Luck to Help Pick Playoff Field in '14

  • By John Antonik
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  • October 16, 2013 10:26 PM
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The College Football Playoff Management Committee has recruited some of the nation’s brightest minds to make up the 13-person panel that will determine the four-team playoff that will take effect for the 2014 season.

The group includes former coaches, athletic administrators, players and even former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Also on this prestigious panel is West Virginia University Director of Athletics Oliver Luck, the lone representative from the Big 12 Conference.

“I’m honored beyond measure to be a part of this group,” Luck said during his portion of the introductory teleconference Wednesday afternoon that included Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Gould and former coach Tyrone Willingham.

The selection committee, chaired by former Pitt and current Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, has approximately 230 years worth of college football experience and will have the task of determining the top four teams that will make up the first-ever playoff for college football’s highest level. Among the many factors the committee will consider are won-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results and conference championships won.

“Obviously who you play and when you play those teams are going to be very important topics of discussion, and rightfully so, because that goes a long way into determining a team’s strength,” said Luck. “Clearly, strength of schedule will be a key criteria.”

The committee will meet several times throughout the year to evaluate teams before regrouping again during a yet-to-be-determined selection weekend to pick the playoff field.

“I think all of us on the committee recognize the fairly high workload this would entail and I think everybody on the committee is committed to performing that workload,” said Luck. “I think technology and shrinking those games down to the actual plays will allow us to probably watch a lot more football than the average fan who is going to sit through a three or three-and-a-half-hour game.

“I know I’ve talked to a number of folks who have served on the basketball committee and they’ve shared their experiences on nights of watching games at three or four AM, and I think we’ll have some of that as well,” said Luck.

Formal term limits will be determined at a later date, although a three-year term is expected to be the norm for committee members.

The format for the playoff will feature No. 1 facing No. 4 and No. 2 playing No. 3 in the semifinals, rotating annually among bowl games in Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, Pasadena and Phoenix.

“I think having this semifinal system will really add to the excitement and the interest and will really give us a true champion – not that we didn’t have one before, even when you go back to the 1970s or the 1980s, but I do think this system is well thought out; is solid and is an improvement (over the current BCS system),” noted Luck.

The first semifinals will be played Jan. 1, 2015 at the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl and the first national championship game will be played 11 days later on Jan. 12, 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“I think this playoff system is a significant improvement over the BCS and as we watch in 2014 when the new system gets implemented, I think fans, players and coaches alike will be very happy with it,” Luck concluded.

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