Oliver Luck

Texas Tech AD Hocutt replaces WVU’s Luck on CFB Playoff Selection Committee

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The College Football Playoff selection committee lost West Virginia Athletics Director Oliver Luck when he accepted a position with the NCAA. But fear not, Art Briles, for there will continue to be someone who understands what southern and Big 12 football is all about.

Texas Tech Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt has been added to the College Football Playoff selection committee. Hocutt was nominated by Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and his nomination was ratified by the playoff’s management committee.

“I am excited and honored to join the College Football Playoff Selection Committee,” said Hocutt in a statement released by the Big 12 Monday morning. “I look forward to working with such a distinguished group of individuals in what has instantly become one of our nation’s most successful sporting events. I sincerely appreciate the confidence that Commissioner Bowlsby and the CFP management committee have placed in me with this appointment.”

“We are delighted to welcome Kirby to the selection committee,” CFB Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock said. “He will fit right in, because he is a thoughtful, hard-working person of the highest integrity.”

Hocutt will join the committee charged with the task of selecting the top four teams in college football to participate in the College Football Playoff, as well as selecting the teams that will play in the remaining New Years Six bowl games and ranking the teams in the second half of the season. Last season’s debut of the new format left out Big 12 co-champions Baylor and TCU from the playoff.

Report: WVU ready to schedule series against SEC East opponent

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As a member of the College Football Playoff committee, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck understands as well as anyone the importance a team’s strength of schedule plays in the playoff standings.

In an attempt to improve the Mountaineers’ profile, Luck is in the midst of negotiations to schedule a home-and-home series against an SEC opponent, according to the Austin American-Statesman‘s Kirk Bohls.

While Luck didn’t divulge exactly which program the Mountaineers will likely face, Bohls guessed which SEC East team is the most likely candidate:

A series can’t take place any earlier than 2016. The Mountaineers already have three non-conference opponents scheduled for the next two years.

The program is already set to play the Tennessee Volunteers at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte to open the 2018 season, which rules Butch Jones‘ program out. Missouri, meanwhile, has yet to schedule a non-conference game for the 2016 season, and the Tigers have an opening in 2017 as well.

That leaves five other SEC East possibilities. If Missouri is the favorite, the Kentucky Wildcats should be next on the list due to their proximity to West Virginia. The two programs play in border states and recruit similar areas.

With Luck’s insistence to improve West Virginia’s schedule, a series against any of the other SEC East teams can’t be completely ruled out this early in the process.

West Virginia, NC State announce 2018-2019 series

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West Virginia has not been shy on scheduling news this week. In addition to plans to play Tennessee in Charlotte to open the 2018 season and head coach Dana Holgorsen suggesting a revival of The Backyard Brawl with Pittsburgh, the Mountaineers rolled out plans for a home-and-home series with a different ACC opponent, North Carolina State. West Virginia and North Carolina State will square off in 2018 and 2019, according to a West Virginia statement.

West Virginia will host NC State on September 15, 2018. North Carolina State will host the second game the following season on September 14, 2019. This scheduling agreement will satisfy NC State’s non-conference scheduling requirement in the ACC, which requires each member to schedule a power conference opponent each season in non-conference play. NC State now has the non-conference scheduling requirement fulfilled from 2017 through 2021 (at Notre Dame in 2017, WVU in 2018 and 2019, Mississippi State home-and-home in 2020 and 2021).

As noted above, West Virginia is scheduled to open the 2018 season in Charlotte against Tennessee, giving the Mountaineers two non-conference games against power conference opponents in 2018 with one game to fill. As it stands now, there is no scheduling requirement in the Big 12 to schedule non-conference opponents from other power conferences (although it is certainly encouraged by Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops).

“I am excited about this series, because it gives our football program and our fans an outstanding home-and-home series with a team from the ACC,” West Virginia Athletics Director Oliver Luck said in the released statement. “WVU has a lot of alumni living in North Carolina, especially in the triangle region, so it gives our fans a game that is close. We have had a competitive games over the years with NC State, and this is a chance to restart the series.”

In all, the two schools have faced each other 10 times on the football field, with the most recent meeting coming in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl. Each school has won five games in the series that dates back to 1914.

Maryland AD: I am not pursuing other opportunities (Texas)

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Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson will not be a candidate for the same position at Texas.

Anderson released a public statement Friday evening to put to rest the rumors connecting him to the Texas vacancy and to ease the Maryland fan base.

“I must confess I am humbled to be mentioned in connection with such a position but more importantly, I feel it speaks volumes to the outstanding progress we have made at the University of Maryland and to the new heights our athletic department is destined for in the future,” Anderson’s statement says.

“Let me be clear, I am not pursuing any other professional opportunities at other institutions. I am steadfast in my commitment to the University of Maryland.”

Anderson helped lead Maryland through negotiations to leave the ACC and  join the Big Ten, a realignment change that will take place next summer. The cash-strapped athletics program has had to make some sacrifices in recent years and a move to the Big Ten figures to help dig the school out of financial trouble in time. If Anderson really is staying put, the decision comes at a great time. A school preparing for a conference change needs stability in the leadership positions off the field, especially at the athletic director position. Having Anderson stay put in College Park will help Maryland focus on the process of leaving the ACC and getting started in the Big Ten.

Earlier this week Ohio State’s Gene Smith said he is staying at Ohio State. Earlier in the month Louisville’s Tom Jurich said he was not interested in the Texas job. Previous reports have suggested West Virginia AD Oliver Luck, who will be a member of the College Football Playoff’s selection committee, is the leading candidate for the job.

Helmet sticker to CSN Baltimore.

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.