By Ralph D. Russo
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne and College Football Hall of Fame quarterback Archie Manning are among the 13 people who will be part of the College Football Playoff selection committee in 2014.
The committee members were officially unveiled Wednesday, though the names had been reported last week by the Associated Press and other media outlets. Earlier this week, Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long was announced as the chairman of the first selection committee for the new postseason system that replaces the Bowl Championship Series next year.
The committee will choose four teams to play in the national semifinals and seed them. The winners of those games, played on a rotating basis at six bowl sites, will meet a week later for the national championship.
Long and BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock, who will assume the same position in the new postseason format, announced the committee members at a news conference at the College Football Playoff offices in Irving, Texas. The panel is made up of current athletic directors, former players and coaches and college administrators, and a former member of the media.
“Our work will be difficult, but rewarding at the same time,” Long said. “We have important judgments to make during that process. We realize we represent all of college football.”
The rest of the members:
• Barry Alvarez, athletic director, Wisconsin.
• Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, former superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy.
• Pat Haden, athletic director, Southern California.
• Tom Jernstedt, former NCAA executive vice president.
• Oliver Luck, athletic director, West Virginia.
• Dan Radakovich, athletic director, Clemson.
• Steve Wieberg, former college football reporter, USA Today.
• Tyrone Willingham, former head coach of Notre Dame, Stanford and Washington.
• Mike Tranghese, former commissioner of the Big East Conference.
Hancock said 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 whole committee at once.
“We haven’t worked out the stagger yet,” Hancock said.
Committee members will recuse themselves when a team they have a direct relationship with comes up, and they will be allowed to “examine whatever data they believe is relevant to inform their decisions,” Hancock said.
“No one single metric will be identified as paramount over all other data,” Hancock said.
Long said the committee likely will release four or five rankings during the season, starting around midseason, before the final decisions are made at the end of the regular season.
Rice was a surprising pick because she has never worked in college athletics. She is currently a professor at Stanford and was provost at the school before serving under President George W. Bush as national security adviser and secretary of state.
“Condi definitely earned her spot on this committee,” Hancock said. “She knows this game; she is a student of this game. Athletics reported to her at Stanford. She had to know the game. My conversation with her from the beginning was fascinating to me because it was clear from the start how well she knows the game and what a good, tremendous committee member she was going to be.
“Obviously, part of this is going to be the ability to make judgments under scrutiny, and Condi has that.”
Osborne is one of the most successful coaches in college football history. He won three national championships at Nebraska, was elected to Congress and later served as the school’s athletic director.
Manning, the father of Peyton and Eli, was a star quarterback for Mississippi and had a long NFL career, mostly with the New Orleans Saints.