Bill Hancock turned a few heads Wednesday when the executive director of the upcoming college football playoff announced the selection committee membership would not include any current conference commissioners, the dozen men who were charged with actually establishing the playoff in the first place.
Nor would be it be likely — possible, but not likely — that any sitting athletic directors serve on the prestigious committee.
Nor would the committee include any current media members.
Which leaves …. uh … how about … then there’s …. I’ll get back to you.
Maybe Tim Tebow? He certainly has time on his hands.
It may be tougher to put together a credible, respected, knowledgeable and, first and foremost, willing selection committee than it is to find a reputable hire at Rutgers these days. Remember, all will have to be cleaner than the pope, smarter than Mensa’s financial advisor, have zero skeletons or even an unseemly bone or two in his or her closet the last 40 years, know more football than Kirk Herbstreit and Knute Rockne put together, and be ready to endure constant Twitter hell and death threats, all to have the honor of picking arguably the best four teams in college football. Piece of cake.
Some advice. Be diverse in age, gender and ethnicity. Don’t put 20 old, white men in the room. Include a former Heisman winner or two, but probably not Reggie Bush. Consider a female, preferably Tina Fey.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he and his fellow commissioners felt their presence on the committee would be “too disruptive and too subject to suspicion.”
I’m assuming committee members will have to live in gated communities with around-the-clock bodyguards and armored vehicles, which I’m also guessing will eliminate most reporters from consideration.
Hancock said he expected to receive at least 100 names as prospective candidates. I’d expect 99 to want out after they witness the type of scrutiny these members will receive.
Mike Slive, SEC commissioner, asked his ADs to submit two names each by Friday. Bowlsby said he started with 40 names and submitted 15 of them, a list including former football coaches, former athletic directors, former commissioners, former media representatives. Former is probably good. Less bias, if that’s possible.
Bowlsby said they will look for nominees with “extensive football background and impeccable integrity.” Again, another media disqualifier.
“My list didn’t have anybody from government or politics,” Bowlsby said, “but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some.”
So, Bill Clinton, you’re saying there’s a chance.
Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman told the Dallas Morning News he included a woman among his nominees. I think Barbara Bush is feisty enough to take the heat.
Hancock said he’d like to have the committee formed by the end of next bowl season. Bowlsby thinks the task will be completed in the next 90 days. The committee will meet before the 2014 season and convene at least four times, starting in October and finishing in early December.
But it makes more sense to have the committee in place before 2013 so it could use this next season as a dress rehearsal for the real thing. There are just too many moving parts, too many wrinkles that no one has yet to even think of.
There will be term limits for committee members of between two and four years, so Rick Perry clearly will not be interested.
Since we’re here to help, here are a few other candidates:
Ara Parseghian’s still as sharp as ever.
Grant Teaff has to be a consensus-builder as head of the football coaches.
Bobby Bowden would be a dad-gum good choice.
You won’t find two more credible experts on the game than Roger Staubach and Archie Manning.
Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt mentioned Manning as “an ideal candidate” and said former Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes “would be excellent.”
Could there be a more reasonable, smart and entertaining a person than power broker Chuck Neinas? “I think Chuck is the best of the best,” Hocutt said.
Donnie Duncan, whom one Big 12 staffer called “a consigliere to the league,” would make a great committee member.
Bill Byrne’s available.
A Herbstreit or former USA Today hand Malcolm Moran makes a lot of sense.
And these were just the candidates we Big 12 reporters came up with in an hour Wednesday. The choices will be fascinating.
“I think people will relish this service,” Bowlsby said, “and are people who will take it very seriously.”
But first, the college football nation must take them seriously.