The first rankings from the College Football Playoff selection committee will be released Tuesday, and Michigan State will be one of the teams paying close attention.
How exactly the committee sees things has been up for debate since before the season started. But today's rankings, and subsequent ones released each week at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN until the selection show Dec. 7, will give the first real indication.
The Associated Press and coaches' polls have been all fans have had to go by, but committee members are instructed to discredit polls where there are rankings before competition has started.
What committee members will use is a review of video, statistics and their own expertise.
Committee members won't simply rank teams 1-25, but will operate much like the basketball committee and ranking teams in smaller pools before final rankings are reached.
The semifinals will be played in the Rose and Sugar bowls Jan. 1, with the championship Jan. 8 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The committee will also be placing teams in the four other bowls that will rotate in as semifinal sites on a year-by-year basis.
The College Football Playoff Committee (Rankings release: 7:30 Tuesday, ESPN):
Chairman: Jeff Long, Arkansas athletic director
■Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin athletic director
■Michael C. Gould, former Air Force Academy superintendent
■Pat Haden, USC athletic director
■Tom Jernstedt, Former NCAA executive vice president
■Oliver Luck, West Virginia athletic director
■Tom Osborne, Former Nebraska coach and athletic director
■Dan Radakovich, Clemson athletic director
■Condoleezza Rice, Former U.S. Secretary of State and Stanford provost
■Mike Tranghese, Former Big East commissioner
■Steve Wieberg, Former USA Today reporter
■Tyrone Willingham, Former college football coach