No hard feelings, Bobby.

Everything that’s bullshit about the playoff selection committee, in one anecdote:

With No. 3 Louisville (3-0) moving up the rankings after its 63-20 win against Florida State last week, that makes it possible Long could sit in on committee discussions about including the Cardinals — led by former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino — in the Playoff.

They are discussions Long said on Wednesday before a meeting of the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club that he won’t recuse himself from, despite the fact he fired Petrino in 2012. The coach wrecked his motorcycle, leading to revelations of a mistress who worked in the athletic department.

“No, there’s no reason for me to recuse myself,” Long said. “I think Louisville is a fine football program, and they demonstrated that after three weeks of the season. We’ve got six more weeks before we rank a group of teams.”

Members of the committee recuse themselves from the selection process when their own schools or conflicts of interest arise.

When asked if he was concerned about the perception of a lack of objectivity concerning Petrino, Long simply said, “No.”

Now, on one level, an accusation of partiality here is silly.  Long had no choice but to cut ties with Petrino after his misbehavior came to light.

But ask yourself this:  if Louisville narrowly misses a shot at the semi-finals, in part because Jeff Long decides it’s not one of the four best teams in the country, you don’t think there’s going to be plenty of yelling and finger pointing about his motives?  It may not be fair, but it’ll certainly be fodder for every talking head bringing up references to Caesar’s wife in December.

You may not have liked the BCS computers, but at least nobody could accuse them of getting emotional about anything.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

22 responses to “No hard feelings, Bobby.

  1. 92 grad

    Feels the same as the Rutgers AD situation to me. Any person subjected to the criticism or judgement or trust from more than 1,000 people at large just shouldn’t be in circumstances where it’s their word alone to justify. Gotta have more than the primary source to maintain innocence.

    Ideally, it’s not right. In reality, it is the way it is.


  2. Way too early for concern. It should come back up if Louisville is strongly in the picture a week or two before the committee actually starts voting.


  3. Macallanlover

    I have never felt ADs should be on the committee in the first place but I seriously doubt Long will have enough influence to impact a Louisville snubb, even if he were inclined. Conference champs from all Power 5 conferences should have an automatic invite anyway but it is very difficult to see Louisville being excluded if they win the ACC with games against FSU, Clemson, Houston, and the Coastal Champ.


  4. heyberto

    I don’t think Long realizes what Conflict of Interest means. It has nothing to do with whether or not he can set aside any bias he may have. It has everything to do with removing the notion of bias from the process. He should be recused outright in that situation, and not of his own choice. He should never have the opportunity to declare his supposed lack of bias and sty in the process. But I’m with Mcallanlover… there should be no ADs there in the first place.


    • jntiii

      He may well be able to objectively consider the merit of Louisville without bias. But the perception of a conflict of interest exists and that should be enough to cause him to step aside on this one. The public must trust that the process is a fair one. This is the same reason the Florida booster should not have heard that Title IV case; there is the perception of a conflict of interest.


  5. Wouldn’t it be cool if Long just came right out and said, “He better hope it’s not close, cuz if it is I’m gonna make his life miserable.”


  6. The committee is a joke. CFP standings based on a similar model to the BCS could have done the job just fine to select the 4 teams.


    • hassan

      Totally agree. BCS computers weren’t perfect, but I think they at least got the top groupings of teams right. Could have just taken the top 4 and gone with that as a playoff. At no point in the BCS era did I ever think the #5 BCS team was deserving of #1.


      • Yep – I agree. I always thought the committee was a construct of Jim Delany to keep 2 SEC teams out of the final 4 and to make sure a B1G team was always in the running. Most years you could take the teams beyond #4 and point out their fatal flaw that would clearly demonstrate they weren’t deserving of a title shot (and I include UGA 2007 in that list).


        • AthensHomerDawg

          I take it that the loss to the olé ball coach and uT was beyond underdtanding. UT played close with LSU. Spurrier was
          6-6. Ouch.


      • Mayor

        Correct. No reason this committee needs to exist in the first place. Just let the computers do it. The committee only injects personal bias into the equation.


  7. Uglydawg

    It would be difficult to find many people with professional (AD..Coach..Media..Dr. Pepper salesman, etc.) ties to college football who couldn’t or wouldn’t be accused of bias in some similar situation. I’m suspicious of anyone out of the BIG. Anyone out of the upper Midwest, anyone from the Left Coast, ANYONE from the media except Grizzard, and he’s dead.
    If you’re a college football an you have loyalties and you have teams you don’t like.
    Seriously, I would trust one GT person…Bill Curry. I would trust a couple o media types…Todd Blackledge is one. I would trust, even if I were a GT fan, Mark Richt. But if it came down to having to select UGA or GT one day, would I want Curry or Richt on the committee? Yes, but all hell would break out either way they chose. So they would be forced to recuse themselves.
    People on the committee need to be completely without ties to CF…but I’m not sure anyone is…And as long as there are people on the committee we will have to give them the benefit of the doubt concerning their objectivity.
    But there will ALWAYS be bitching and moaning. Take that to the bank,
    I said long ago that computers were the only honest way.


    • Macallanlover

      Specifically, no BiG AD should be on there, they are the most butt hurt conference in America since they had to start playing in bowls and showing just how weak they have been. Big 2 Little 8 playing a pitiful schedule, mostly at home then sending one team to the weak Rose and everyone else sitting home for the holidays and keeping their inflated rankings. Exposed is what happened to them and ND….who previously played zero games after Thanksgiving. National Titles my ass. Get a real playoff and then start counting. (Yeah, it is much, much better, but let’s get the conference champs in and we would have a real champion.)


  8. CB

    The computers were fine as long as they’re not just picking two teams. Let them pick 4, 6 or 8. I don’t understand why the NCAA finally takes the obvious step of implementing a CFB Playoff a decade or so late, and then decides to screw it up with a committee. Makes no sense at all.