What You Need to Know About College Football Playoff Selection Committee Members

Brian LeighFeatured Columnist IVApril 1, 2017

IRVING, TX - OCTOBER 16:  (L-R) Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, introduces Jeff Long as the chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee on October 16, 2013 in Irving, Texas. Long will serve as the chairman of the 13 member committee that will select four teams to compete in the first playoff at the end of the 2014 season.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, officially announced the 13-member selection committee tasked with deciding which four teams will be chosen to compete for a national championship.

Here are the 13 people who were appointed, per an official release:

Almost every member of the committee has a tie—current or former—to a specific school or conference, leading some people to raise questions of bias.

Addressing those concerns, committee chairman Jeff Long vowed to be impartial:

We'll see if that's easier said than done.

Another protest that people have voiced is knowledge of the game. How would a group of committee members who never played football properly assess the teams?

But now that the group has been announced, those concerns have essentially become moot. As Paul Myerberg of USA Today points out, 10 of the 13 members played college football:

Unlike the BCS, which uses formulas to pick its teams, the CFP committee members will meet periodically and use "whatever data they believe is relevant to inform their decisions."

According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN, the committee will meet four times, starting around midseason, and release rankings every other week (four times in total):

According to ESPN's Joe Schad, the committee will also be able to place higher seeds in more advantageous locales, rewarding them for a better regular season:

That's a lot of power to entrust in a group of human beings, which is why this process of appointment has drawn so much attention and sparked so much debate.

Let's take a second to meet all 13 committee members:

 

Jeff Long (Committee Chairman)

IRVING, TX - OCTOBER 16:  Jeff Long answers questions from the media after being named the chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee on October 16, 2013 in Irving, Texas. Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University professor and former United
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Long is the current Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics at the Arkansas, a position he has held since 2008. He was also a member of the NCAA Management Council as one of the athletic administrators overseeing the operations and regulation for Division I.

Altogether, he has 35 years of football experience at the FBS, FCS and Division II levels.

 

Barry Alvarez

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Interim head coach Barry Alvarez looks on in the first half against the Stanford Cardinal in the 99th Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio on January 1, 2013 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Alvarez is the former head coach and athletics director at Wisconsin, the winningest coach in school history and—because of that success—a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Last year, after Bret Bielema left the team and accepted the head coaching job at Arkansas, Alvarez came out of retirement and coached the Badgers in the Rose Bowl against Stanford.

 

Lt. Gen. Mike Gould

Gould is a distinguished former member of the United States Air Force, a retired 3-star general and a former Air Force Aide to the President of the United States.

From 2009-2013, he served as the Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, and he is the former chairman of the Mountain West Conference Board of Directors.

 

Pat Haden

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 03:  USC Athletic Director Pat Haden addresses the audience during the press conference to introduce Andy Enfield as USC's new basketball head coach on April 3, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Im
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Haden was one of the best quarterbacks in USC's prestigious football history, winning two national titles with the Trojans before becoming a Pro Bowler with the Los Angeles Rams.

He is a Rhodes Scholar and currently serves as the Director of Athletics at USC, where he formerly served as Chair of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs Committees.

 

Tom Jernstedt

Per the CFP's official website, Jernstedt has "served as senior-level executive, including executive vice president, deputy executive director and chief operating officer, throughout 38-year NCAA career."

He was the President of USA Basketball from 2000-2005 and formerly sat on the Board of Trustees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

 

Oliver Luck

HOUSTON - JUNE 26:  Houston Dynamo President and General Manager Oliver Luck (L) receives some gifts from the Dynamo's Chris Canetti after the game at Robertson Stadium on June 26, 2010 in Houston, Texas. Luck is leaving the Dynamo to take the athletic di
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Luck was a record-breaking quarterback at West Virginia before moving on to the NFL and playing for the Houston Oilers.

He was the former CEO of NFL Europe, the former President of the Houston Dynamo, and currently serves as Director of Athletics at West Virginia.

 

Archie Manning

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 03:  New Orleans Saints legend Archie Manning poses with the award on behalf of the New Orleans Saints offensive line during the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award Press Conference on February 3, 2010 at the Ft. Lauderdale
Elsa/Getty Images

Before he was just "Peyton and Eli's dad," Archie Manning was a two-time All-SEC quarterback at Ole Miss and Pro Bowler with the New Orleans Saints.

He currently serves as a spokesman and motivational speaker, and he is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

 

Tom Osborne

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 17: Retiring Athletic Director and former coach Tom Osborne, along side Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini, lead the team onto the field to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers before their game at Memorial Stadium on November 1
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Osborne coached Nebraksa through its glory years between 1973-1997, winning three national championships and 13 conference championships in the process.

He would later become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (2001-2007) and the Director of Athletics at Nebraska (2007-2012). He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

 

Dan Radakovich

Radakovich has over 30 years of experience with college athletics. He was the former Director of Athletics at Georgia Tech and is the current Director of Athletics at Clemson.

Per the CFB website, he is "one of 10 athletics directors serving on 2013 NCAA advisory commission to make recommendations on future rules and policies."

 

Condoleezza Rice

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Former Secretary of State and Cardinal alum Condoleezza Rice celebrates after the Cardinal defeat the Wisconsin Badgers 20-14 in the 99th Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio on January 1, 2013 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Califo
Harry How/Getty Images

Rice—the most (initially) divisive member of the committee—is both a professor and the Provost at Stanford University.

She is the former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Adviser, and she has twice been named the "Most Powerful Woman in the World" by Forbes Magazine.

Though her inclusion on the committee has sparked debate, SEC commissioner Mike Slive praised her appointment (via Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News):

You have to admit it: He has a point.

 

Mike Tranghese

Tranghese oversaw the launch of Big East Football in 1991 and became the conference's longest-serving Commissioner between 1990-2009.

He also served on the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee from 1996-2001 and is a formed Lead Administrator of the BCS.

 

Steve Wieberg

Wieberg was a "founding" member of USA Today and served as an award-winning college sports writer on its staff until 2012.

The Chronicle of Higher Education named him one of the "10 Most Powerful People in College Sports" in 2007, and he received similar accolades from College Sports Magazine in 1995 and 1996.

 

Tyrone Willingham

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 24:  Head Coach Tyrone Willingham (C) and the Washington Huskies run out of the tunnel on to the field prior to the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on September 24, 2005 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Ott
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Willingham is the former head coach of Washington, Notre Dame and Stanford, and he won the ESPN/Home Depot Award for Coach of the Year in 2002.

He also served as President of the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees in 2008.

IRVING, TX - OCTOBER 16:  A detail view of the College Football Playoff logo shown during a press conference on October 16, 2013 in Irving, Texas. Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University professor and former United States Secretary of State, was chosen to s
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Whether you love or hate this group of appointees, you'd better get used to them. According to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News, each member is expected to serve a relative term-length of three years, though some may be shorter or longer:

Over that span, the average member will be responsible for appointing roughly 12 teams to the playoff and snubbing countless more.

Welcome to the post-BCS universe.