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With the calendar set, the sites coming into focus, the next big issue left is the selection committee.

“I think April will be the action month in a lot of respects,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said.

The concept the commissioners are working with is about 18 people, mostly current college sports administrators, such as conference commissioners and athletic directors. Every conference and independent in major college football would be represented.

Delany said he hopes that by requiring the committee to emphasize strength of schedule it will force programs to rethink some of those cupcake games that inflate records. And that a couple of losses against good teams won’t necessarily eliminate a team from playing in the four-team playoff

“It certainly has evolved in men’s basketball,” he said. “Everybody who is 20-10 doesn’t get to the tournament. I think the new committee is sort of important to reinforce that. What they do in the first two, three, four years is going to really determine the messages that are being sent. The basketball committee has consistently sent the message that who you play and who you beat is more important than the record.”