Alabama Football gained an old friend on CFB Playoff Selection Committee

The CFB Playoff Selection Committee has added another sharp football mind in former Oregon State and Nebraska coach, Mike Riley. Riley played for Bear Bryant at Alabama.
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime college and professional coach and former Alabama Crimson Tide player, Mike Riley has been added to the CFB Playoff Selection Committee.

Mike Riley was born in Wallace, ID, and played high school football in Corvallis, OR. He could have easily played college ball in Corvallis, but instead headed to Tuscaloosa to play for Paul 'Bear' Bryant. Riley had a quiet Crimson Tide career and earned a letter as a senior in the 1975 season. In the four seasons Riley played for Bryant, the Crimson Tide was 43-5. No doubt playing for a legend served him well in his coaching career.

Riley's father, Bud was a football coach who was born in Guin, AL. When Mike chose the Crimson Tide his uncle Hayden was Assistant Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach. Before coaching baseball at the Capstone, Hayden Riley was Head Coach of the Alabama basketball team. There were other family members in the state, including Mike's cousin, a future Crimson Tide star running back, Major Ogilvie.

Before his first major college coaching job at USC in 1993, Riley spent six seasons coaching in the CFL. After four seasons at USC as an OC, Riley left to become the head coach at Oregon State. After two seasons in Corvallis, Riley became the head coach of the San Diego Chargers. He spent four seasons in the NFL before returning to Oregon State for a long run from 2003-2014. After a break from the game, Riley returned as Nebraska's head coach in 2017. He coached the Cornhuskers for three seasons.

Mike Riley has recently been added to the current CFB Playoff Selection Committee. The committee has 13 members. Eight of the 13 have football experience, either from playing college or professional football or coaching college football. They are deep in football knowledge. This is not to say the other five committee members cannot measure teams. There are college football experts who never played past high school. One is a former Alabama Football Team Manager, David Cutcliffe. Cutcliffe had an outstanding coaching career. Mike Leach became a college football wizard. He earned a law degree and never played a down of college football. He played rugby at BYU.

The point is, that all 13 Selection Committee members are qualified for their difficult task. Will Alabama Football gain any advantage with Mike Riley on the committee? That is not how the committee does its work. But another person with a reservoir of football experience is always of value.