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.