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College Football Playoff selection committee to release team rankings

The College Football Playoff has officially announced its selection committee members, though the names have been widely known for more than a week now.

Arkansas AD Jeff Long, Playoff committee chair
Arkansas AD Jeff Long, Playoff committee chair
Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

It was also announced the Playoff committee will meet four times a season, beginning in 2014's mid-season, and release a set of rankings every other week for the latter half of the year. Those rankings will ultimately be used to determine which teams make the Playoff and also which teams make the non-Playoff, post-BCS bowls, which will be held alongside Playoff semifinals on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

As for what those rankings will look like:

From the official release on the process, which fills in a few new details (though the selection criteria's openness could be an issue):

Team-Selection Method:
Unlike the BCS, which uses a formula based on a combination of computer rankings and human polls to select teams, selection committee members for the new playoff will have flexibility to examine whatever data they believe is relevant to inform their decisions. Among the many factors the committee will consider are win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, and conference championships won.

Anticipated Timing of Announcements:
Although the exact timing has yet to be determined, the selection committee will meet several times in person to evaluate teams and prepare interim rankings during the regular season. It will meet again during selection weekend and will announce the pairings for the playoff.

Current Athletics Directors on the Selection Committee:
The management committee felt strongly that the service of current athletics directors (ADs) on the selection committee was essential for its success, since ADs are experts in college football and have careers spanning different schools, conferences and levels. However, it is important to note that ADs will not be representing their respective conferences; rather, each member of the committee will represent college football as a whole. The number and ratio of the ADs on the selection committee was agreed to by the management committee.

Earlier this week, our own Bill Connelly went back through every season since 1998 to figure out what kind of decisions the committee members will have to make. He found their impact won't be as big as you think, especially since the membership is so short on math and mid-majors anyway.

But let's take a look at the group of people that will be deciding the fates of teams after next season. Members will serve for about three years and will not be paid, the Playoff announced.

Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin AD

The greatest coach in Wisconsin history, Alvarez played at Nebraska. He took over the Badger program in 1990, taking what was a 1-10 team his first year into a Rose Bowl squad in 1993. He finished with a 118-74-4 record at the school before hiring Bret Bielema as his successor, then replacing him in last year's Rose Bowl.

Michael C. Gould, Air Force superintendent

Gould graduated from Air Force, where he was a graduate assistant for the football team in 1976. He has a long and decorated career in the military, but does not appear to have much background in football.

Pat Haden, USC AD

A Rhodes scholar and former attorney, Haden played football at USC and was a Pro Bowler with the Los Angeles Rams. He was named the Trojans' athletic director in 2010, where he dealt with NCAA issues and eventually fired Lane Kiffin.

Tom Jernstedt, former March Madness chief

For 38 years, Jernstedt oversaw the most profitable postseason event (for now) in college sports. An Oregon graduate, he helped guide the tournament into the 68-team, $1 billion behemoth it is today. He was fired by NCAA president Mark Emmert in 2010.

Jeff Long, Arkansas AD and Playoff committee chair

Long played football and baseball at Ohio Wesleyan, and was an assistant football coach at Miami (OH), Rice, Duke and NC State before administrative positions at Michigan, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and Eastern Kentucky. Before his time at Arkansas, he was the athletic director at Pitt. He's also hired Bret Bielema. Everyone here has hired Bret Bielema, it seems.

Oliver Luck, West Virginia AD

The father of NFL star Andrew Luck, Oliver was a quarterback of his own right, playing for West Virginia before a professional career with the Houston Oilers. He is the current athletic director of West Virginia and helped oversee the school's shift to the Big 12, among other accomplishments. He's also considered a potential candidate for the Texas job.

Archie Manning, former Ole Miss QB

Manning was a fantastic quarterback at the University of Mississippi before a long NFL career with the Saints, Oilers and Vikings. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, he was the NFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1978 and is the father of both Peyton and Eli Manning.

Tom Osborne, former Nebraska head coach and AD

Osborne was one of the most successful coaches in college football history, with three national championships and 13 conference titles in 25 years at Nebraska. After his coaching career, Osborne served as a Congressman for six years before returning to the school as the athletic director. Osborne went to Hastings College, where he played quarterback, and was an NFL wide receiver for three years.

Dan Radakovich, Clemson AD

A former tight end and punter at Indiana, Radakovich was the athletic director at American and Georgia Tech before his current stint at Clemson.

Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State

A graduate of the University of Denver, Rice is best known as the Secretary of State from 2005-2009, when she served during George W. Bush's presidency. She was also the National Security Advisor from 2001-2005. Rice is currently a political science professor at Stanford. What's she know about football? A lot, though that's not the only issue she faces.

Mike Tranghese, former Big East commissioner

Tranghese is the former commissioner of the Big East, and helped found it in 1979. Before his time with the conference, he worked with American International College and Providence. For a long time, he opposed FBS playoffs, still holding last year that the model would hurt bowl games and exclude small conferences. Now he's helping to decide teams.

Steve Wieberg, former USA Today sportswriter

A long-time sports writer for the USA Today, Wieberg retired last year and currently teaches English and journalism in high school. He covered both college football and basketball for the paper, and often investigated collegiate spending and finances.

Ty Willingham, former head coach

A former football and baseball player at Michigan State, Willingham coached for more than 30 years at the collegiate level, including three different head coaching stints. He led Stanford to their first conference title in 29 years in 1999, but was unable to win at Notre Dame or Washington. His final season's record: 0-12.