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Volume 24 No. 158
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Intercollegiate Athletic Forum: Playoff Committee Members Discuss Selection Process

Three members of the College Football Playoff selection committee during the '13 IMG Intercollegiate Athletic Forum opened a window into how the process is expected to work next season, the first that will see a four-team playoff decide the national champion. While the committee members said that the selections would be subjective, they pointed to some areas that pique their interest, such as strength of schedule. “Strength of schedule is going to be a major component,” said former Nebraska coach and AD Tom Osborne. “Somebody who has scheduled two or three FCS opponents obviously is going to be at some disadvantage over a team that has not scheduled any.” As an example, he pointed to Northern Illinois, a MAC team that was undefeated before losing to Bowling Green last week. Osbourne said, “They probably would have been ranked 12th or 15th (if they had won that game). If we would have tried to pick them for the top four because they were undefeated, it would have been a little problematic.”

DELICATE DISCUSSIONS: The committee members said it was likely that they would recuse themselves from discussions on schools, or maybe even conferences, with which they are associated. Clemson AD Dan Radakovich said that the committee likely would try to mirror the NCAA tournament basketball committee in that respect, something with which Big East senior adviser Tom Jernstedt agreed. Jernstedt said, “In basketball, when SEC Commissioner (Mike) Slive and Big Ten Commissioner (Jim) Delany were on the (NCAA tournament selection) committee, and any team from the SEC and Big Ten was under consideration, they’d walk down the hall and were not involved in any part of that discussion. There was a real comfort level with the committee.”

ONE VOTE, ONE VOICE: The committee members said that they are not likely to release a list of which members voted for which schools, but will opt instead to speak as one voice. “When we used to lose to Oklahoma, I got a whole box of hate mail,” Osborne said. “Somebody blew up my mailbox. I don’t want to go back to those days again where my vote is listed and the fifth-place team is out to get me.” Osborne praised the BCS, saying, “The top two teams usually have fallen into place. The BCS has worked pretty well over most years. I think there will be quite a bit of controversy between those three, four, five, six and seven. Therein will lie the difficulty.”

For more from the Intercollegiate Athletic Forum, please see our On The Ground blog.