College-football playoff committee ‘of highest integrity’
BY STEVE GREENBERG Staff Reporter October 16, 2013 10:19PM
ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, DEC. 24-25 - FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2011 file photo, former Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice talks to Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck (12) after the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game in Miami. Rice is easily the most visible fan at Stanford sporting events, and her roots inside the program run deeper than a volunteer assistant for the Cardinal womenís golf team, an honorary football captain or an active professor who lifts weights alongside athletes. ìSheís the best recruiter on campus,î Stanford football coach David Shaw said. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File)
We finally have our long-awaited selection committee for a college-football playoff.
Hopefully, no one is mad at them already for the future playoff picks they won’t make.
It’s an impressive list of highly accomplished men and woman. That’s singular, as in one woman — former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — out of 13 committee members. Unless you spent the first couple of weeks of October under a rock, you already heard the Rice talk. There are those for her and those against her. Doesn’t matter: She’s in.
So are athletic directors from five schools in five conferences: Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez (Big Ten), Arkansas’ Jeff Long (SEC), USC’s Pat Haden (Pac-12), West Virginia’s Oliver “Andrew’s Dad” Luck (Big 12) and Clemson’s Dan Radakovich (ACC).
“It is important to note that ADs will not be representing their respective conferences,” read part of a statement from the playoff management committee. “Rather, each member of the committee will represent college football as a whole.”
Remember that in 2014, the first year under the playoff format, when at least two of the ADs are walking around with black eyes and/or busted lips.
Long was named committee chair, which isn’t the least bit surprising considering the power wielded by SEC commissioner Mike Slive.
The rest of the committee includes giant of the sport Tom Osborne, who was a U.S. congressman in between his far more important and respectable positions as Nebraska’s coach and, later, its athletic director.
Former Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham answered the call, proving that he might not be able to recruit but he can be recruited. Archie Manning, former Ole Miss hero and sire of multiple Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, said yes, as well.
The rest of this baker’s dozen:
◆ Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, former superintendant of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
◆ Tom Jernstedt, former NCAA executive vice president.
◆ Mike Tranghese, former commissioner of the Big East.
◆ Steve Weiberg, former college football writer for USA Today.
“We wanted people of the highest integrity for this committee, and we got them,” said Bill Hancock, the man in charge of the playoff system. “Every one of them has vast football knowledge, excellent judgment, dedication and love for this game.”
We’ll have to remember that next year when entire fan bases are cursing their names.