Ohio State’s coaching change has also triggered an unintended change to the committee that selects the playoff semifinalists.
In a surprise move Friday, the College Football Playoff announced that OSU athletic director Gene Smith is stepping down from his post as one of the 13 members of the selection committee. Smith had served two years of his three-year term prior to the decision to step away.
In a statement, Smith pointed to Ryan Day taking over for Urban Meyer as the Buckeyes’ head football coach as the impetus for his departure.
“Serving on this committee has been an honor,” Smith said. “Contributing to this great sport is always a privilege, and I will miss the time with my colleagues. It is imperative for me to have 100% focus in helping our new coach with his transition at The Ohio State University this fall.”
With Smith out, he’ll be replaced by a fellow Big Ten athletic director, Iowa’s Gary Barta.
“Gene has been an invaluable member of our CFP selection committee,” executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “As a former football student-athlete, coach and now collegiate administrator, his influence is deeply appreciated. This is a significant time commitment, and we understand Gene’s need to focus on his primary responsibility on campus.”
“I’m delighted that Gary will be joining the committee. He is a highly respected leader in college football and I look forward to him becoming a member of the committee. I know Gary to be a person of excellent judgment and he’ll fit right in.”
Barta will be the fourth new selection committee member as the CFP announced last month three new members had been added — Terry Mohajir, General Ray Odierno and R.C. Slocum. Mohair is the current athletic director at Arkansas State, while Slocum is the former head coach at Texas A&M. Odierno, who played college football at Army West Point, is a career military man who served as the Army Chief of Staff from 2011-15.
Below are the other nine members of the 2019 selection committee, along with when their respective terms expire:
- Former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer (February 2020)
- Former sportswriter Paola Boivin (February 2021)
- Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione (February 2021)
- Former head coach Ken Hatfield (February 2021)
- Robert Morris University president Christopher Howard (February 2020)
- College Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott (February 2021)
- Oregon athletic director/committee chair Rob Mullens (February 2020)
- Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury (February 2021)
- Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin (February 2021)