Introducing the All-Star College Football Selection Playoff Committee
Introducing the College Football Selection Playoff Committee
The long-awaited college football playoff is beginning to take shape. On Saturday, not only were fans entertained by some very excellent college football games like Ohio State vs. Northwestern or Iowa vs. Michigan State, they were also periodically updated on names of individuals who may be selected to join a very influential team in college football. This fraternity would be the group of people tasked with determining which teams would participate in a college football playoff system.
Just the thought of the playoff format has excited many fans around the country, and they are clamoring for more information on the subject. The fact of the matter is that the people selected are in the news now, but hopefully as they make informed selections, their names will become less significant and will be replaced by the names of teams, players and coaches.
Some of the names have come under scrutiny after they were released for various reasons. First of all, some seem critical of the knowledge that some of the appointees may have about the sport of college football. Unfortunately, acceptance into this committee is not like becoming a lawyer -- there is no BAR exam to pass. The qualifications have not been defined because this is a new position that has recently been created. Perhaps some of those who have chosen to be critical of the selected members should take into count the fact that all the selected members have excelled in their fields, carry degrees, and have proven that they are willing and able to research and work hard. Also, it should be added that all of the major sports news providers on television, in print and online are available to the board members like they are to anyone else.
The nomination of Condoleezza Rice has not come without some scrutiny, but she does have a resume and plenty of intangibles that qualify her to participate in this selection process. The former U.S. Secretary of State has passion for college football that has been reported. What may be overlooked is her other skills useful for this committee. First, she adds diversity to a panel that would otherwise be accused of being a room full of old white men behind a closed door. But Rice is not just an African-American woman -- she was the Provost at Stanford from 1993–1999. Also interestingly, Rice began her political career as a Democrat and switched her ideology to the Republican party later in life. This demonstrates her ability to keep an open mind, something that could be very vital to the panel.
Lt. General Michael Gould (Retired)
General Michael Gould proudly served his country from 1973-2013. During this span, he received the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Gould was a defensive tackle in his playing days and also has experience coaching high school football. Gould brings excellent leadership, teamwork and problem-solving skills to the table.
Tom Jernstedt may be the man most responsible for making college sports what they are today. What are they today? They are recognized and enjoyed worldwide. The NCAA owes a lot of its success to Jernstedt and the over 40 years of service he has given the organization. Why might this man be the most influential selection to this committee? March Madness is your answer. Jernstedt has been deeply involved in the very successful college basketball playoff format and if he could bring some of that magic to football, the possibilities could be astounding.
Archie Manning is the father of two active NFL quarterbacks who have won Super Bowls. Oh, and he was a pretty successful player himself. Manning was a star quarterback for Ole Miss and then later the New Orleans Saints. He is also a Heisman trophy winner, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, and was named the SEC quarterback of the quarter century from 1950-1975. Manning was also a college football commentator following his playing days and still works very closely with a number of charities. Manning brings the highest level of individual athletic accomplishments to the table, as well as a very recognizable name and very highly regarded reputation.
Mike Tranghese helped create the Big East Confrence. The importance of this type of experience is paramount for this committee. He was with the Big East from the very beginning and helped it blossom into what it is today. The new playoff committee will run into occasional complications as it has never been attempted before, and Tranghese brings with him the problem-solving skills essential for just such complications.
Pat Haden serves as athletic director for the University of Southern California, one of the most recognizable football schools in the world which resides in the media hotbed of Southern California. Haden knows what it is like to be criticized. His experience at USC has required him to deal with NCAA sanctions and to discipline players and coaches alike. Haden will know NCAA compliance rules as well as NCAA governing officials. His selection not only represents a large media market and region, but he also brings skills to the committee that will help achieve the common goals of making the playoff format as successful as possible.
Jeff Long is the Vice Chancellor and athletic director at the University of Arkansas. Long was a two-sport athlete in his college days, lettering in both football and baseball. He later went on to begin a coaching career as a graduate assistant at Miami University. He later followed one of the many coaches who moved on from Miami, Bo Schembechler, to Michigan. Long was forced to deal with a very difficult situation when he was forced to remove Bobby Petrino as the football coach at Arkansas. Petrino had an excellent resume to his name, but his personal life was not up to par with the standards of the University. Long will hopefully bring his convictions that he displayed in the Petrino situation to his position on the committee.
Oliver Luck is also the father of a NFL quarterback. Although his son, Andrew Luck, has yet to win a Super Bowl, he was a first-overall pick and replaced one of Archie Manning sons as the quarterback in Indianapolis. Like Manning, Luck was also a collegiate quarterback who went on to play professional football. He spent his college days at West Virginia and later in the NFL with the Houston Oilers. Luck practiced law abroad in Germany and began a political career in 1990, but lost his bid to represent the state of West Virginia in the United States Congress. Luck filled a number of roles as an ambassador of the sport of football in Europe and eventually became the president of NFL Europe. Luck has also recently served as the athletic director for the University of West Virginia. Luck has filled many roles that will prove to be beneficial to the committee, but possibly most importantly is his time spent as an ambassador of the game abroad. Hopefully he can help to spread the popularity of college football in Europe.
Coach Tom Osborne, more affectionately referred to as Doctor Tom, has a long and illustrious career. Not only was he the coach of the three-time national champion Nebraska Cornhuskers, he coached what has been argued to be one of the greatest college football teams of all time. He also served under the great Bob Devaney. In his coaching career, Osborne was not known for just wins and losses. While Nebraska did have their share of players who had altercations with the law (Lawrence Phillips for example), Tom Osborne’s ability to turn out academic All-Americans was uncanny. Osborne went on to serve Nebraska in Washington DC as a Senator and unsuccessfully ran for Governor. He served as the athletic director in Lincoln and he and his wife run the mentor program, helping youth in search of guidance.
Dan Radakovich is currently the Athletic Director the University of Clemson. Radakovich has worked in the athletic departments at Miami, Long Beach State, South Carolina, American University, LSU and Georgia Tech. Radakovich has recently spent a good amount of time working with NCAA president Mark Emmert possibly developing a relationship that helped land him on this committee. Radakovich has been helping the NCAA with compliance issues and shaping their image. He will hopefully bring an awareness of the NCAA’s overall image to the committee.
Like Tom Osborne, coach Barry Alvarez was also influenced by Bob Devaney. Although Alvarez was not able to win a National Championship like Osborne, he did go on to become his school’s Athletic Director. His influence at the University of Wisconsin is unparalleled. Alvarez understands the importance of hard work and building relationships. Alvarez is a member of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, and a unanimous selection to the College Football Hall of Fame.