Matt Hayes of The Sporting News is reporting today that “an industry source” has told his publication that “current athletic directors will be used on the committee” that will select the four teams who will take part in college football’s new playoff system each year. As Hayes points out, that is a complete reversal of what college football’s powerbrokers — including College Football Playoff executive Bill Hancock — have been saying for months.
The plan calls for an athletic director to leave the room when his/her own school is up for debate. According to Hayes’ source, however, an AD can stay in the room and take part in the discussion if a team from his/her own conference is the topic of conversation.
Get ready for more controversy, folks.
As we’ve stated from the outset, the selection of the four teams for the new playoff will be even more controversial than the BCS formula that was used to match America’s top two teams. Now you’ll have sitting athletic directors weighing in on who’s invited and who isn’t. Unless the panel includes an AD from each of the 11 FBS conferences (and from Notre Dame, as Steve Spurrier might point out), you’ll have fans claiming that the SEC was blackballed by a Big Ten AD, the Pac-12 was blackballed by an SEC AD, and so on.
And even if you do have an AD on hand to represent each FBS conference (and Notre Dame), there will still be room for — let’s say — Georgia fans to claim that Florida’s AD didn’t push hard enough for the Dawgs while he served as the SEC’s rep on the committee.
It’s only going to get worse from here.