Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, announced the members of the committee that will select the four teams to compete in the first playoff. The 13 members were unanimously chosen by the College Football Playoff Management Committee, the commissioners of the conferences overseeing the new playoff. The playoff will begin at the end of the 2014 season.
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.
“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. “They will no doubt have one of the hardest jobs in sports. But their skills and wide variety of experiences—from coaches and athletes to university leaders and journalists—will 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.”
The members of the selection committee are:
• 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
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. Among the many factors the committee will consider are win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, and conference championships won.
Anticipated Timing of Announcements:
Although the exact timing has yet to be determined, 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.
Committee-Member Selection Process:
There were five categories of individuals: People with experience as (1) coaches, (2) student-athletes, (3) administrators, and (4) journalists, and also (5) sitting directors of athletics.
The management committee gave careful consideration to the standards for membership and identifying individuals who matched the criteria. The top-priority criterion was integrity. Among the other valued attributes was football expertise, objectivity, ability to carefully evaluate and discern information, and experience in making decisions under scrutiny. Prospective members were asked to commit significant time to the endeavor.
In the spring of 2013, each FBS conference was invited to submit a list of up to 15 potential candidates. Those individuals comprised the preliminary list of nominees. The management committee reduced that list of approximately 100 names to a shorter list. The management committee reviewed this short list and then authorized Hancock to begin contacting prospective members to gauge their interest in serving.
The College Football Playoff will begin with the 2014-15 season. A committee will select the four participating teams. The No. 1 seed will meet No. 4, and No. 2 will face No. 3. The semifinal games will rotate annually among bowl games in Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, Pasadena and Phoenix. The first semifinals will be played January 1, 2015 at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The first national championship game will be played January 12, 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.