Now three years into the new system, the College Football Playoff’s selection committee roster is beginning change.
Gone are Barry Alvarez, Condoleezza Rice and Lloyd Carr (Carr had already stepped down for health reasons), and in are Ohio State AD Gene Smith, Robert Morris University president Dr. Chris Howard and former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, which the CFP made official on Tuesday.
Additionally, Kirby Hocutt had his 2-year stay on the committee extended through the 2017 season, and Bobby Johnson will stay through 2018. Hocutt and Johnson stepped in when Oliver Luck stepped away after taking a job with the NCAA and Archie Manning stepped down due to health reasons. Hocutt will again serve as committee chairman in 2017.
With Rice leaving, the CFP will consist entirely of men for the first time in its history.
“Frank, Chris and Gene will each bring a wealth of knowledge to the selection committee,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “All three played college football. And they will continue the CFP tradition of committee members with high integrity and a passion for college football.
“We are also delighted that Kirby will return as chair. He did a tremendous job of leading and facilitating the committee’s deliberations, and he was also an excellent representative with the media and public. Likewise, we are pleased that Bobby accepted our invitation to return. He is an excellent evaluator of teams and brings a valuable coach’s perspective.”
Smith has served as Ohio State’s AD for 12 years and served on a wealth of NCAA committees in that time, including a run on the Men’s Basketball Selection Committee.
“This is a tremendous honor and privilege to be appointed to this committee,” Smith said in a statement. “The sport of football has given so much to me and I feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to be able to give back.”
Howard is a former Air Force player who was named the inaugural Campbell Trophy winner as the nation’s top scholar-athlete in 1990. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in politics from the University of Oxford and an M.B.A. from Harvard. Howard became the president of Hampden-Sydney College in 2009 — he was among the youngest college presidents in the country at the time — and took over at Robert Morris in 2015. Also a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Howard earned a Bronze Star for distinguished service in Afghanistan.
Beamer, of course, is a future College Football Hall of Fame coach who walked away from the game with 280 total victories and a 238-121-2 mark while serving as Virginia Tech’s head coach from 1987-2015. In addition to winning or sharing seven conference championships, seven top-10 finishes and an appearance in the 1999 BCS title game, Beamer shepherded the Hokies from a Division I-AA independent to the ACC.
“College football has been my life’s work, and I’m really humbled that I can still contribute to the game in this role,” Beamer said in a statement. “Hopefully the rest of the committee will be interested in my perspective. To join a group with so many great minds and such a diverse range of experience, I just want to pull my weight. The committee has an important role, and I’ll do everything asked of me to help rank the best teams in America for the right to compete for the national championship.”