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.

LSU lands commitment from nation’s No. 1 cornerback

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LSU rarely loses a player it wants out of Louisiana. Now add in that said player isn’t just from Louisiana, but lives in Baton Rouge. Now add in that he’s regarded as the No. 1 player at his position. Yeah, this kid was never going anywhere else.

Derek Stingley, Jr., committed to LSU on Wednesday, beating out Texas and Florida.

Rivals ranks Stingley as the No. 1 corner and No. 1 overall player in its 2019 rankings. Stingley stands as the No. 1 corner and the No. 8 overall player on the 247Sports ratings. ESPN is more bullish on Stingley, slotting him as just the No. 3 cornerback and the No. 67 overall player. (247Sports lists Lewis Center, Ohio, defensive end Zach Harrison as its No. 1 overall player, while ESPN favors Westlake Village, Calif., defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.)

Stingley was previously committed to LSU, but de-committed to take his time and make an informed decision. All that information led him to the exact same conclusion.

“There are a lot of reasons I love LSU, but the main thing is coach Corey Raymond. We have built a strong relationship over a long period of time. We have really gotten to know each other. I am relaxed around him, we can talk about anything and I know he will be there for me at any time. Our connection is what really pushed LSU to the top,” he told Rivals. “This commitment is completely different. I took my time. I put more time into it and really looked at other schools. I got caught up in the hype before and I did not know anything about recruiting or other schools. I know all I need to know now and LSU is the school for me. I am done now and I will not visit any other schools.”

LSU’s 13-man class is rated No. 10 nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Vanderbilt transfer DL Rutger Reitmaier receives all-clear from NCAA

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Vanderbilt got some good news Wednesday when the NCAA approved transfer Rutger Reitmaier to compete this fall.

The Nashville native signed with Oregon out of high school in 2017 but did not compete for the Ducks. He left the team after spring practice, sat out the 2017 season and enrolled at Vanderbilt in January.

“Adding Rutger to our roster is huge,” head coach Derek Mason told Vanderbilt’s official site. “He adds depth, athleticism and will be a key piece for us. I’m excited about what an impactful player he is, and it’s great to add another quality player from Nashville.”

A 4-star recruit, Reitmaier was recruited by the likes of Tennessee, Ole Miss and South Carolina, but favored Vanderbilt when leaving Oregon.

“Vanderbilt was the first school I considered after deciding to leave Oregon,” he said. “It was one of my top-three schools during my initial recruitment in high school. Defense wins championships, so having a head coach like Coach Mason with that background was attractive for me. I’m excited to get going.”

 

Northwestern announces slew of schedule changes, including future home-and-homes with Tulane and Rice

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Northwestern claims they have the best home schedule in the country for the upcoming 2018 season and they have a pretty good case with Duke, Akron, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Notre Dame all coming to Ryan Field. Based on the latest moves on their future schedules however, that good run of big names doesn’t quite continue.

The school announced a slew of new games in the coming years on Wednesday, including a pair of home-and-homes with AAC and CUSA opponents. First up is a date with Tulane in Evanston on Sept. 12, 2020, followed by a return game in New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2025. As a result of that first game against the Green Wave, the Wildcats had to move their previously scheduled contest against Central Michigan from Sept. 12 to Sept. 19 in 2020 (also at home).

Another school in the South was also added to the NU docket with a second home-and-home series with Rice way out in the future. The pair will play in Houston on Sept. 8, 2029, while the return game at Ryan Field is set for Sept. 6… 2031. Yeah, 2031. The two teams will also meet in 2024 and 2025.

A single home game against FCS power South Dakota State was also announced by Northwestern and will be played on Sept. 12, 2026.

The moves mean the Wildcats’ non-conference slate is pretty much set in 2019 (at Stanford, vs. UNLV and UMass), 2022 (vs. Duke, Miami (OH) and Southern Illinois) and 2024 (vs. Duke, Miami (OH) and Rice). The games announced Wednesday fill in some of the holes left in other years but outside of the trip to the Farm next season and a home-and-home with Colorado in 2026/27, there’s not a ton to write home about.

At least Northwestern will always have that 2018 home schedule to point to.

NCAA data shows number of graduate transfers in football nearly doubled last year

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The biggest issue the NCAA is tackling at the moment is an easy one to pick out: transfers. Coaches have chimed in about potential changes and new rules have been enacted but even as we approach the Media Days portion of the calendar next month, transfer talk has been one of the hot topics across all major sports at the collegiate level.

Perhaps that interest is one reason why the NCAA released a new study this week looking into the numbers of one particular category of players: graduate transfers. While the number of actual graduate transfers remains relatively low (about 1% of the total number of student-athletes), the number itself continues to skyrocket year-by-year as more and more players take advantage of rules that allow them to graduate and play immediately at their next school.

According to the NCAA, that number of grad transfers is five times bigger in 2017 than it was in 2011 for men’s sports alone and football in particular saw the number of players moving around nearly double from 117 total in 2016 to 211 the following season. The rates are higher in men’s basketball but the overall number is naturally much bigger in football given the vastly bigger roster size.

Data for 2018 was naturally not made available since we’re just in the middle of the year but a similar increase wouldn’t be too surprising to see given the number of big names that have made headlines prior to the upcoming season. That includes players like Michigan’s Wilton Speight (to UCLA), Cal’s Tre Watson (to Texas), Notre Dame’s Jay Hayes (to Georgia) and Alabama’s Brandon Kennedy (to Tennessee) all among those taking the grad transfer route. It seems like nearly every week we see one or two players announce their intentions to take a similar path.

While we might not have 400+ players listed as graduate transfers in football when 2018 comes to a close, it certainly doesn’t appear that this trend will be slowing down anytime soon and the coaches that are complaining about this brand of “free agency” in college football will just have to get used to the new reality of player movement in light of a number of new NCAA reforms on the subject.