GRAPEVINE, Texas — While college football coaches spent this week signing recruits to take them to an upcoming playoff, BCS conference commissioners were discussing who would be picking those teams.
After two days of discussion, a much clearer idea of the process emerged.
The selection committee will probably consist of 14 to 20 people with the possibility of a former coach being among the group, said BCS executive director Bill Hancock, who also will oversee the playoff.
Hancock also said the announcement of the first championship game site and the three remaining “host” bowls for the playoff rotation will probably be announced April 23-25, when the commissioners meet in Pasadena, Calif. Cowboys Stadium is viewed as the overwhelming favorite for the first title game, with the Cotton Bowl a strong contender to join the playoff rotation.
“We’re not near decisions on site selections,” said Hancock, indicating that requests for bid proposals for the title game and host bowls will be sent by the end of the month.
The selection committee concept remains maybe the thorniest issue left with 23 months remaining before the four-team playoff ushers in a new era. The commissioners realize that much of the playoff’s credibility — or lack thereof — will be determined by having the best teams in the field.
“If you don’t get that right,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, “it’s hard to get the rest right.”
With more teams and a greater human element, the chance of a glitch increases.
The strongest concept emerging from the meetings, Hancock said, would be for every conference to have a representative with a connection to the league or a member school. It would not necessarily have to be a current staff member.
A secondary group would consist of “football experts,” people with a background and connection to the game, Hancock said.
“That could include a recently retired coach,” Hancock said.
The playoff committee plans to take much of what has worked on NCAA selection committees, especially the men’s basketball tournament. But they note major differences. College football teams play a maximum of 13 games before the selection process.
One loss may not damage a team as much in the committee room as it would in the polls, commissioners cautioned. Everything from strength of schedule to key injuries will be considered.
The scrutiny of picking four teams will be much higher than in basketball, with a 68-team field. Expect Google searches and background checks by overzealous fans as soon as committee members are announced, which won’t come for a while.