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College Football Playoff: Coaches Are Needed to Balance Selection Committee

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 10:   The Coaches' Trophy, awarded to head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide after defeating Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game during a press conference on January 10, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterJune 26, 2012

As we edge closer and closer to a selection committee being the means of selecting the Top Four teams to get into the playoff, everyone has their opinion on what should be done. My colleague Barrett Sallee has given his thoughts on transparency being paramount in the selection committee. Others have weighed in on how to make the committee work. Barry Switzer, according to The Oklahoman, has added his name into the pot as a guy who'd like to carry the responsibility of being on the selection committee.

In response to Switzer, and Bobby Bowden before him, Ivan Maisel, in his 3-Point Stance over at ESPN.com tackles the idea of retired coaches working on the selection committee. Maisel believes football, like other sports should go with administrators:

With all due respect, why pick any retired coach? Let’s not make this complicated. Pick commissioners and athletic directors -- as all the other sports have done for decades -- and trust their integrity. 

Interesting take, but tough to agree with. Certainly the NCAA basketball committee has done their job in decent fashion as they try to slot the 68 teams and figure out which mediocre teams should be left out of the field. 

Unfortunately, football is not basketball. The sample size is about a third where football is concerned. There is far less fluidity between the conferences with respect to matchups. Football is not a very "stat friendly" sport where evaluation is concerned. Looking at box scores, stat rankings and the like do not tell the whole story about a football team.

That's what film evaluation is for and pardon me for not trusting a group of commissioners or administrators to have a clue of what they are looking at when it comes to film of teams. It is not a knock on them so much as it is just a fact of the matter that the bulk of folks do not fully grasp what's going on where football is concerned. 

Football is a sport that's shrouded in secrecy. Certainly, plenty of people enjoy the sport but there are very few who understand the inner workings of the game or the evaluation process. That's where coaches should come into play. The evaluation process, understanding what they are watching on tape, is something that will help balance the selection committee.

Coaches will bring their inherent biases, so too will the conference commissioners and administrative officials. Coaches can help battle the average viewer infatuation with offense and big stat numbers. Commissioners can help balance the coaches' bias for people they admire within the profession.

Ultimately, this is a joint effort and as the selection committee is constructed it must be balanced. Coaches should be a part of this balance, it makes perfect sense. 

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