The reported addition of Condoleezza Rice to the College Football Playoff selection committee has ruffled some feathers around the sport, with complaints ranging from the fact that she never played football to the question of why we really need a committee in the first place.
In the less-than-intelligent criticism category squarely falls ESPN commentator David Pollack, who agreed on College GameDay that women should not be allowed on the committee. Former Auburn head coach Pat Dye made stronger comments, objecting to Rice's selection due to the fact that she did not play football, while ignoring the lack of football experience from same of the male committee selections.
"All she knows about football is what somebody told her," Dye said. "Or what she read in a book, or what she saw on television. To understand football, you've got to play with your hand in the dirt."
Former Alabama coach Gene Stallings had some general complaints about the committee that seemed to include Rice, noting his concern for the qualifications for some proposed members.
"Unless you coached a little, it's sort of hard to analyze a team," he added.
Kevin Scarbinsky of al.com also pointed to her perceived lack of experience, but didn't limit qualification for the position as something that needs to happen on the field.
You can say she's had more important things to do, which is true in the big picture, but that's the point. If you're going to be a member of that committee, college football should be the most important thing you do.
You should be consumed with watching it, studying it, spending time around the people who play it and coach it. It's not necessary that you played it or coached it yourself to understand it, but having been in the arena doesn't hurt.
SB Nation's Spencer Hall objected to Rice's proposed selection, but pointed to her political record as a problem worth noting.
Here is a non-sexist case to be made against the selection of Condoleezza Rice as a member of the new College Football Playoff committee: she endorsed the use of torture. Note: not "enhanced interrogation techniques," or "extreme cuddling," but torture, a practice whose ultimate end is simply more torture.
This is a sport of unpaid labor working under sketchy contracts beneath the auspices of coaches and athletic directors taking an insane chunk of available wages. This is a sport in the throes of denial over a number of health and safety issues, including the idea that your brain might not work properly after even a limited amount of time spent playing it.
But even this filthy marketplace of confidence men and shell non-profits running profitable black market businesses has lines it won't cross.
Those same people will smile and applaud the bold choice of Rice without an ounce of irony, because this sport has so warped their brains that one minute they will side with the rules of the NCAA and the next minute against those of human decency, the Geneva Convention, and every tenet of even the loosest definition of human rights. I hate it when the stink of politics wafts over into college football, but some stenches should follow you wherever you go for the rest of your life, if only to warn others.
Others have directed their complaints to the process itself, as Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel said that nobody quite knows what the committee is supposed to do yet.
The problem is no one has properly and effectively articulated what the selection committee's job is, what its goal is or what the people on it will be asked to do to come to their conclusions.
Adding to the problem is that the selection committee thus far appears to be a blatant attempt to appease all the various factions of the sport. This looks like something out of Washington, appointments made mostly for what they represent. The BCS was always a naked political operation - all graft and gifts. Nothing's changed here.
Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician's Sean Keeley asked an even broader question: Why do we have the committee at all?
Sports don't need committees. Sports shouldn't have committees. We understand this in just about every professional sport there is. There is no committee to determine that the Pittsburgh Pirates should make the MLB playoffs. They're in because they won enough games to make it. Just as it is in the NFL, NHL, NBA and every other sport. If we suddenly decided that MLB playoff spots would be determined by Bud Selig and a committee of concerned citizens, the entire baseball community would riot. Rightly so.