NCAA should say no thanks to coaches wanting on the college football playoff committee

The new group needs evaluators of results, not talent
by Berry Tramel Published: July 8, 2012
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photo - University of Oklahoma (OU) college football coach Barry Switzer and Oklahoma State University (OSU) football coach Pat Jones visit on the field before the 11/7/87 Sooner-Cowboy contest in Norman.  The Sooners prevailed, 29-10. Staff photo by Doug Hoke taken 11/7/87; photo ran in the 11/5/88 Daily Oklahoman.
University of Oklahoma (OU) college football coach Barry Switzer and Oklahoma State University (OSU) football coach Pat Jones visit on the field before the 11/7/87 Sooner-Cowboy contest in Norman. The Sooners prevailed, 29-10. Staff photo by Doug Hoke taken 11/7/87; photo ran in the 11/5/88 Daily Oklahoman.

Well, we have a college football playoff, or will have soon enough, the 2014 season.

And we'll have a committee to determine the four teams.

The reason for the committee approach is clear: It's different. If we had been allowing a committee to select the two teams for the BCS' Big Bowl all these years, sure as shooting we'd now be going to some kind of BCS formula, complete with polls, computers and whatever other gadgetry someone could imagine.

Anything to get as far as possible from the BCS stench. That system, for better or worse, had soiled in the public view.

So we have a committee, and eventually we'll have to name committee members.

Lots of volunteers for that one. They say the NCAA basketball committee is the most prestigious in college sports. It's about to be second.

Football trumps all, as we learned in conference realignment and as we knew already here in God's Country.

So plenty of people will be itching to decide whether Georgia or Wisconsin, Texas or Oregon, make the Football Four.

Already, coaching icons from Barry Switzer to Bobby Bowden, from Lavell Edwards to R.C. Slocum, have offered their services.

Here's what we should tell coaches, ex- or otherwise.

No thanks.

Yes, coaches know football far better than the rest of us great unwashed. Yes, coaches know who's blockable and who's not. Yes, coaches see weaknesses and tendencies the rest of us cannot see. Yes, coaches know the game.

But the football committee doesn't need members who decipher football. The football committee needs members who decipher results.

Switzer, and Pat Jones, and every other football coach you know, bless their souls, talk about what they see when they study teams.

Usually starts with defensive tackles and foot speed at every position and quarterback play, be it arm strength or having the good sense not to throw the ball just because it's in their hands.

But the committee's job is not to judge talent or to judge execution or even to judge who would win a game between a certain two teams.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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