Earlier this week, ex-Auburn coach Pat Dye questioned Condoleezza Rice’s selection to the new College Football Playoff selection committee. Yesterday, former Alabama and Texas A&M coach Gene Stallings made it clear that he’s not ready to rubber stamp the committee, either.
Appearing on Tim Brando’s national radio show, the former national championship-winner had this to say:
“I’m getting a little concerned about getting some people that are not qualified as I would like to see to make the decisions on this committee. And I’m worried about that…
Football’s a great game. Now, we’re going to pick four or six or whatever it is. We’re picking some committee members to make that decision and I worry about whether some of them are qualified to make this kind of decision…
Unless you coached a little, it’s sort of hard to analyze a team.”
Perhaps that last line will prevent folks from labeling Stallings a troglodyte. His issue isn’t with a woman being on the panel — neither is mine – but instead with non-coaches filling out the panel. While I would say ADs are OK and perhaps university presidents, too, I would have zero issue with the panel featuring ex-coaches only. Yes, there would be questions of bias, but you’re going to have that anyway. Whether its the aforementioned Rice with Stanford and Pac-12 teams, Arkansas AD Jeff Long with his Razorbacks and the SEC teams or former Air Force superintendent Michael Gould with… well, non-AQ teams.
One coach who usually has plenty to say has chosen to keep quiet on the subject of the committee. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier was asked his feelings about Rice — why just Rice? — and the usually lippy coach had only this to say:
“Why not? She’s a Stanford graduate (and she) plays a little golf.”
Fair enough, though that opens the committee room doors to a helluva lot of Cardinal alums.
Sadly — but not surprisingly — any “backlash” against Rice’s selection is being dismissed as “sexist, stupid.” And if folks don’t want Rice on the panel because she’s a woman, then yeah, it is sexist and it is stupid.
But for someone to say “We need football coaches only,” or — as I did yesterday — “There are more qualified women,” or “There are issues with several people on the panel,” the media and a nation full of Twitterites shouldn’t present those arguments as being anti-woman.
That would take way too much thought and it’s much easier to simply bang out a “How dare you, cretins!” type of column. So be it.
There is one amusing twist to this whole rhubarb. With so many writers having rushed to protect and defend the selection committee, a lot of folks have pre-nixed the ultra-easy “What were these idiots thinking?” columns that they would otherwise be sure to write next year when the panel actually tabs the first four teams for the new playoff. And you all know very well that the first four picked will be controversial.
Better not question the panel’s selections, Defenders of the Committee. Not after you so vociferously defended the selection of the panel itself.