Mountaineers AD Luck excited to join selection committee


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West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck said he was "honored beyond measure" to be named to the 13-member College Football Playoff selection committee that will replace the Bowl Championship Series system in 2014.

The group's membership was announced Wednesday. Luck, one of 10 committee members to have played college football, joins a unit comprised of current and former athletic directors, coaches, conference administrators, a former college football writer and two dignitaries -- former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, former superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy.

Luck said he is confident it is a group of leaders "accustomed to making tough decisions."

Luck had remained mum when asked about the committee the past two weeks, even as names of committee members had leaked out.

Other speculation about Luck is still making the rounds -- is he a candidate to be the next athletic director at Texas, a position that will be open next summer?

"I would prefer not to comment on that," Luck said late Wednesday on a conference call.

Playoff committee members are expected to serve three-year terms and meet four times each season, but it's this inaugural group that faces the challenge of pioneering the four-team playoff selection system. Duties will include keeping apprised of the vast college football landscape in order to release rankings every other week starting in mid-October.

Luck said he has spoken with members of the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee to get an idea of how he can best keep an eye on games happening across the country each weekend.

"Everyone on the committee is well aware and cognizant of the fact that this is a significant time commitment," Luck said, pointing out that modern technology can trim extraneous footage to turn a three-hour game into a rapid-fire replay that contains each play.

Luck called the new playoff system an overdue upgrade from the BCS, which has been in operation since 1998, and he expects fans, players and coaches will agree.

"College football change is evolutionary rather than revolutionary," Luck said. "I think the BCS was a tremendous improvement over what we had prior to that. I think this playoff system is a significant improvement over the BCS."

Apart from selecting the four teams for the College Football Playoff, the committee will be tasked with ranking and selecting teams for the Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A bowls.

Committee members emphasized Wednesday that strength of schedule -- a component that will heavily favor power conferences -- will be a strong factor in the committee's discussion and rankings.

The highest-ranked champion from a non-major conference will receive an automatic bid to one of the six bowls selected by the College Football Playoff selection committee.

"We're going to celebrate the last year of the BCS this year and focus on No. 1 vs. No. 2," Luck said. "But I think the system that's been devised and will be put in place is very strong and very solid."

wvusports

Stephen J. Nesbitt: snesbitt@post-gazette.com, 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt. First Published October 17, 2013 8:00 PM


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