College Football Playoff brass one step closer to establishing selection committee

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The men in charge of creating the College Football Playoff on Tuesday took another step toward selecting a selection committee.

College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said the 10 commissioners of the Football Bowl Subdivision, plus Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, brought more than 100 names of prospective committee members to the table. The goal is to whittle that list down to between 12-18 people who will choose the four teams to play for the national title, starting with the 2014 season.

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Hancock, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and Southeastern Conference boss Mike Slive all reiterated the mantra heard for the last 14 months: there is no rush to name a committee.

"We've got several months to get through the process," Slive said.

But the time is approaching to start gauging the interest of who will serve on the most pressurized and scrutinized committee in college sports history. Slive and Delany said the job of calling prospective committee members will fall to Hancock, who said he will probably start reaching out this summer.

"We give him the names and he'll do the contacting," Delany said. "We're going to get great football people with a lot of experience and credibility. We'll get that at the core."


There has been speculation that a committee could use the 2013 season as a "dry run" for the real thing in '14. But Hancock said that is unlikely for multiple reasons: the results would inevitably be leaked; the resulting tumult could overshadow this season; and the time expended on a theoretical undertaking would be counterproductive to the committee members.

"Don't waste all that time practicing to put on 'The Sound of Music' and then not let them put on 'The Sound of Music,'" Hancock said.

The commissioners met for about 3 1/2 hours Tuesday at The Broadmoor resort, where the Collegiate Commissioners Association is meeting this week. Their next playoff meeting is not yet scheduled.

Earlier Tuesday, the founding fathers of the playoff got an unexpected vote of support from the academic side of the college athletics structure. The Division I-A Faculty Athletic Representatives issued a statement supporting the 2014 playoff structure and decrying the push by some to already expand the playoff beyond four teams.

"The ink is barely dry on the long-term agreement recently reached by FBS conference commissioners and the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee for a four-team college football playoff system, yet there are already individuals both within college athletics and from the media calling for more," the release read. "Enough is enough.


"The 1A FAR believes the conference commissioners and BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock were thoughtful in developing a four-team playoff system that endeavors to strike an appropriate balance between athletics, academics, and student-athlete welfare. … The four-team playoff structure that emerged preserved the bowl system and was mindful of both our institutions' academic calendars and the overall well-being of our football student-athletes."

Said 1A FAR president Brian Shannon, a professor at Texas Tech: "The four-team College Football Playoff design is far superior to any expanded playoff system that would add more teams playing more games over more weeks, thereby further interfering with academic obligations, inevitably overlapping with final exams and extending into a second semester, and increasing risks for serious injuries. FBS FARs would strongly oppose any further playoff expansion."

When asked about the support for the four-team playoff structure, Slive said, "It's nice to have company."

Said Hancock: "I've talked to many faculty members who feel that way. They're in lockstep with their (school) presidents and (conference) commissioners on this."

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