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2018 College Football Playoff Committee: Will They Get it Right?

The College Football Playoff Committee will release their first rankings of the year on Tuesday, October 30. The dates for the releases are as follows:

  • Tuesday, October 30, 6pm CT/7pm ET
  • Tuesday, November 6, 8pm CT/9pm ET
  • Tuesday, November 13, TBA
  • Tuesday, November 20, TBA
  • Tuesday, November 27, TBA
  • Sunday, December 2 (Selection Day and Playoff Semifinal teams announced), TBA

There is a 100% chance that Alabama will be one of the top four in Week 1. Clemson will likely be there as well. The next two spots are anyone’s guess. The committee has made some radical choices in years past but when it got down to the post-Championship Games December rankings, they have gotten it right in each of the four years of the CFP. Will this year’s committee continue this trend?

The panel has had a full turnover since the first year of members such as Tom Osborne, Tyrone Willingham, Barry Alvarez, and Condoleezza Rice. Also gone are the last two chairmen Kirby Hocutt and Jeff Long. There are many new faces on the committee with very little continuity. Will this year’s version maintain the success of past committees?

There are a few names in this year’s group that you may know. There are very little connections to Alabama but surprisingly several links to Alabama AD Greg Byrne.

(The quoted sections below are copied from collegefootballplayoff.com. The Comments are mine)

SELECTION COMMITTEE

Rob Mullens, Chair

Director of Athletics, University of Oregon

Member of the Positive Coaching Alliance’s National Advisory Board.

Guided Oregon to its best finish ever in the Directors’ Cup, a national assessment of an athletic department’s overall achievements.

Comments: Mullens has a connection to Alabama AD Greg Byrne with both having served together on AD Mitch Barnhart’s staff at Kentucky in the early 2000s. WVU graduate.

Scott Stricklin

Director of Athletics, University of Florida

Experience at six different FBS institutions.

Named Under Armour’s Athletics Director of the Year in 2016.

Comments: Stricklin was also at UK with Byrne and Mullens, serving from 2003-2008. A Mississippi State graduate, he has worked at his alma mater, Auburn, Kentucky and now Florida.

Frank Beamer

Former Head Coach, Virginia Tech

Forty-nine years of college football experience as a coach and student-athlete.

Winningest active coach in FBS history at the time of his retirement.

Comments: You know this guy. They recently erected a statue at Va Tech for his good-not-great run in Blacksburg. He was 1-2 vs. Alabama. He lost to Nick Saban in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games in 2009 and 2013, but won the 1998 Music City Bowl against … ugh … Mike DuBose.

Paola Boivin

Professor, Arizona State University

Former newspaper reporter/columnist for The Arizona Republic.

First female journalist to be named to the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.

Comments: Well, this is baffling. I’ve never heard of her, but I suppose they think they need a female on the committee for some reason. Boivin was a reporter/columnist for The Arizona Republic from 1994-2017. I’d be willing to bet she knows Byrne very well from his days as AD at Arizona.

Jeff Bower

Former Head Coach, University of Southern Mississippi

Spent 29 years at the University of Southern Mississippi as a coach and student-athlete.

Named “Coach of the Decade” by Conference USA in 2004.

Comments: Most longtime Tide fans are probably familiar with Bower as the coach of the Golden Eagles from 1990–2007. I can’t recall anyone ever saying a bad word about the guy. Alabama used to play USM almost every year. Bower was 1-13 lifetime against the Crimson Tide. He won in 2000 when Bama was coached by … ugh … Mike DuBose.

Joe Castiglione

Director of Athletics, University of Oklahoma

Served three terms as the chair of the Big 12 Board of Athletics Directors.

Named National Athletics Director of the Year by the Sports Business Journal in 2009.

Comments: He was AD at Missouri 1993–1998 and has been in Norman since 1998. No connections to the south.

Herb Deromedi

Former Head Coach, Central Michigan University

Member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Spent 38 years at CMU and retired as the winningest coach in Mid-American Conference history.

Comments: This guy has spent his entire life in Michigan. No connections to the south.

Ken Hatfield

Former Head Coach of Three FBS Institutions

Awarded the American Football Coaches Association’s Amos Alonzo Stagg Award in 2015.

Former football student-athlete and All-Southwest Conference defensive back.

Comments: Former head coach and player at Arkansas 1984–1989. Before that, he was an assistant at Tennessee and Florida for many years. Succeeded Danny Ford at Clemson but fans and the administration treated him like dirt. Also five years as head coach at Air Force (before these two stops) and 12 years at Rice (after).

Chris Howard

President, Robert Morris University

Harvard M.B.A. and Rhodes Scholar who earned his doctorate from Oxford.

College football student-athlete and First-Team Academic All-American.

Comments: Who? Originally from Plano, Texas. Played football at Air Force. No connections to the south.

Bobby Johnson

Former Head Coach, Vanderbilt University

Thirty-nine years of college football experience as a coach and student-athlete.

2008 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Coach of the Year.

Comments: Former Clemson player, longtime Furman assistant and head coach 1976-2001, somehow survived long enough to coach eight seasons at Vandy with seven of them being losing campaigns.

Ronnie Lott

Former All-American, University of Southern California

Member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Played professional football for 14 seasons.

Comments: This dude was a badass safety for Southern Cal and many years in the NFL. I met him once. Very soft-spoken with huge hands. No connections to the south.

Gene Smith

Director of Athletics, Ohio State University

Over 40 years of college football experience as an athletics director, administrator and student-athlete.

Two-time winner of the Sports Business Journal Athletic Director of the Year.

Comments: This guy. What a P.O.S. Let Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer do whatever the f they want. Who knows what other skeletons he has in his closets. How this guy has kept his job this long is beyond me. I just discovered that Smith was a freshman on the 1973 Notre Dame team that beat previously undefeated Alabama in that season’s Sugar Bowl for the national championship. Like I needed another reason to dislike him. No connections to the south.

Todd Stansbury

Director of Athletics, Georgia Institute of Technology

Experience serving as the athletics director for three FBS programs.

Former football student-athlete at Georgia Tech.

Comments: Former Georgia Tech player under … ugh … Bill Curry, hired as AD at GT in 2017. Was previously AD at UCF and Oregon State.

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