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Is A Truly Unbiased Playoff Selection Committee Starting To Take Shape? Fugetaboutit

gfx - honest opinionNow that the bowl games and dates have been chosen for a new college football playoff…

Now that that college football playoff has been officially named the “College Football Playoff”…

Now that the rotation of bowls has been selected and the automatic bids lined up…

The last major hurdle before college football’s power brokers is the creation of a selection committee.  A selection committee that has to be viewed as fair and impartial.

Exactly.  It’ll never happen.

But with the a fair, impartial selection committee as a goal, Bill Hancock — the new playoff’s executive director — is looking for suggestions.  Present in Destin, Hancock said, “We need people with the courage to make difficult decisions.”  He’s requested that all of the FBS conferences forward him names of potential panel members.  The SEC answered the call yesterday.

Georgia AD Greg McGarity said that he had submitted “one or two” names.  Florida AD Jeremy Foley said that he put two names in the hat.

Hancock and his fellow decision-makers hope to have a list of about 100 candidates from which to choose 12 to 20 committee members.  According to various sources and reports, sitting conference commissioners will not be allowed on the committee (though they are part of the NCAA Tournament selection committee).  Current media members will not be invited to take part, either.  Hancock said that current “athletic directors are eligible now, but that could change.”

McGarity said that he “looked for someone who had coached the game before, played the game before, people of high integrity and honest, who wouldn’t be a homer, obviously.”  Foley said that he, too, believes “the integrity and the credibility” are key elements in finding the right panelists.

LSU’s Les Miles also weighed in on the topic, saying: “I think past athletic directors, old coaches and old players — but guys who are really for the college experience — is the way to go.  They’ll be able to do the job without reflection on where they’re from.  The problem with current coaches and current athletic directors is they all have a bias.  And it’s impossible to remove it from them.”

I’ve got bad news for McGarity, Foley and Miles: Whoever lands on the committee will have biases.  There is no way around that fact.  And even if there were — even if the people on the panel were completely objective and totally free of any and all biases — fans of teams not invited to the playoff will believe and shout that bias did indeed play a role in locking their team out.

If you ask me, it’s really quite amazing that intelligent people who are currently running athletic departments and conferences actually believe they can put together a panel that fans will accept as being unbiased and fair.  That is just not going to happen.  I applaud the effort, but if you thought there were conspiracy theories swirling around the BCS… you ain’t seen nothing yet.



There is no perfect system in this imperfect world. I'm very leery of trusting the same leaders of the sport who give us such absurd regular season schedules to provide us with the four most talented and compelling playoff teams each year.

I guess I would settle for avoiding picking playoff teams based upon who will draw the highest ratings. In other words, keep ESPN and folks on their payroll as far away from the selection process as possible.

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