Ranking conference title games by playoff importance

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Conference championship week is unlike any other for the College Football Playoff selection committee because it's the only time the members watch the games together.

They will begin on Friday evening with the Conference USA game between New Mexico State and Liberty, followed by the Pac-12 title game between Oregon and Washington (8 p.m. ET/ABC). They will discuss the teams as the games unfold but won't begin their deliberations and voting until after the ACC championship game between Louisville and Florida State (8 p.m. ET/ABC) on Saturday night.

"It really is nice to be together as a group for the conference championship games as we put together our final rankings," selection committee chair Boo Corrigan told ESPN. "Being together for these final games gives us the chance to talk in real time about what we are seeing unfold, compare the level of play between teams side by side, and compare our notes on what we have been seeing on our own from the regular season."

It's easily the longest night of the season. This year, it might also be the most difficult.

The conference title games are the missing piece -- the last chance to impress the members while having their undivided attention. The opponent matters. So does how the game is won. There is written protocol to guide the committee members if teams are comparable. They use tiebreakers to help sort it out -- and winning a conference title is one of them.

Never has the committee's No. 1 team fallen out of the top four -- but never has the field been so deep.

Here's how each Power 5 title game could impact the final ranking on Selection Day. The games are ranked in order of biggest possible impact:

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