You can count out Texas athletic director Steve Patterson. Cross off Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione and Iowa State's Jamie Pollard, too.
None of them have any interest in replacing Oliver Luck as the Big 12’s next representative on the College Football Playoff selection committee.
“I do not want to do it,” Pollard said.
“I’ve got my hands full here,” Patterson said.
Castiglione is a little busy on the committee with that other revenue sport.
It’s up for debate, and could be one of the topics Thursday when the Big 12 athletic directors meet in Dallas. While the bulk of the meetings will be focused around the latest NCAA legislation, an early signing period, TV contracts and the basketball tournament, there’s no dodging the Big 12’s controversial role in the inaugural playoff. The league still needs to figure out the true value of a 13th game, and determine if its method of crowning a champion (or co-champions) is the best way to position the conference for a top-four spot in the committee’s rankings moving forward.
They are two entirely separate issues right now.
Until the NCAA loosens its requirements to host conference championship games -- at least 12 teams in two divisions -- the Big 12 is stuck with its current format. The Big 12 and ACC have both petitioned the NCAA to change that, but there’s no timetable on if and when that might be granted.
“If in fact the group believes a 13th game is important to acquire, that changes things significantly,” Castiglione said. “ … If clearly it’s going to be a differentiating factor where it by default penalizes teams that are in conferences not able to play the 13th game, then we need to know that and it would require us to change our view. Maybe we’ll have to push for an immediate change with the legislation, but even then, there’s certainly a downside for one of the teams, so it’s not a perfect solution. The Big 12 has to have the same ability to present its teams and their case for inclusion in the playoff.”
In 2014, the Big 12 presented co-champions in TCU and Baylor, in spite of Baylor’s head-to-head win during the regular season. Whether or not that policy remains for 2015 would likely be determined in the spring.
“I could be persuaded a number of ways, but I think probably if you have two teams that played head-to-head, and they tie at the end of the year and one beats the other, that’s probably a pretty good way to determine it, but we’ll talk about that, and eventually the conference will vote on it,” Patterson said. “ … At some point in time, you’ll probably have a proposal and a vote. I doubt that’s going to happen this week.”
That’s because the coaches won’t be there.
The real meat of the playoff conversations won’t come until the Big 12’s spring meetings, when the coaches are also in the room. The athletic directors want their opinions before casting any votes.
Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, said he’s in “no rush” to fill the opening on the selection committee. Patterson said there have been “plenty of informal conversations” about it, but agreed there wasn’t a sense of urgency to name anyone today.
There’s no shortage of candidates.
Leading the list should be Kirby Hocutt at Texas Tech, Sheahon Zenger at Kansas, and John Currie at K-State. And who knows? Maybe even TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte could give it a whirl.
“In our league, one of the cool things about the 10-school model is we spend so much time together we have a great trust among the 11 ADs,” Currie said. “Whoever the commissioner selects will do a great job of representing our conference and advocating for our conference.”
Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has reached out to several of the athletic directors to gauge their interest, and while an announcement isn’t guaranteed, several of them also said they wouldn’t be surprised if Bowlsby made his choice.
“I think we have some really good potential candidates, but I am not one of them,” Pollard said. “Any of us would love to be a part of it, it would be exciting, but is it something you want to do at this juncture in your life? It’s a big commitment. From a personal level, that’s just not where my priorities are right now. But I think we have some really good candidates, between Kirby Hocutt who played football, Sheahon who coached it and played, John Currie who is an outstanding administrator and I think would be a really, really good candidate for it.”