‘Cause Mike Slive is looking for a few good men.
“Clearly what you want: we want a committee that has football expertise, and we need to find the right people,” said Slive, who met last week with College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock and other officials in Pasadena.
“We want integrity, and we want transparency, because this is our opportunity to make sure that not only are we comfortable but you’re (the media) comfortable and all the fans are comfortable that this process is the way it should be. It’s not going to be easy.”
More like it’s not going to happen. Let’s face it, there are a ton of not-so-hidden agendas out there where the real battles over the selection committee will be fought.
Slive arguably has more at stake than anyone in the committee discussion. The BCS system has been highly favorable to the SEC, whose teams’ repeated postseason triumphs have helped bolster their favorability with the pollsters who currently vote teams into the title game. A committee untethered from the traditional polls could be more discerning and possibly less forgiving of the now 14-team league’s insistence on staying at eight conference games (the Big Ten will soon join the Big 12 and Pac-12 at nine) and feasting on Sun Belt and FCS foes.
Scott, who does not come from the basketball committee background, presumably wants his teams rewarded for their historically stronger nonconference schedules, but he’s also less familiar with the associated metrics. Delany, whose league has inarguably fallen behind of late, has spoken out in the past about valuing a conference championship and perhaps not rewarding a team like 2011 Alabama that did not win its own division. Bowlsby must be on guard that his conference won’t be penalized for its lack of a conference championship game.
It’s not outright dishonesty, or even the blatant conflicts of interest that have marred the Coaches Poll for years, that concern me. It’s the more subtle tug-of-war that the committee members are likely to engage in with close calls and how much spreading the wealth, so to speak, between the conferences enters into the decision process that has me nervous. (If there’s one lesson to be taken from the BCS experience, it’s that there will be a fair number of seasons with close calls.) Don’t think that’s not in the minds of Slive and his peers right now as they try to build the better mousetrap.
It seems to me that Slive has already won a very significant concession with the agreement that a conference can have more than one participant in the playoffs. Take a postseason that features two (or more) SEC teams on a regular basis, add the above vested interests and you’ve got a formula that virtually guarantees postseason expansion, Bill Hancock’s straight-faced denials notwithstanding.