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Thursday, May 30, 2013
Bowlsby outlines playoff committee picks

By David Ubben

IRVING, Texas -- Bob Bowlsby spent 66 nights in a hotel when he was on the committee that puts together the NCAA men's basketball tournament bracket.

Now that college football is a season away from entering the playoff era, the Big 12 commissioner knows firsthand the exhausting task that awaits whoever ends up serving on the selection committee for the first four-team playoff in 2014. Bowlsby echoed comments earlier Wednesday by College Football Playoff executive chairman Bill Hancock that current commissioners, coaches and media would be excluded from possible duties, but a few current athletic directors were among the 15 names Bowlsby submitted for inclusion on the committee.

All 10 conferences were asked to submit 15 suggestions, but Bowlsby narrowed his list of 40 to candidates with the most "extensive football background" and "impeccable integrity."

"It sounds like a lot of the same people are going to be on everybody's list," Bowlsby said. The commissioners won't be submitting a candidate to represent their respective conferences on the committee, instead agreeing that the committee should be comprised of "the people of highest ability and highest integrity."

Bowlsby declined to name any of his specific candidates, and chose his words carefully so as not to out anyone who's up for discussion. He said it was "reasonable" to expect that committee members be paid a stipend, and as Bowlsby knows from his time on the basketball committee, it will be well-earned.

"It’s going to take somebody with significant work ethic," he said, noting that the job would include film study and travel.

Heavy criticism is the surest element to come with the job, but Bowlsby says he's not convinced that will scare away qualified candidates and make piecing together the committee an even more difficult task.

"There will be people who relish service, take it seriously and serve with great effectiveness," he said.

Term limits -- perhaps two three-year terms or one four-year term -- are still being discussed, but don't expect any clarity for about 90 days, Bowlsby said.

Hancock will pare down the list of about 100 candidates to a committee of 12 to 20 selectors. Bowlsby didn't share the 15 names he submitted for consideration with the league's athletic directors, according to Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt. As far as Big 12 names go, former league interim commissioner Chuck Neinas was the only obvious one who would likely receive consideration.

"Chuck Neinas is the best of the best, and whatever he would be willing to do, I don't think you could find a finer man out there than Chuck," Hocutt said.

The Big 12 footprint might also have a chance to host the meetings during which the committee will discuss and, eventually, select playoff teams. Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday that Hancock said the College Football Playoff, based in Irving, Texas, may convene the final of four or five annual meetings -- or all of the meetings -- in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.