Just who will compose the selection committee for college football’s new playoff system is one of the biggest questions yet unanswered about the future of the sport.
What we do know is that a group of 12 to 20 members will meet to decide which teams will make the cut for the new four-team College Football Playoff system, which goes into effect in 2014. Who exactly those members will be has still been a mystery.
Perhaps a classifed ad will help:
Wanted: Someone of the highest of integrity, willing to commit a significant amount of time and is willing to be steadfast and make hard decisions. Someone who will not underestimate the magnitude of those decisions. Someone who can work well with others and take harsh criticism. Apply to the College Football Playoff.
Alright, that’s not an actual ad, but you get my drift.
Whomever is chosen to make up this committee will have one of the most talked-about and scrutinized jobs in sports. Much like the selection committee that determines the NCAA basketball tournament, this group will determine the fate of college football’s postseason each year. A difficult job, no doubt, but committee members will know quickly just how passionate college football fans can be especially if they feel a decision is unjust.
The picture of just who could be on that committee got a little bit clearer when College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock said that as of this moment, current conference commissioners will not eligible for the group.
“The working concept is that commissioners would not be eligible,” Hancock told reporters including CBSSports.com Wednesday in Destin, Fla., for the Southeastern Conference spring meetings. “If you could emphasize, that's a working concept.”
Hancock went on to say that athletic directors would be eligible, but again everything is fluid.
He went on to add that Friday is the deadline for conferences to submit names to be considered for that committee. Hancock expects there to be about 100 names submitted.
So just who will make up this group?
My guess is there will be some retired administrators – a former conference commissioner or two – some well-respected retired coaches (Bobby Bowden, anyone?), former school presidents and possibly a retired and well-respected media member as well. The group will be eclectic, but most of all, represent a vast knowledge of college football – past and present.
Much like the basketball selection committee, the college football selection committee will more than likely be supplied with all sorts of data. Most likely the group will base part of their decision on a strength of schedule equation. They will take into account past performance as well as the current season. There will be no room for favoritism among this panel and transparency will be key if this model is going to work.
Again, like the basketball model, the football selection committee members will also serve a term meaning the group will change over time. An important aspect for the long-term success of the playoff system.
Hancock told the media Wednesday that there could be a decision by fall, but when speaking with him earlier this month, he told me there wasn’t a sense of urgency when it came to selecting the members for the first selection committee.
“We want to be deliberate,” Hancock told the me. “We have the time … and we want to get it right.”
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