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College Football Playoff reveals full selection committee


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.

Win over Grambling approved, Cal officially becomes bowl eligible

Jared Goff
Associated Press
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Earlier today we had the report that Cal, they of the normally bowl-eligible six wins on the season, were not actually bowl eligible. The hang up was due to some NCAA red tape on how many scholarships Grambling, a 73-14 victim to the Bears on opening Saturday, had actually awarded this year.

Why the number of scholarships awarded by an opponent of a 6-5 team could determine what glorified exhibition said 6-5 could or could not play is a matter for another time, but the fact is it mattered.

But according to a report from Kevin Gemmell of, the Bears received approval to count the win toward their total, meaning Sonny Dykes and company will go bowling for the first time since 2011.

“We have conferred with both Grambling and the NCAA,” Cal spokesman Wes Mallette told ESPN. “As anticipated, Grambling has confirmed their football program has met the 90 percent financial aid requirement over the rolling two-year average. Therefore, Cal football’s win over Grambling counts toward bowl eligibility. Cal football is bowl eligible.”

The Bears have a chance to become bowl eligible the old fashioned way with a win over Arizona State Saturday in Berkeley.


Tulane reportedly set to fire head coach Curtis Johnson

Curtis Johnson
Associated Press
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The end of the college football regular season brings with it bowl bids, conference championship entries and rivalry games. Along the way, though, come end-of-season firings. So many end of-season firings.

According to a report from Dan Wolken of USA Today Wednesday night, the first one is already on the books. Or at least close to it.

Wolken reports Tulane is set to part ways with head coach Curtis Johnson following the Green Wave’s Friday finale against Tulsa “barring a last-minute change of direction.”

Johnson is 15-33 in nearly four complete seasons at Tulane, reaching a high point of a 7-6 mark wtih a New Orleans Bowl appearance in 2013 but winning two, three and three games in his other three campaigns.

If and when the move becomes official, Tulane will become the 15th FBS school to change head coaches this season, matching the total number of changes during the 2014-15 cycle.

Wolken reports Tulane will hire a new athletics director within the next week, and once that hiring is complete the school will then embark on hiring Johnson’s replacement.

Reports: Michigan DC D.J. Durkin a “strong candidate” for Maryland vacancy

D.J. Durkin
Associated Press

Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin has emerged a “strong candidate” for the Maryland job, according to reports from Yahoo‘s Pat Forde and Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman Wednesday.

“Durkin, 37, met recently with Maryland officials, sources said,” Forde wrote. “No job offer was made, but the interview went well, sources said.”

Added Feldman:

Durkin is in his first season as Michigan’s defensive coordinator, helping the 9-2 Wolverines jump from 14th to third nationally in yards per play allowed (4.77 to 4.15) and 27th to sixth in scoring defense (22.4 to 14.9).

Prior to working on Jim Harbaugh‘s staff, Durkin served as Will Muschamp‘s defensive coordinator at Florida for two years, and as his special teams coordinator for two years before that. He previously worked at Stanford, Bowling Green (his alma mater) and Notre Dame.

Should he be offered and accept the job, Durkin would immediately become Big Ten East rivals with his mentor Harbaugh.

“This week is so important to our guys, my 100% focus is on this game and our players — that’s what this profession is all about. You’ve got to make sure you’re taking care of the job you have week in and week out. It’s a tough task, especially with this team we have this week,” Durkin told the Detroit Free Press when asked about the reports.

“My goal is to get the best game plan possible together for Ohio State and have our guys go play well. To answer rumors or speculation right now and put something to it, my total focus is 100% on Ohio State and nothing else.”

Illini to decide on fate of interim head coach Bill Cubit by Sunday

Bill Cubit
Associated Press

Illinois will decide whether or not to retain interim head coach Bill Cubit for the full-time job by Sunday, interim AD Paul Kowalczyk told WSKJ-FM Wednesday.

“We need to make that call and figure out which way we’re going for everyone’s sake,” Kowalczyk said, via the Chicago Tribune. “For me, it’s posthaste.”

Illinois closes its regular season Saturday against No. 16 Northwestern in Champaign. The Illini are 5-6 on the year and, for what it’s worth, Cubit desperately wants the job.

Also worth noting: the athletics department is operating under a total state of dysfunction in the wake of AD Mike Thomas‘s firing.

From 670 The Score in Chicago on Wednesday:

Sources tell 670 The Score that as overwhelmed university officials are dithering and providing little guidance, the group of trustees, boosters and alums left to run things can’t yet agree on much.  Some want to hire a search firm with a spotty recent track record, others want to form their own search committee, while another faction thinks they need to act faster by using their own contacts to target specific AD and coaching candidates right now and just get moving.

Any support for retaining Bill Cubit is getting strong push-back from those who don’t believe he wasn’t aware of Tim Beckman’s aberrant behavior, and from some who feel strongly about making a more dynamic hire.

For those keeping score at home: Illinois is dealing with a power vacuum of trustees, boosters and alums battling for control while an interim chancellor and interim athletics director work to reach a resolution on an interim football coach.

And the coaching carousel starts spinning in full four days from now.