Former Ole Miss Rebels and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Archie Manning is one of nine known members expected to be part of the College Football Playoff selection committee. / Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and football Hall of Famer Archie Manning are two of nine people expected to be part of the selection committee for the College Football Playoff that begins in 2014, a person familiar with the decision told USA TODAY Sports.
The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the committee has not been announced, also confirmed the following members: Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez, USC athletics director Pat Haden, Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long, West Virginia athletics director Oliver Luck and Clemson athletics director Dan Radakovich in addition to Rice, former Ole Miss and NFL quarterback Manning, former NCAA Executive Vice President Tom Jernstedt and former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese as at-large selections.
The person said there will only be one sitting athletics director from each of the five power conferences, so those places are set.
"It's an all-star cast," the person said.
A second person familiar with the makeup of the committee who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it has not been announced said the committee also will include Lt. Col. Michael Gould, former Superintendent of the Air Force Academy and a former player for the school.
The first person said Rice's diverse background made her appealing.
A native of Birmingham, Ala., Rice holds degrees from the University of Denver and Notre Dame, and is a professor of political science at Stanford. She served as National Security Advisor from 2001-05 and Secretary of State from 2005-09. She also was Stanford's Provost from 1993-99. She has been on faculty at Stanford since 1981.
The makeup of the 12- to 18-person College Football Playoff selection committee is expected to be set by the end of this season, and possibly by the next meeting of its managing directors in November in Washington, D.C. Potential committee members have been asked to keep their involvement confidential until the announcement is made, but College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said the names wouldn't be a surprise to many.
"You'll know almost all of them," Hancock said recently.
Although Hancock and several commissioners have taken to referring to the selection committee as "the most prestigious committee in sports," its business â?? and its members â?? will also be the subject of intense scrutiny.
"If they're gonna be scrutinized the way they're gonna be scrutinized, we've got to be ultimately careful and do every bit of due diligence," Delany said recently. "You can expect that media â?? new media, old media â?? when someone says, 'Oh, that guy voted that way for that reason,' they're gonna be under a fine-tooth comb. We've got to make sure, for everybody's sake, that we've done everything we need to do to understand that."
The four-team playoff will replace the existing BCS postseason structure beginning with the 2014 season. Gone after this season is the BCS' formula, but the criteria by which the selection committee will make its decision â?? and the tools it might use as aids â?? remain fluid. The factors the committee is expected to be charged with weighing include: head-to-head competition, comparable opponents, conference championships and how key injuries might have affected a team's performance.
"We need to know about all these people," Hancock said. "We know them. You know them. But we need to know everything we can about them because we don't want to make any mistakes, and we won't. These are all people of high integrity."
George Schroeder, a national college football reporter for USA TODAY Sports, is on Twitter @GeorgeSchroeder.
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Read the original story: Condoleezza Rice, Archie Manning on playoff committee