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SEC commissioner Mike Slive wants “football experts” on playoff selection committee, but what does that mean?

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

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SEC commissioner Mike Slive said he wants knowledgeable football experts on the College Football Playoff selection committee, according to the Associated Press, and that seems to be a happy and obvious solution.

Smart people picking the playoff teams? Got it. That was easy!

The ambiguity in Slive's statement is probably because he, like everyone else, doesn't have a clear answer for what group should make up the committee. There's a reason the site of the first title game and the semifinal rotation, and the name of the playoff, were decided easily while the third major part of last week's docket never got settled.

Here's Slive's comments, from AP:

"We want football expertise," Slive said. "We want integrity, and we want transparency, because this is our opportunity to make sure that not only are we comfortable but you're (the media) comfortable and all the fans are comfortable that this process is the way it should be. It's not going to be easy."

No, it definitely will not be easy.

Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde already explained why many good candidates are not going to want this job. Everything will be hotly scrutinized.

And really, there's no easy solution. Every group will bring biases – real or perceived – to the table.

[Also: AJ McCarron and Johnny Manziel to vacation together]

Administrators? With this much money on the line and only four spots available, it is very hard to believe there won't be some bias for their conference involved. At very least there will be that perception. A Mountain West administrator is not going to be able to say a 12-0 Boise State team doesn't deserve a spot, even if he believes that (and doing the NCAA tournament thing and removing that committee member from the conversation on a team in his conference isn't the magic solution).

Coaches? The coaches poll is a joke because no coach has time to watch any game other than his own, and what he sees during the week of future opponents. Not to mention, yes, bias for their conference, for themselves or against rivals.

Former coaches? Perhaps, but are they watching the sport full time? Do they have the same knowledge of teams that they had years ago when they coached and all the players were different? And also, whether they can vote against old friends or colleagues when push comes to shove is an issue.

Media? Beat writers are in the same boat as coaches: They don't see enough games. National writers don't want to become part of the story, or upset sources either. And this would not be a popular option with most people associated with the game.

And this is the major issue. There's no obvious answer to who should make up the committee. Just wait until there's a Big Ten-heavy panel (the makeup of the committee will be examined in excruciating detail) and Michigan makes it over USC. Or if there's a panel of former coaches and Bobby Bowden is the key vote when Florida State is on the bubble, or if Vince Dooley has to weigh in on Georgia and Mark Richt, a coach he hired.

Slive said that he hopes that the committee issue is settled in the next couple months, which makes it seem like there are still a lot of issues to be worked out. It's a very important issue for the new playoff, and there's no obvious solution.

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