SBD/May 2, 2013/Colleges

Commissioners Hope To Avoid Any Perceived Bias In Selection Of First CFP Committee

Four of the 10 commissioners who will decide the selection committee for the new College Football Playoff yesterday said that the current model under discussion "does not include a separate and distinct representative from each of the 10 FBS conferences," according to Dennis Dodd of CBSSPORTS.com. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said, "We don't want people on the committee representing a particular constituency. Then people are in there with a narrow interest." Dodd noted the committee could "include retired coaches, current or retired administrators, even a retired media member." For now, the commissioners "want to eliminate one element of bias -- conference affiliation" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/1). Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said that the top priority in forming the selection committee is to "find people with 'football savvy' and a true national perspective, whether they're current athletic directors, former coaches, former media members or others." ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg noted Delany believes it will be "harder to put together the football committee than the men's basketball tournament selection committee," partly due to the "longer period for debate after the selections are made." Delany: "You’re going to have close to a month, so that's going to make it hard. It's a bigger decision and a longer time for scrutiny" (ESPN.com, 5/1).

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: In Columbus, Rob Oller wrote under the header, "College Football Playoff Committee Won't Be For Meek." When the "besieged Bowl Championship Series meets its demise after the upcoming 2013 season, the fans’ wrath will fall upon the committee assigned the task of replacing the BCS system that relied on polls and computers." Univ. of Florida AD Jeremy Foley said, "I'm not saying it will be impossible. It will be difficult." Oller noted it "also will be a public undressing for the committee members." Each member "will undergo scrutiny unlike anything seen in college sports." Twitter will "explode if a selector’s résumé includes anything suspicious." Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, "Priority No. 1 is impeccable integrity" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 4/30).

ONLY THE BEGINNING: CBSSPORTS.com's Dodd wrote, "Excuse us if we're skeptical. Not so much about the coming playoff in 2014, but about how long it will stay at four teams." What is "amazing these days is how quickly the stewards of the game -- the commissioners -- can change their minds." The structure is "already there." Six "branded bowls encompassing 12 teams in a 12-year deal that kicks off in 2014 already is more than accommodating for eight." It is "merely a case of expanding from two semifinals to four quarterfinals." The selection committee "already is proving to be the toughest piece to figure out," and there will be "issues going from a more objective-based BCS ranking system to one with more human subjectivity." There also is the issue of the "incongruity of conference championship games" as the Big 12 is the only BCS conference without one. Dodd: "Is that an advantage or not? Too early to tell." BCS Exec Dir Bill Hancock and conference commissioners "argued for years that a playoff would impact the bowls." Dodd: "If anything, the bowls are now more valuable thanks simply to the overall popularity of the game." Fox Media Group COO Larry Jones "boldly stood up at a Football Bowl Association meeting last week and practically begged any bowls whose rights are expiring to sign with Fox" (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/29).
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