The Big Ten spent the better part of the past two months championing a selection committee for college football.
Well, the committee is coming, so who does the Big Ten want to serve on it?
I recently made list of candidates to represent the Big Ten on the committee, but this post is more general in nature. It asks the following: What types of folks would the Big Ten want on the committee? Former coaches? Media types? Athletic directors and other administrators?
After giving the committee's makeup a lot of thought in recent weeks, I don't think including former coaches serves the game or the Big Ten particularly well. Media members shouldn't be covering the teams and then determining who's in and who's out. Let's eliminate them.
The chief concerns about the committee are the potential biases its members have. And while many former coaches are no longer affiliated with specific schools, they seem more likely to favor schools and leagues based on their past. There's too much history with these men. Many of them are regarded as icons in certain communities and regions. Sure, coaches know the game better than anyone, but it doesn't mean they make the most objective and rational choices when it comes to rankings.
Need evidence? Look at the coaches' poll. It's a total joke.
I've enjoyed watching the Big Ten Network's Gerry DiNardo candidly discuss the crazy way coaches vote in the poll -- how they vote for friends and against rivals, how the votes are rarely tied to the quality of the teams. There's very little objectivity there. Would it change with former coaches?
Some leagues are going to want members of the selection committee to go in and fight for its teams. I can think of one specific conference headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. It wouldn't shock me to see SEC folks clamoring for former coaches with famous names like Dooley, Dye and Fulmer to serve on the committee.
The Big Ten should hope for a bit more balance and sensibility with committee members. It should want a committee more closely resembling the NCAA men's basketball tournament selection committee, which includes athletic directors and conference administrators. The committee has true national representation. It's large enough to debate teams, even when folks with ties to schools recuse themselves.
While the selection committee is criticized for favoring major-conference teams over mid-majors, or vice-versa, how often is the group accused of bias for/against one school? Athletic directors and league commissioners have their ties and their relationships, but it's a different deal with coaches. Also, many ADs and league officials have worked at multiple schools and in multiple leagues, which should be a huge priority in determining who serves.
Having former coaches on the committee would be entertaining. But the potential risks are too steep.
Look at the coaches' poll and look at the basketball committee and tell me which one works better. Putting ADs and league administrators at the table best serves the sport -- and the Big Ten.