College football: Q&A with Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff

Hancock spoke Thursday at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame’s quarterly leadership luncheon about the impending four-team playoff. Here are some excerpts on his talks:
by Berry Tramel Published: April 17, 2014
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photo -   Bowl Championship Series executive director Bill Hancock speaks with reporters to discuss the latest topics involving a new playoff format for determining an NCAA college football champion, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, in Rosemont, Ill. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Bowl Championship Series executive director Bill Hancock speaks with reporters to discuss the latest topics involving a new playoff format for determining an NCAA college football champion, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, in Rosemont, Ill. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Bill Hancock, a Hobart native and OU graduate, is the executive director of the College Football Playoff, which begins with the 2014 season.

Hancock spent 13 years running the NCAA basketball tournament, 1989-2002, then in 2005 took over as chief administrator of the Bowl Championship Series.

Hancock spoke Thursday at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame’s quarterly leadership luncheon about the impending four-team playoff. Here are some excerpts on his talks:

On the importance of college football’s regular season:

“We negotiated a playoff in 2012 over six months, in very difficult negotiations. But our group had one thing in mind, and that was to preserve the regular season. College football has the best regular season in sports. Everything is centered in the regular season.

“We had to preserve the importance of that. If we had an eight-team, or 16-team, or 24-team tournament, there’s some tipping point beyond which the regular season would be diminished. And we just didn’t want to do that.”

On picking the 13-person selection committee:

“They will seed them, they will pair them in the bowls. It will be the most scrutinized committee in the history of college sports. I’m convinced of that.

“We have 13 people. They are an absolute all-star team. We wanted to have different classifications of people. We didn’t want all coaches. We didn’t want all players.

“It started with integrity. If you don’t have integrity. You’re not going to be on this list. Then they dispatched me to go call the people and invite them to be on the committee. I began to make my phone calls, and only two people I called couldn’t do it. One didn’t have time, and the other was a TV announcer. I had to ask him to give up his TV gig, and he said he just couldn’t do it. Everyone else was eager and excited.”


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 Oklahoman,...
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