Arkansas’ Long Named Chairman of College Playoff Committee

University of Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long was named the first chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee, which will choose who participates in the new four-team playoff starting next season.

The 13-member group, to be announced later this week, includes former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to the Associated Press and other media outlets.

“While our committee’s charge is simple, to select and seed the best teams, admittedly our work will not be easy,” Long said today in an online video. “Because of their knowledge of the game, extensive experience and deep-rooted passion for college football, I’m confident the members who will be appointed to this committee will work tirelessly to make the best decisions for college football.”

Other athletic directors who will be included on the panel are Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez, Clemson’s Dan Radakovich, Southern California’s Pat Haden and West Virginia’s Oliver Luck, according to ESPN and the Associated Press.

The rest of the committee will be composed of Rice, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese, former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, former Notre Dame football coach Tyrone Willingham, former NCAA vice president Tom Jernstedt, former USA Today college sports reporter Steve Wieberg and former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, ESPN said.

2015 Title

Bill Hancock, executive director of the Bowl Championship Series and College Football Playoff, declined today in a telephone interview to comment on the other reported members. The rest of the committee will be named at a news conference on Oct. 16 in Irving, Texas, College Football Playoff organizers said today in an e-mailed release.

The inaugural playoff title game will be held on Jan. 12, 2015, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Eight regions or cities have entered bids to host the title game in 2016 or 2017.

ESPN signed a 12-year contract in November to televise the playoffs and selected other games for an average $470 million annually, according to The inaugural semifinal games will be played Jan. 1, 2015, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California and the Sugar Bowl in the Superdome.

-- With assistance from Curtis Eichelberger in Wilmington. Editors: Michael Sillup, Jay Beberman

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