The College Football Playoff has three new names to throw into the fire.
The CFP announced on Wednesday that Wyoming AD Tom Burman, Colorado AD Rick George and former Penn State player John Urschel were named to the Selection Committee with three year terms.
Tom, Rick and John each bring an exciting breadth of experiences and expertise to the committee,” Executive Director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “All three will continue the CFP tradition of committee members with high integrity and passion for the sport of college football.”
The group replaces former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, university president Chris Howard and Oregon AD Rob Mullens on the committee after their terms expired with the conclusion of the group’s duties in December. Mullens, who was the face of the organization as chairman and responsible for media briefings on the weekly CFP rankings, will turn the baton over to Iowa AD Gary Barta.
“We are delighted that Gary will serve as chair,” Hancock added. “He was a valuable member of the committee last year and he will be a good leader inside the room and a good spokesperson to let folks know what the committee did and why.”
“I had a terrific experience my first year on the committee,” Barta said. “I have so much respect for the other committee members, and for Bill Hancock and the CFP staff. I’m honored to be asked to serve as committee chair and look forward to working with this group again in 2020.”
Barta replaced Ohio State AD Gene Smith on the 13-person committee prior to the 2019 season after the latter stepped down early due to a controversial decision the year before.
The new crop of recruits represent several interesting choices for the select few that are responsible for picking the four teams for the Playoff. Burman is the second Group of Five athletic director on the committee while Urschel is the youngest member (28) by a wide margin. He also might be the smartest as well, having won the William V. Campbell Trophy (i.e. the “academic Heisman) as a player for the Nittany Lions while also wrapping his NFL career up early in 2017 to pursue a Ph.D at MIT.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, changes in terms of the decision making with regards to the final four and CFP top 25 overall in the coming years with these three new faces on board. Either way, fans should at least get to know Barta quite well as he will be tasked with explaining the rationale behind many of the decisions to the public starting this fall.