One year in, the College Football Playoff is already making its second change to the 13-member selection committee. After seeing Oliver Luck vacate his position after taking a position within the NCAA and replacing him with Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt, the Playoff announced Friday it had replaced Archie Manning with former Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson.
Manning never actually served on the committee, stepping away last fall due health concerns. He has now decided to step down permanently due to time concerns.
“I was honored when I was chosen to be on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee,” Manning said. “It’s a great group of people and they did a wonderful job last year. But as I look ahead to the various commitments I have – to my family, numerous time obligations around the country and to other conflicting demands – I have concluded that I won’t be able to return to the committee. I particularly want to watch Peyton and Eli play, in person when I can, and it’s hard to do that when weekends are devoted to watching college games. This is not an easy choice, but it’s the right choice for Olivia and me."
The Playoff asks a lot of time of its committee members - two days a week from late October through Selection Sunday - and one has to wonder if that hollows its potential talent pool. With Manning's resignation it appears the first casualty is one of its own original members.
Johnson served as head coach at Furman from 1994-01 and then at Vanderbilt from 2002-10, earning an AFCA National Coach of the Year honor in 2001 and an SEC Coach of the Year award in 2008 after guiding the Commodores to their first bowl game in 53 years.
“I have tremendous respect for the selection committee and I am honored to join the group,” said Johnson. “As a former player and coach, I’m particularly happy about the opportunity to continue to serve the game.”
Johnson will be the fourth former coach on the 13-member panel, joining Barry Alvarez, Tom Osborne and Tyrone Willingham.