Jeff Long to chair committee

Updated: October 18, 2013, 12:45 PM ET
By Brett McMurphy | ESPN

IRVING, Texas -- The 13-member College Football Playoff selection committee was officially introduced Wednesday.

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long is the chair of the committee, which will be responsible for selecting the four teams that advance to the College Football Playoff beginning after the 2014 regular season.

The committee is a star-studded lineup, including former NFL quarterbacks Pat Haden, Archie Manning and Oliver Luck and former coaches Tom Osborne, Barry Alvarez and Tyrone Willingham. However, the biggest name unquestionably is the lone female -- former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"Condi definitely earned her spot on this committee," College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said. "She knows this game, she is a student of this game. ... Obviously, part of this is going to be the ability to make judgments under scrutiny, and Condi has that."

Rice says she's ready for the challenge.

"I have experience in decision-making under pressure, decision-making when you have to evaluate information, look at it in a variety of ways, working in a team to try to come up with good decision," Rice said in an interview with ESPN's Colin Cowherd that appeared on "Olbermann" on Wednesday night. "I think I can bring that to the committee."

Rice was a surprising pick to be part of the postseason system that will replace the Bowl Championship Series next year because she has never worked directly in college athletics, though when she was provost at Stanford the athletic department was under her supervision and she hired Willingham as football coach.

Some, such as former Auburn coach Pat Dye, have said they would prefer only those who have played football to be on the committee.

"I'd say coach I respect you, I remember your great run at Auburn, but I respectfully disagree," Rice told Cowherd. "There are others on the committee who have not played football. With all due respect to my dear friend Roger Goodell and Paul Tagliabue, the most influential NFL commissioner was Pete Rozelle. He never played football. You can be a student of something and not experience it. And I consider myself a student of college football. I am after all a student of Russia, but I've never been Russian, either. You can know something from following it and studying it. And I spend a lot of my time on Saturday with college football."

Rice said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott first approached her about being part of the committee. She told Cowherd that she did her "homework" before saying yes to the job, also talking about it with Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

The remaining members of the committee: Mike Gould, Tom Jernstedt, Dan Radakovich, Mike Tranghese and Steve Wieberg.

"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 committee will meet four times during the college football season and will release rankings every other week starting in mid-October, Hancock said.

Committee members will serve approximately three-year terms, although the initial members will have their terms staggered so they all don't leave at the same time. Committee members will not be paid, Hancock said.

The reason the committee is 13 was because it was "the right number," Hancock said. Everyone contacted to be on the committee enthusiastically wanted to be on the committee, but some individuals couldn't make the necessary time commitments. Hancock would not indicate how many individuals turned down the opportunity.

Hancock said future committees could have more or fewer members.

Rice, meanwhile, said she already has some thoughts on the system.

"I'm going to tell you, strength of schedule is going to matter a lot, head to head is going to matter a lot, and I think this is going to encourage teams to play a tougher schedule," Rice told Cowherd. "The committee is getting together soon and I'm looking forward to having the chance to discuss this without the pressure of picking teams."

Besides picking the four teams for the College Football Playoff, the selection committee will be responsible for ranking and placing at-large teams in the noncontract New Year's Day bowls (Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A).

The committee also must select the highest ranked champion from the non-Power Five leagues (American, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt), which will receive an automatic bid to one of the six bowls associated with the College Football Playoff.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Brett McMurphy | email

College football reporter

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