College Football Playoff reveals full selection committee

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While the vast majority of the names had already been leaked, the College Football Playoff officially announced the member of the group that will shape the postseason for the foreseeable future.

The 13-member committee, which you can view in its entirety below, will be charged with selecting the four teams that will take part in the College Football Playoff that will begin following the 2014 regular season. Generally speaking, each selection committee member will serve an unpaid, three-year term, although the initial terms could be longer or shorter depending on unknown variables.

While the number is 13 now, that total could go up or down moving into future seasons.

“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, in a statement. “They will no doubt have one of the hardest jobs in sports. But their skills and wide variety of experiencesfrom coaches and athletes to university leaders and journalistswill 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.”

Individuals with experience as a coach, player, administrator and journalist, as well as sitting athletic directors, were considered for the committee. Out of more than a hundred expressing interest at various points, the following baker’s dozen constitutes the initial selection committee:

  • Jeff Long, vice-chancellor and director of athletics, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Chair
  • Barry Alvarez, director of athletics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Lieutenant General Mike Gould, former superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy
  • Pat Haden, director of athletics, University of Southern California
  • Tom Jernstedt, former NCAA executive vice president
  • Oliver Luck, director of athletics, West Virginia University
  • Archie Manning, former University of Mississippi quarterback and all-pro NFL quarterback
  • Tom Osborne, former head coach and director of athletics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Dan Radakovich, director of athletics, Clemson University
  • Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University professor, former Stanford provost and former United States Secretary of State
  • Mike Tranghese, former commissioner of the Big East Conference
  • Steve Wieberg, former college football reporter, USA Today
  • Tyrone Willingham, former head coach of three FBS institutions

If you were curious as to the accomplishments of the committee as a group, which will be chaired by Long, as a group, the CFP release broke it down for you.

In aggregate, the selection committee members have roughly 230 years of experience in college football. The group includes 10 people who played college football, two former top-level university administrators, five current athletics directors, three members of the College Football Hall of Fame, three former college football head coaches, a former United States Secretary of State, a former member of Congress, and a retired three-star general.

In addition, the group includes a Rhodes Scholar, two Academic All-Americans, three Phi Beta Kappa graduates, and a retired journalist who won numerous awards as a reporter. Collectively the group has 26 degrees of higher learning, including eight master’s degrees, two law degrees, and two doctoral degrees.

While one key component, the committee, was revealed, just how the teams will be selected by the group remains vague and without any type of mandated structure.

A basketball-like RPI was mentioned as a possibility, although at this point in time the members will rely simply on factors such as win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results and conference championships won. They are, though, not limited solely to only those factors.

“Unlike the BCS, which uses a formula based on a combination of computer rankings and human polls to select teams, selection committee members for the new playoff will have flexibility to examine whatever data they believe is relevant to inform their decisions,” the release stated.

In a press conference currently ongoing, Long mentioned that injuries would be another factor that the committee could take into consideration, saying “it would be unfair if we didn’t take [them] into account.”.

The release further adds that “the selection committee will meet several times in person to evaluate teams and prepare interim rankings during the regular season. It will meet again during selection weekend and will announce the pairings for the playoff.”

Rankings consisting of a Top 25 will likely be released 4-5 times a year, with the first coming around midseason. Unfortunately, individual Top 25s will not be released, which rips to shreds the notion of transparency that most thought there would be and which the sports’ leaders had hinted at repeatedly throughout the run-up to this announcement.

UNC and Minnesota line up future home-and-home deal

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While one football series between an ACC and Big Ten team may be hard to come by, North Carolina and Minnesota have put together a future home-and-home scheduling agreement to look forward to. The Tar Heels and Gophers will meet for the first time on the football field in 2023 and follow up with a second game in 2024, the schools announced on Wednesday.

North Carolina will host Minnesota on Sept. 16, 2023. The two schools will then open the 2024 season at Minnesota, either on August 31, 2024 or for a Thursday opener on August 29, 2024.

The ACC and Big Ten each require their members to play one game against another power conference opponent each season. North Carolina already satisfied that requirement in 2024 with a season-opener against South Carolina scheduled to be played in Charlotte, NC, but the 2024 game fulfills the power conference scheduling requirement for the Tar Heels. The home-and-home series will also satisfy Minnesota’s obligation to the Big Ten scheduling policy for both seasons (Minnesota is getting an exemption for 2018 and 2019 due to previous scheduling arrangements being in place prior to the Big Ten’s stance on strength of schedule in non-conference play.

Pitt leaves renewal of football series in Penn State’s hands

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Ever since the in-state rivalry between Penn State and Pitt came to a temporary end in 2001, it has been a struggle to get the two schools back on the field for any stretch of time. With the third in a four-game series upcoming this fall, Pitt is hoping to find a way to continue playing the Nittany Lions on future schedules, but the offer is now apparently in Penn State’s hands awaiting a response.

Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke told reporters Wednesday she has proposed a four-year series beginning in 2026 to her Penn State counterpart, Sandy Barbour, but Penn State has not responded to the offer.

“We’re going to wait a tad more patiently, but not much,” Lyke said, according to Trib Live. “We can’t. We have people who want to play us and good opportunities to play what would be a very attractive game.”

The four-game series currently ongoing between the Panthers and Nittany Lions comes to a close after their meeting in the 2019 season in Happy Valley. According to FBSchedules.com, Penn State will not have another opening for a non-conference game until 2021. That is also the first season Pitt will have scheduling availability for non-conference matchups. Both schools already have power conference opponents lined up through 2025 as well, perhaps eliminating the desire to add another power conference opponent to the schedule.

Both Penn State and Pitt have scheduling requirements for non-conference play from the Big Ten and ACC, respectively, to include at least one game against another power conference opponent. It seems like a natural solution for Penn State and Pitt to agree to a long-term scheduling commitment to satisfy their respective conferences’ scheduling requirements, but the old issue has always come down to the financial incentive of a game. With Penn State playing in a larger stadium, it would be losing out on potential revenue that could be gained by an extra home game when possible. And playing road games at Pittsburgh only helps another program in the state by filling the seats more than any other home game on Pitt’s schedules in just about any season (Notre Dame and West Virginia would be other candidates to help Pitt fill Heinz Field).

It took so long just to get the two schools together for a two-year series, which was later expanded to a four-year arrangement. Don’t count on this in-state rivalry being renewed for quite some time after the 2019 season.

QB Blake Barnett reportedly transferring from Arizona State

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Quarterback Blake Barnett is now on the graduate transfer market. According to Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated, via Twitter, Barnett will find a new program to wrap up his college football career as a graduate transfer. South Florida is reportedly set to get an official visit from the former Sun Devils and Alabama quarterback.

Barnett started his football career at Alabama, where he sat out the 2015 season as a freshman. During his redshirt freshman in 2016, Barnett appeared in just three games as Jalen Hurts rose to become Alabama’s starting quarterback that would lead the Tide for the next two seasons (until halftime of last season’s national championship game). Barnett transferred to Arizona State, leaving behind a seemingly tumultuous relationship with Nick Saban, and played in just two games for the Sun Devils last fall, while Manny Wilkins established himself as the quarterback for former head coach Todd Graham.

A former four-star recruit out of high school, Barnett has played in just five games and completed 14 of 24 pass attempts for 259 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Barnett’s latest transfer news comes a day after former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen took a swipe at Barnett, who was ranked ahead of Rosen in various recruiting rankings out of high school.

“Blake Barnett was the Elite 11 MVP,” Rosen said, per SEC Country. “He was the dude that was going to go to ‘Bama, win a couple championships, call it quits and go to the league as the first overall pick. You don’t really hear about him too much.”

As a graduate transfer, Barnett will be eligible to play immediately this fall.

Transferring BYU QB Kody Wilstead finds new home at Kansas JUCO

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With eight quarterbacks on the roster, Kody Wilstead opted to leave the Cougars in mid-March.  A little over a month later, Wilstead has found a new home, albeit a little further down on the college football ladder.

According to the Deseret News, Wilstead has signed to play at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.  As Coffeyville is a junior college, the quarterback will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

It’s expected that Wilstead will spend at least one season at the JUCO level before looking at making a move back up to the FBS.

Wilstead, a three-star 2015 signee, took a redshirt as a true freshman last season after serving an LDS mission the previous two years.

After Wilstead’s departure, the seven remaining Cougar signal-callers are, in alphabetical order, Stacy ConnerJoe CritchlowHayden GriffittsBeau HogeTanner MangumBaylor Romney and Zach Wilson. Mangum, last year’s starter, is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury he suffered in November of last year but remains on track to return for the start of summer camp in August.