This just in:
The key to getting picked for the college football playoff is to win all your games. Unless you're from Michigan but aren't Michigan.
Failing that, the key is to win your conference. Unless your conference doesn't have a championship game, or there's a team in your conference that people like better.
Also, don't lose to Pittsburgh. Unless you're Clemson, in which case it's fine.
Also, strength of non-conference schedule absolutely matters, unless it doesn't and you've got Rutgers as your biggest out of conference test.
Also, if you do lose a game, who you lose to matters. For example, Ohio State lost to Big Ten champion and #5 team in the country Penn State. Ohio State is in the playoff. Penn State is not.
Also, make sure your wins are impressive, which means you've got great talent. Unless your wins are squeakers, which means you know how to win under tough circumstances. Then again, your close wins could mean you can't put teams away and your blowouts could mean you've never faced adversity. It really depends who you are.
There. I hope that's cleared things up for you.