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College Football Playoff off to strong start with committee

COMMENTARY — Selecting the Football Four is a job not just for old coaches, but for critical thinkers like Condoleezza Rice.
by Berry Tramel Modified: October 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm •  Published: October 15, 2013

Condoleezza Rice knows a lot about the Politburo. The Tampa Two defense, probably not so much.

Steve Wieberg doesn't weigh an ounce over 150 pounds, which might have gotten him on the football team in Martinsburg, Mo., 40 years ago but no further.

Tom Jernstedt rose to fame by riding herd on basketball talk.

And I think that's just swell. Applaud them all being on the most important committee in sports this side of the Olympic gymnastics judges.

The College Football Playoff committee will be announced Wednesday, and while there are plenty of old war horses of the gridiron, there also are critical thinkers. Which every jury needs.

The idea that Condoleezza Rice can't break down film? That Steve Wieberg never played the game? That Tom Jernstedt is more hardwood than Hard Knocks?

Doesn't matter. This committee, which will decide the combatants in the Football Four, is not charged with unraveling mysteries.


The complete College Football Playoff committee


It's not a why question. It's a what question. What did teams do? Who did they play, where did they play them and how did they do?

Anyone on the committee who starts talking about the quality of defensive tackles, or the arm strength of a quarterback, should be ushered from the room. It's not a beauty contest. It's an outcomes-based decision.

That's why I want Condoleezza Rice making decisions I care about. She was the Soviet expert on the National Security Council. I think she can adequately discern the resumes of Ohio State and Notre Dame.

That's why I want Steve Wieberg involved. Thirty years he wrote college sports for USA Today and was honorable every step of the way.

That's why I want Tom Jernstedt along for the ride. He ran the NCAA basketball tournament as it went from a county fair of 25 teams to the 64-team monster that consumes America every March. He's kept the basketball committee in line while it makes career-changing decisions.

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by Berry Tramel
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 Oklahoman,...
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