Everyone wants to know who will serve on the College Football Playoff selection committee. Well, colleague Brett McMurphy has provided a clue. He reported Wednesday that current FBS athletic directors will be part of the committee. Current conference commissioners, coaches or media members will not serve.
From the story:
The "working concept" is to have one athletic director representing each of the five power conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC), sources said. It is unknown whether any current athletic directors from the remaining conferences (American, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt) would be on the committee.
Today's poll question is pretty simple: We want to know which current Big Ten athletic director you want to serve on the committee.
The candidates (in alphabetical order) ...
Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin: Alvarez has been touted here and other places as a strong candidate for the committee. Although several Big Ten athletic directors played college football, Alvarez is the only one to serve as a head coach of a major program, resurrecting the Wisconsin program during his 16-year tenure. Alvarez told me in March that if asked, he'd be willing to serve. Ohio State AD Gene Smith, whose name you'll also see on this list, said of Alvarez during the Big Ten spring meetings, "He'd be the perfect pick," Smith said. "I'm promoting Barry." Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany also has mentioned Alvarez.
Dave Brandon, Michigan: Brandon wasn't a huge fan of moving toward a playoff in college football, but he might be one of the better AD candidates to serve on a committee. He has a varied background as the former CEO of Domino's Pizza and a former Michigan regent. He has built Michigan's athletic department into a branding giant. He also knows football as a former Wolverines player under Bo Schembechler.
Mark Hollis, Michigan State: Hollis is one of the most respected athletic administrators in the country and earned Athletic Director of the Year honors in 2002 at the Sports Business Awards. The 1985 Michigan State graduate who became AD in 2008 is an out-of-the-box thinker who masterminded outdoor hockey and basketball games for Spartan teams. Hollis serves on the NCAA men's basketball tournament selection committee and also has been on the NCAA men's basketball issues committee.
Jim Phillips, Northwestern: Like Hollis, Phillips is a rising star in the AD ranks. He's currently a vice president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and recently chaired the Big Ten's athletic directors council. Phillips has spearheaded landmark marketing and facilities campaigns at Northwestern. He was nominated for 2013 Athletic Director of the Year at the Sports Business Awards. An Illinois graduate, Phillips worked as an administrator at Tennessee and Notre Dame before becoming Northern Illinois' athletic director in 2004.
Gene Smith, Ohio State: Smith is the Big Ten's most experienced athletic director. He landed his first full-time AD job at Eastern Michigan in 1986 and later led programs at Iowa State and Arizona State before coming to Ohio State in March 2005. A former Notre Dame football player and assistant coach, Smith chaired the NCAA men's basketball tournament selection committee. He also serves on the NCAA Division I Administration Cabinet and won 2010 Athletic Director of the Year honors at the Sports Business Awards. Smith didn't sound too keen on the possibility of being on the committee when asked about it this spring, but he could be in the mix.