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College Football Playoff selection committee not gonna select itself

College football's powers that be have made headway on aspects of the new playoff -- except for how to pick the participants.


BCS conference commissioners spent two and half days this week ironing out details of the new playoff that will begin after the 2014 season. While the group agreed to host sites and the name of the four-team tournament, they haven't made any progress on how to form the selection committee.

As Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel points out, the commissioners are dodging the most important issue related to the playoff.

However, after conversations both public and private with those in the room and those with knowledge of the discussions, it's clear that the commissioners have made almost no headway on what is arguably the most important element of the entire spectacle. The logos, stadiums and television windows won't have nearly the same effect on public acceptance as the method by which the participants are chosen.

Honestly, it's hard to imagine just what was going on during the series of meetings. After all, the additional sites picked for the semifinal games -- Glendale, Ariz., Atlanta, Arlington, Texas -- were already nearly universally assumed to be the choices, and surely it didn't take too long to come up with the official name of the event, College Football Playoff. So, if the commissioners weren't spending much time on the committee -- two or three out of roughly 20 hours, per Mandel -- what, exactly, were they doing?

Well, the meetings did produce at least one major piece of news. However long it took to put the "Peach" back in the Peach Bowl, it was well worth it. And yes, those in attendance decided there will be some sort of poll component, the location of the first championship game and potential logo options.

But still, what about the committee?

"We have time on our side. It's complicated," SEC commissioner Mike Slive told Mandel. "It requires a lot of thought. ... You've got to think about composition, numbers, people, criteria, process -- process. There's a lot to it."

If certainly requires a lot of thought, but so far, it appears as if nobody wants to actually think about it. Slive is correct in saying that the decision-makers shouldn't rush the decision, but the longer they wait to start earnest discussions, the more rushed it will be. If the commissioners continue to put off committee talks because there's too much disagreement, the final outcome will suffer.

The biggest issue with the BCS has always been fans not believing in its ability to choose the correct teams for the championship games. If the new playoff has the same problem, it will face constant criticism throughout its existence -- however long that is. And if it's constantly facing criticism, it's only a matter of time before more changes will have to be made.

For everyone's sake -- fans, schools, commissioners, everyone -- it's probably time to get to work.

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