Oklahoma State?
KIRBY HOCUTT: We're viewing it as a loss. It's not within our purview to decide wins and losses. The committee is aware of what transpired in that game and by the same token believe that we have Oklahoma State ranked in the appropriate spot that they deserve this week.

Q. With the playoffs coming out with the top four, are you ever going to see maybe two teams from one conference or maybe three teams from one conference in the future?
KIRBY HOCUTT: Well, the management committee has given the College Football Playoff selection committee the charge to rank the very best football teams in the country, and if in the eyes of the selection committee, two of the four best -- if two of the four best teams in the country are from the same conference, then we have the flexibility to do that.

So it's very difficult, and we don't allow ourselves to project forward and to anticipate, but the selection committee each week, we're focused on ranking for that particular week up to this point in the season, who are the best college football teams in the country 1 through 25, and ultimately when we get to the last week of the season, it will be teams 1 through 4 for inclusion into the semifinals.

Q. I want to ask you about West Virginia; what do they have to do to get into the top four because I know they play in the Big 12 and they play Oklahoma in a week or so and have Texas this weekend, so what do they have to do to get into the top four?
KIRBY HOCUTT: Well, like all teams, West Virginia just needs to keep winning. At this point in the season, they've only played one game against a ranked College Football Playoff opponent, and that was to Oklahoma State, who's ranked No. 13 in this week's rankings, and West Virginia lost that game. West Virginia just needs to continue to win and build their résumé in the eyes of the committee.

Q. I wanted to ask you a follow-up about Washington and Ohio State and Texas A&M. Last week your answer was more about who Texas A&M beat and not so much that their only loss was to Alabama, and I understand your reasoning with Ohio State and Penn State, but it just seems like if we're consistent, if you're being consistent with the reasoning for it, it would seem like it's more about the wins than the losses because that's what it seemed like last week in the justification for A&M, whereas if you look at Ohio State's wins this week, it would seem like that would be the justification for it as opposed to the loss for Penn State. Is what I'm saying making sense?
KIRBY HOCUTT: Well, I would say that our approach is consistent each and every week, and we're taking a comprehensive look into the complete résumé and body of work of each of these teams, and each week every team has a tremendous opportunity to build their résumé, to build their body of work that the selection committee has for review. The selection committee every week has the added value of being able to watch an additional game, to have another game to evaluate and to put that statistical information in front of us.

You know, every week we're looking at everything from how those teams perform on the field to the quality wins that they've achieved, and then any losses that a particular team may have, and so as you know, things change fast week by week in the great game of college football, but our approach every week is to take that comprehensive review and look at all elements, and that's what's different about this selection committee than anything ever before is that we're watching these games, and in addition to watching these games, we're able to get into the committee room and have in-depth, detailed conversation, and as you know from being a participant in the mock selections, we don't always agree, but we always believe that when the time comes that we have been successful in identifying the best teams in the country and the appropriate ranking.

GINA LEHE: That concludes this evening's teleconference.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297