Condoleezza Rice

AP Photo/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Zach Long

Report: CFB Playoff clause could lead to extension for Kirby Hocutt

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Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt is taking over as the chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee this year. Although his term on the selection committee is scheduled to expire at the end of the 2016 season, a clause in the selection committee protocol could lead to a one-year extension for Hocutt, according to a report from Heather Dinich of ESPN.com.

“Members will not be eligible for re-appointment, but a member’s term may be extended one year if the member would serve as chair in what otherwise would be his/her final year,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN.com. This being Hocutt’s final year on his term qualifies Hocutt for the one-year extension, which would allow him to fill that role again in 2017. Selection committee members typically serve three-year contracts, which means the bulk of the selection committee is entering their final year on their respective contracts, but Hocutt was not a founding selection committee member. This will be just his second season on the committee.

Hocutt fills the vacancy on the committee left by West Virginia’s Oliver Luck and succeeds Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, who served as the chair of the selection committee for the first two seasons of the College Football Playoff. In addition to being the top head of the selection committee, the chair must also be the public face of the committee. Long had appeared on the weekly rankings show aired by ESPN to answer questions about the most recent rankings and attempt to shed some light on the logic behind the rankings as discussed by the selection committee. It was a job that came with plenty of criticism, although this was not always the direct fault of Long the past two years. He was just there to take the brunt of the attacks from critics, as any chairperson might.

There is no deadline for the College Football Playoff and selection committee to decide the fate of Hocutt’s term, although Hancock notes the discussion will be held later this year. There is no real rush to make a final judgement either. This is a decision that could even linger into the 2017 calendar year, although it would be expected to be cemented in place before the start of the 2017 college football season and could come much earlier than that. The future of other selection committee members with expiring contracts — Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez, Bobby Johnson and Condoleezza Rice — remains unknown at this time as well.

Again, there is plenty of time to piece together the 2017 College Football Playoff selection committee, so don’t expect much clarity on the situation in the near future.

Condoleezza Rice has conservative stance on College Football Playoff expansion

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Since the dawn of the College Football Playoff era in college football (it’s been one whole year already), the company line seems to be selling a commitment to the four-team playoff model for the duration of the 12-year contract. Executive director Bill Hancock has been pitching that every time he is asked about it, and selection committee member Condoleezza Rice is echoing the message as well.

I feel pretty strongly about four now because I thought that the rivalry weekend — that Saturday after Thanksgiving — almost felt like a play-in game,” Rice said to Heather Dinich of ESPN.com. “Now the Iron Bowl, Alabama has to beat Auburn. You could imagine the circumstances in another year where the Civil War, Oregon really has to beat Oregon State.”I agree that if it got much larger, I don’t think you would have that momentum coming out of the regular season, so it’s the best possible scenario.”

Despite its first year’s hits (massive TV ratings) and misses (weekly ranking debates and the Big 12 conversation), Rice feels confident four is still the right number for college football.

“I agree that if it got much larger, I don’t think you would have that momentum coming out of the regular season, so it’s the best possible scenario,” Rice added.

The College Football Playoff may be in its infancy, but it is standing firm on a number of issues and ideas regarding its future. Maybe something changes down the line, but there has been no wiggle room on the topic of expansion coming from the selection committee. Some coaches have a different opinion. In the same vein, the College Football Playoff has opted not to budge its scheduling, which means games will be played on December 31 (New Years Eve) despite some concern about the scheduling and TV programming hassles it seems to cause. It is also no afraid of possible Monday night competition from the NFL.

Condi Rice puts college football critics at ease

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The rumored addition of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice caught some college football fans off guard. Some reacted to the buzz in a not-so-flattering fashion, questioning why she would be involved as someone from outside the college football world. None of that seems to bother Rice, who met with the media for the first time on Wednesday via conference call.

“I’ve been in enough positions to respect people who have different views,” Rice said. “Not everyone on the committee has played football. I’m a student of the game and I believe that I will work very, very hard.”

Rice is one of 13 members to the new College Football Playoff Selection Committee. She is the only woman on the committee, but that does not mean she is looking to break barriers with her new role.

“I don’t feel carrying banner for anyone, except those who love college football,” Rice said during the conference call. “That includes women. For me, this is trying to get playoff system right so that we can have outcomes in which players, coaches and fans know that people of goodwill and integrity are trying to make good judgments.”

Rice and the rest of the selection committee will be charged with selecting and seeding the top four teams in the new four-team playoff model that replaces the BCS system starting with the 2014 college football season.

Report: Archie Manning added to playoff selection committee

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The first family of football is likely to be represented on the college football playoff committee slowly being revealed. Archie Manning, the former Ole Miss football star and father of Super Bowl MVPs Peyton and Eli, is the latest name to be reported to be a part of the College Football Playoff selection committee.

USA Today‘s George Schroeder was the first to report Manning is expected to be a part of the selection committee. Earlier in the day it was reported that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be a part of the new selection committee, joining athletic directors Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin), Pat Haden (USC) and Oliver Luck (West Virginia) as reported names of the committee being pieced together. Manning’s inclusion among such names for this committee hardly comes as a shock, as the elder Manning continues to serve an influential role in the sport of college football.

Manning is the chairman for the National Football Foundation, the organization responsible for managing the College Football Hall of Fame, honoring scholar athletes and more. Manning, along with his sons, heads up the prestigious Manning Passing Academy as well. Clearly, Manning is an ambassador for the good of the sport of college football and he is widely respected among the college football community. It is that sort of profile that makes Manning a slam dunk choice for a playoff committee that is starting to piece together some quality additions.

The duty of the selection committee will be to select the four college football teams that will compete in the new four-team playoff model that will be replacing the BCS format starting win the 2014 season.

As it stands now, according to various reports, the selection committee could include Alvarez, Haden, Luck, Rice, Manning, Arkansas AD Jeff Long, and Clemson AD Dan Radakovich. Those names would ensure the Big Ten, Pac 12, Big 12, SEC and ACC are all represented within the committee. It is thought every conference could have a representative involved with the process. If that is to be the case, the American, Mountain West, MAC, Conference USA and Sun Belt all would still need a representative added. It is unknown if independents might have a say or not, although Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick has continued to hold a key position in the ongoing process to move to the new format, which may make him a potential candidate. Other names tied to the committee include former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese and former NCAA Executive Vice President Tom Jernstedt.