The College Football Playoff shone a light on one of its biggest questions Tuesday night, announcing the general timetable for when its rankings would be released.
According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com, the first rankings will be released Tuesday, Oct. 28—one week later than the debut of the normal BCS rankings—and will be subsequently updated every Tuesday until the end of the season.
This means there will only be seven versions of the rankings (as opposed to the usual eight), with the final version being released either late on Dec. 6, after the conference championship games have been played, or the following day on Dec. 7.
The top four teams on that ranking will advance to the CFP.
Even with the clarity gained from this announcement, however, the current meeting of the CFP selection committee has been in the news more for what it hasn't done than what it has.
Specifically, CFP executive director Bill Hancock announced that he would not force the SEC to move to a nine-game conference schedule after the league announced it would stick to its normal eight-game conference schedule—plus the addition of one mandatory game against a team from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac-12.
Bleacher Report's playoff guru Sam Chi thinks that's a bad idea:
This really shouldn't be an SEC decision. If CFP has any legitimacy, it must legislate for competitive balance.— The Playoff Guru (@ThePlayoffGuru) April 28, 2014
On both of these matters—and on many unforeseen matters to come—it's important to remember that this is not a finished product. No matter what the CFP does to prepare this offseason, there are bound to be issues it didn't plan for. That's how things in their first year work.
For now, at least we know when we'll start seeing the CFP rankings. That gives us a fixed point in the distance to look forward to.
And that makes the playoff, finally, feel more like it's real.