The highly-anticipated College Football Playoff selection committee has been finalized, as reported by ESPN.com.
With the ending of the Bowl Championship series at the end of the 2013 season, the selection committee will be charged with selecting four teams to participate in the initial college football playoff beginning in 2014. In addition to selecting the playoff teams, the committee will rank and place teams in the non-contract New Year’s Day bowl games – the Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A bowls.
The selection committee will be chaired by Arkansas Razorbacks athletic director Jeff Long. The committee members are:
• Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez
• Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, a former Air Force Academy superintendent
• USC athletic director Pat Haden
• Former NCAA executive vice president Tom Jernstedt
• West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck
• Former NFL and Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning
• Former Nebraska athletic director/coach Tom Osborne
• Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich
• Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
• Former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese
• Former USA Today reporter Steve Wieberg
• Former Stanford/Notre Dame/Washington coach Tyrone Willingham
SEC football fans might hail the announcement of Long as the chair, along with the presence of former Ole Miss quarterback (and father of two SEC quarterbacks) Archie Manning, as being a boost to the interests of the conference. One thing is for sure; the committee will have a Herculean task ahead of them, as they try to balance what fans and teams want against what will be the most fair and equitable playoff possible. It’s highly likely a deserving team will be left out, and the glorious controversies that make college football so great will likely continue.