SBD/October 17, 2013/Colleges

College Football Playoff Unveils Selection Criteria As Committee Is Formally Announced

Long revealed each committee member will be assigned a conference to watch
The College Football Playoff yesterday "unveiled the criteria" the 13 members of the CFP selection committee will use starting next season, and the four participating teams "will be chosen based on several factors including conference championships, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, comparing common opponents and injuries," according to George Schroeder of USA TODAY. Arkansas AD and CFP Committee Chair Jeff Long said, "Our charge is simple. Determine the best teams in college football and seed them to play each other." The plan is for the committee, which was formally announced yesterday, to "meet four times in the regular season, then again to choose the playoff participants." The committee after each regular-season meeting will "publish a top 25, which is intended to reflect it's thoughts at that moment." Although CFP Exec Dir Bill Hancock said that a goal was to "have a transparent process, individual ballots wouldn't be published" (USA TODAY, 10/17). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Rachel Bachman wrote the CFP indicated that the committee must consider comparative outcomes of common opponents "without incenting margin of victory." The consideration suggests "how tough and nuanced the committee's job will be." Committee members "directly associated with a team under consideration will recuse themselves from deliberations involving that team" (WSJ.com, 10/16). Long said the committee "will have any number of matrixes to consider, so we'll have plenty of information to review." He added each committee member "will be assigned a conference to watch closely, but every member of the committee will be expected to watch all the teams and all the games that are relevant to that top 25 selection" ("College Football Live," ESPN2, 10/16). Hancock noted that term limits for committee members "will eventually be three years, but that will not be the case for all the current members because they do not want to replace the entire committee at once." He added, "We haven’t worked out the stagger yet" (AP, 10/16).

INITIAL LINEUP LOOKS GOOD
: ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy wrote of the 13-member selection committee, "It is a very impressive group. It oozes incredible ethics, credibility and integrity" (ESPN.com, 10/16). CBSSPORTS.com's Jeremy Fowler wrote, "These committee members do indeed fit the 'integrity' criteria" (CBSSPORTS.com, 10/16). ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel wrote under the header, "Selection Committee Got It Right." The committee "is in good hands" (ESPN.com, 10/16). In L.A., Chris Dufresne writes the committee comprises a "stellar panel of distinguished scholars and citizens." Some "might question the inclusion of former USA Today sportswriter Steve Wieberg, but those who know him can attest there is no one more qualified or square-egg diligent" (L.A. TIMES, 10/17). In Atlanta, Jeff Schultz acknowledged the committee "will be second-guessed." Schultz: "But anybody would be second-guessed. In the end, we will get four worthy selection" (AJC.com, 10/16). In Omaha, Tom Shatel writes of former Nebraska coach and AD Tom Osborne under the header, "Osborne Fits On A Common-Sense Selection Panel." Shatel: "Is it a perfect group? No. There are already critics taking their shots at the process." But "for now, for starters, this group makes sense" (Omaha WORLD-HERALD, 10/17).

SCRUTINY WILL BE WIDESPREAD: In N.Y., Tom Spousta writes the credentials of the committee "appear above reproach." But officials acknowledged that it "would be hard for the members to be perceived as neutral enough to satisfy fans’ scrutiny" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/17). FOXSPORTS.com's Greg Couch wrote criticism of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's inclusion on the committee is a "great example of a fundamental flaw to this system." It is not about whether she is "credible but about whether Joe College Football Fan can ever find anyone credible" (FOXSPORTS.com, 10/16). In South Carolina, Ed Storin writes the committee is "built for failure." With five current ADs on board, it "looks like more of the same old, same old." Storin: "All are reputed to have great integrity, but they will carry a heavy baggage of school and conference loyalty" (Hilton Head ISLAND PACKET, 10/17). ESPN.com's Ted Miller wrote, "Getting 13 folks to agree on prioritizing a mostly subjective and shifting set of criteria is going to be a challenge" (ESPN.com, 10/16).
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