LITTLE ROCK — On Monday evening, members of the selection committee charged with ranking college football’s best teams will exit their meeting room and move into an adjacent room for a working dinner.

LITTLE ROCK — On Monday evening, members of the selection committee charged with ranking college football’s best teams will exit their meeting room and move into an adjacent room for a working dinner.


Forks and football; knives and notes, side by side.


Imagine a dozen people with wide-ranging perspectives gathering at 2 p.m., knowing they have 24 hours to sort out three dozen or so teams and rank them 1 through 25, and you understand why they agreed in advance to break bread while breaking down schools with one loss.


For two months, committee members have prepared for the meeting in a Grapveine, Texas, hotel and the process that will ultimately decide the four participants in the College Football Playoff and factor into other bowl assignments.


Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long, the committee chair, has put in 20-25 hours per week watching football games, including his Razorbacks. Programmed with one remote, he has three TVs in his viewing room and usually DVRs a dozen games or so each week. Sometimes, three games are on simultaneously.


Each Sunday morning, the football-only version of various games is loaded onto a website to be accessed by all committee members. More games are made available during the day.


Long will fast forward through some games and he stops watching once a game is no longer competitive.


In the last few weeks, he’s made more and more notes.


The process continues all week, but Long puts in the most time on the weekends. Other committee members have their own schedule for prep work.


At some point during the meeting, each committee member will list their top 25 teams in no particular order and teams named by three or more members will remain under consideration. Based on the teams also receiving votes in The AP poll and the Coaches poll, 30-35 teams will be in play.


Next, each member will list the best six teams in no particular order and the six teams with the most votes will be on the first seeding ballot. Those six will be ranked from top to bottom by each member and the three with the fewest points will be the top seeds.


The other three teams will be held over for the next seeding ballot. From there, each member lists the six best remaining teams and the three teams with the most votes will be added to the holdovers to make up the next seeding ballot.


The process will be repeated until 25 teams have been seeded.


Prior to the voting, each committee member will share info on the conferences or conferences he or she is monitoring. Their role is to share facts, including those gleaned from three teleconferences with a conference, not to pitch a particular team.


Injury updates could be included, according to Bill Hancock, executive director of the playoff.


For example, Mike Gould and Tom Osborne, the so-called "point persons" for the Pac-12, could point out the value of Oregon left offensive tackle Jake Fisher. When Fisher was out with a leg injury, Marcus Mariota was sacked 12 times and the Ducks were 1-1.


Both Gould and Osborne are monitoring other conferences and Long is the only committee member not assigned to at least one league.


Long says there will be great opportunity for open discussion, which he calls the backbone of the process. "We will discuss and compare small groups of teams against each other before voting," he said.


As committee chair, Long must keep the committee on task. "It will be my responsibility to end discussion and move us to the next vote if we get bogged down," he said. "We can only spend so much time rehashing individual committee views before moving the voting process along."


Announced Tuesday evening, the rankings will be debated ad nauseam until the updated rankings are revealed seven days later and there is new fodder for discussion.


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Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media’s Arkansas News Bureau. Email: hleonk42@gmail.com.