Building an ideal committee

Success of the new playoffs depends on the group making the selections

Updated: June 26, 2012, 9:50 PM ET
By Brad Edwards | ESPN Insider
BCS TrophyMatthew Emmons/US PresswireThe selection committee will be charged with deciding which teams play for the national title.

Now that college football's long-awaited playoff is finally official, we can turn our attention to some of the details left for the conference commissioners to handle.

The one that will probably command the most fan interest will be the selection committee, which will ultimately replace the current combination of polls and computers as the source for determining which teams get to decide the national championship between the lines. There are a lot of ways that a selection committee can be comprised, and very few of them are necessarily right or wrong. But we do know this: Every option has flaws, and no committee will ever silence the "this team is better than that team" debates that have dominated college football for most of its history.

That said, I do have my own opinion on how the selection committee can best be assembled, having closely covered the BCS selection process for many years now. For a selection committee to earn the highest possible level of credibility among players, coaches and fans, and ultimately allow the new four-team playoff system to be deemed a success, it needs to have three things: balance, experience and education.

1. Balance
This might be the most obvious of the qualities a good selection committee must possess. Regional balance is key to overcoming bias -- or at least the perception of it. No matter how trustworthy and objective committee members may have proved themselves to be throughout their adult lives, there will always be fans who assume that someone from an ACC school will support the ACC team, someone from a Big Ten school will support the Big Ten team, etc. And the fact that many people who work in college athletics have been attached to multiple schools or conferences during their careers only complicates matters.

• Analyzes college football and the BCS as part of ESPN's Stats & Information Group
• Analyst for both College GameDay on ESPN Radio and the ESPN College Football app