SEC: College Football Playoff

Video: Football playoff is simple ... right?

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30

Leaving behind the crystal of the BCS and bringing in the gold of a new era: Tom Rinaldi takes a look at the new solution: the College Football Playoff system -- simple ... right?
SEC commissioner Mike Slive says he wants "football expertise" on the selection committee that will pick the four teams for the College Football Playoff starting in 2014.

The most intriguing component in the whole move to a playoff remains the makeup of that committee.

Who's going to be on it? Better yet, who wants to be on it?

From an SEC perspective and a football perspective, I've come up with a few possible candidates. And, yes, I realize that just about every one of these would be perceived as having some kind of bias, which is going to be the problem in finding a panel that satisfies everybody.

They're listed in alphabetical order:

Bill Battle: The new Alabama athletic director was the head coach at Tennessee in the early 1970s and later founded Collegiate Licensing Company and built it into a money-making empire.

Charles Davis: A former defensive back at Tennessee, Davis has carved out an impressive broadcasting career at several different networks and provides analysis for both college football and the NFL.

Vince Dooley: A true legend in SEC coaching circles, Dooley is about as intertwined with SEC football as it gets. He played at Auburn and was a Hall of Fame coach at Georgia.

Jeremy Foley: He's easily the SEC athletic director with the most clout nationally, although he's already said he wouldn't be interesting in serving on the committee.

Phillip Fulmer: Granted, the Alabama fans wouldn't be thrilled, but Fulmer won 98 SEC games, tied for the fifth most in history, and he's available.

Bo Jackson: Still very involved at his alma mater, Auburn, Bo knows football as well as he played it ... and just about every other sport imaginable.

Bobby Johnson: Now retired and living in Charleston, S.C., the former Vanderbilt coach is as sharp and respected as they come and would be a terrific choice.

Roy Kramer: He might be the father of the BCS, but few men have helped to shape college football and the SEC in a positive way more so than Kramer, who's retired and living in East Tennessee.

Archie Manning: One of the SEC's greatest players, Manning still keeps close taps on college football in between watching his two famous sons play in the NFL.

Joe Pendry: A veteran of both the college and pro game, Pendry is now retired from coaching after helping to build some powerhouse offensive lines at Alabama.

Bill Polian: He's currently doing NFL analysis for ESPN, but few people anywhere know the game inside and out any better than Polian, one of the NFL's top executives for a long time.

Gene Stallings: He has ties to both Alabama and Texas A&M and played under the legendary Bear Bryant. Stallings knows what championship teams look like.

Sterling Sharpe: The former South Carolina and Pro Bowl receiver for the Packers is doing a little radio now in addition to his NFL Network duties. He would offer some keen insight in the selection of the teams.

Danny Wuerffel: The former Heisman Trophy winner at Florida would be an excellent choice. He was as smart as he was good and is one of the best people you're ever going to meet. He's also doing better after battling some health problems.
Now that the BCS is in its final year, all we can think about -- and talk about -- is the upcoming College Football Playoff.

We know when it will take place (after the 2014 regular season), where the first national championship game will be held (Arlington, Texas) and which bowls will make up the six-bowl rotation.

"We want integrity, and we want transparency, because this is our opportunity to make sure that not only are we comfortable but you're (the media) comfortable and all the fans are comfortable that this process is the way it should be. It's not going to be easy."

-- SEC commissioner Mike Slive
But as for who will make up the committee that decides which teams will make it into the four-team playoff, we're still left in the dark a little bit.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who owns a wealth of power in the college football realm, just wants to make sure there is "football expertise" when it comes to the makeup of the future committee.

"We want football expertise," Slive said on Monday. "We want integrity, and we want transparency, because this is our opportunity to make sure that not only are we comfortable but you're (the media) comfortable and all the fans are comfortable that this process is the way it should be. It's not going to be easy."

BCS executive director Bill Hancock has already said that the plan is for the selection committee to be made up of 14-20 members, including at least one person representing each of the 10 BCS conferences. Some of the factors the committee will consider when making the four teams include strength of schedule, where regular season games were played, conference championships and whether injuries to key players affected teams during the year.

But picking those committee members will be tough. It'll be easy to find enough people to fill space, but finding people with the right qualifications won't be. There has been talk about former coaches being a part of the committee, along with former media members and former athletic directors.

Will these members be divided up by region? Will they reveal their own poll toward the end of the season?

No one really knows, but the hope is that the new football committee is like the NCAA basketball committee.

Here's what Alabama coach Nick Saban said last week about figuring out who should be on the committee:
“I know there’s been some talk about possibly having some former coaches that can do some evaluation and have some input. That might be a positive.

“I also think that there are a lot of people involved in this every day trying to figure out the best way to do it. I do trust and respect what they’re trying to do and that they’ll come up with the best solution. It may not be a perfect solution, but the best solution that we can for college football.”

Time is ticking for conference commissioners, but the hope is that they get closer to some sort of committee makeup when they meet again in mid-June.

"You're there to represent football and what's in the best interest of football, what's in the best interest of the playoffs," Slive said. "There's a foundational culture from which we can work. Now we need to adjust it to football and the fact that we're not picking 68 teams, we're picking four."