Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the BCS, speaks at the unveiling of the 100th Rose Bowl Game logo at Rose Bowl Stadium on April 23, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/WireImage) (Jerod Harris / October 16, 2013)
The members that will compose the first College Football Playoff Selection committee were announced Wednesday in Dallas putting to end the worst-kept secret in college football.
Thirteen relative strangers from various backgrounds whose association with college football is the only common thread will decide which four teams will qualify for the new College Football Playoff set to debut in 2014. It’s the sports equivalent of jury duty. A thankless task that will be scrutinized over and over in the media.
The group will be chaired by Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long and will consist of Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin AD), Mike Gould (retired Lt. General), Pat Haden (USC AD), Tom Jernstedt (former NCAA vice president), Oliver Luck (West Virginia AD), Archie Manning (former NFL and Ole Miss player), Tom Osborne (former Nebraska coaching great), Dan Radakovich (Clemson AD), Codelezza Rice (former Secretary of State), Mike Tranghese (former Big East commissioner), Steve Wieberg (former USA Today writer) and Tyrone Willingham (former Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington coach).
“We wanted people of the highest integrity for this committee, and we got them. Every one of them has vast football knowledge, excellent judgment, dedication and love for this game,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff. “They will no doubt have one of the hardest jobs in sports. But their skills and wide variety of experiences—from coaches and athletes to university leaders and journalists—will ensure that they will be successful. And they are committed to investing the time and effort necessary for this endeavor. We are grateful that they will be serving this terrific game of college football.”
As the names began to leak out over the past few weeks, critics were quick to question the validity of some of the names mentioned for the position especially that of Rice, whose ties to college football were brought into question. Opponents like former Auburn coach Pat Dye who claimed that Rice’s knowledge of the game was from ‘what somebody told her, or what she read in a book, or what she saw on television’ adding ‘To understand football, you've got to play with your hand in the dirt.’
Ironically, Rice was at one time considered a candidate for the commissioner of the National Football League before the job went to Roger Goodell. She a bright, intelligent woman who spent a good portion of her political career working with heads of states debating topics that were far bigger than whether or not Alabama or Oregon should play for a national championship.
In fact, the group will reportedly meet several times during the football season and will decided not only the four teams involved in the playoff, but will also put out its own top 25 ranking. To determine eligible teams, the group will use various metrics including conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head comparisons, comparative outcomes of common opponents and other factors such as how key injuries impacted the team’s season.
According to the College Football Playoffs, the group will vote in a series of ballots where the committee members will select a pool of teams to consider then rank those teams. Individual ballots will be compiled into a composite rankings.
Members will serve three-year terms with certain individuals serving terms shorter or longer to create a staggered effect similar to the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee.
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