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Strength of Fairness: The G5 and the College Playoff Selection Committee

As guardians of the College Playoffs, the 13 members of the College Playoff Selection Committee pledged that "Every FBS team has equal access to the College Football Playoff based on its performance. No team automatically qualifies." But do the stats support that claim?

How many G5 games will Jeff Long watch in 2015?
How many G5 games will Jeff Long watch in 2015?
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

To maintain its relevance as providers of first-rate college football, it's important that the Group of Five enter the College Playoff conversation, a point underscored on this very website. But that night-club door is guarded by thirteen of college football's brawniest bouncers.

Consider the make-up of the College Football Selection Committee, an august conglomerate of the most noted minds in football, tournament formats, and politics. It’s not a bad bunch. But who, if any on this committee, is a true friend of Group of Five programs?

Lacking the technology to truly gauge the hearts of committee members, we must assess this situation through wild conjecture and pseudoscience (two disciplines for which I need no instruction). I won’t allow you into the top secret process. Just rest assured some kind of process was applied.


Jeff Long
University of Arkansas AD
Notable G5 Achievements: Once completely forgot about Marshall
Predicted Commitment to G5: 0%

Barry Alverez
University of Wisconsin AD
Notable G5 Achievements: Nonexistent 
Predicted Commitment to G5: 0%

Michael Gould
Air Force Academy Superintendent
Notable G5 Achievements: Played for Air Force too (in addition to defending our country)
Predicted Commitment to G5: 90% (!)

Kirby Hocutt
University of Texas Tech AD
Notable G5 Achievements: Served as AD for the University of Ohio
Predicted Commitment to G5: 33%

Pat Haden
University of Southern California AD
Notable G5 Achievements: Once played in the World Football League, the G5 of professional football leagues.
Predicted Commitment to G5: 2%

Tom Jernstedt
Former NCAA VP
Notable Mid-Major Achievements: Is credited for developing the modern NCAA Basketball championship, which is friendly to G5 and Mid-Major programs.
Predicted Commitment to G5: 50%

Oliver Luck
West Virginia AD
Notable G5 Achievements:
Predicted Commitment to G5: 0%

Bobby Johnson
Former Head Coach, Vanderbilt
Notable G5 Achievements: Coached at Vanderbilt
Predicted Commitment to G5: 1%

Tom Osborne
University of Nebraska AD
Notable G5 Achievements: Declared an undefeated NIU team unworthy of the Playoffs.
Predicted Commitment to G5: 0%

Dan Radakovich
Clemson AD
Notable G5 Achievements: Once played for something called the IUP Crimson Hawks
Predicted Commitment to G5: 40%

Condoleeza Rice
Former Secretary of State, Stanford Provost
Notable G5 Achievements: Hung out with a lot of mid-major nations
Predicted Commitment to G5: 5%

Mike Tranghese
Former Big East Commissioner
Notable G5 Achievements: Big East became a G5 so maybe that’s something?
Predicted Commitment to G5: 2%

Steve Wieberg
Former USA TODAY reporter
Notable G5 Achievements: Dedicated to a journalistic code promoting impartial balance, amirite?
Predicted Commitment to G5: 10%

Tyrone Willingham
Coach at Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington
Notable G5 Achievements: He might remember that he was once an assistant coach at Central Michigan
Predicted Commitment to G5: 9%

You gotta admit, the G5 doesn't have many chums on the Selection Committee. Michael Gould is the lone rep, a former superintendent for Air Force out of the Mountain West (and even he said he would not be an advocate for the Group of Five)*. The remaining 12 committee members are all rooted in the P5.

The Playoff Committee even had a golden opportunity to correct this wrong when Archie Manning stepped down. Instead, it strengthened the SEC's representation by naming Bobby Johnson to the post.

So forget it, y’all. The Power Five said the door was open to the G5, but the bouncers just ain’t having it.

* Interesting to note that the only G5 to survive the the final poll was from the Mountain West, tho