Big 12

October 16, 2013

College Football Playoff committee officially unveiled

On Wednesday, College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock announced a 13-member selection committee, which includes former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Nebraska coach and Congressman Tom Osborne and Steve Weiberg, a former sportswriter at USA Today who lives in Lawson, Mo., and said it “will become one of the best known teams in college football.”

Steve Wieberg is the person on the College Football Playoff committee who didn’t play or coach college football, hire a coach, negotiate a television contract or serve the president.

But few of the 13 members officially introduced Wednesday will bring a broader and more grounded perspective than Wieberg, a Lawson, Mo., resident and Missouri graduate who spent about three decades covering college sports for USA Today.

“I do think somebody in the media can look at teams from a national perspective, judging them across the board,” Wieberg said. “I figured I’ve covered 250-300 college football games, not watching them as a fan but more analytically.”

A similar perspective will be asked of all committee members when their duties begin next year, the first of the College Football Playoff.

“We represent all of college football,” said Jeff Long, the committee chairman and Arkansas athletic director. “In this task, we don’t not represent any one school, conference or region.”

In replacing the Bowl Championship Series system of polls and computer rankings that produce a standing from which the top two teams emerge to play for the title, the College Football Playoff will match the top four teams in semifinals.

“The charge is ... to determine the best teams in college football and seed them to play each other,” Long said.

The committee will select and seed the teams. It also will select at-large teams for high-profile bowl games using several criteria including schedule strength, head-to-head meetingsand conference championships.

The committee will meet at midseason and several other times to evaluate teams before a final meeting. It also will produce its own top-25 ranking to help guide its choices.

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