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Notre Dame AD considers proposing 2013 'test run' playoff committee

This weekend's BCS pairings include three teams outside of the top-15 AP rankings. Some of the nation's best bowl matchups come outside the framework of the BCS. Georgia gets left out after coming 5 yards from an SEC title and a national championship game berth.

The looming college football playoff in 2014 should help improve matchups, at least by design. A playoff committee will pick the four semifinalists and the access bowl participants outside of already-established contract bowl affilitations.

Turns out there could be a playoff selection committee next year to vet these issues -- sort of.

Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick said he's discussed with peers the concept of a confidential “test run” committee for next season. It's Swarbrick's idea, and though others have been supportive, nothing has been presented to or endorsed by the BCS folks just yet.

This would be a year-long, full-service committee that goes through the entire procedure throughout the season.

The first official college football committee -- expected to closely mirror the NCAA tournament selection process -- should be constructed in the spring.

“I'd like us to go through next season as a shadow committee,” Swarbrick said. “If this were in place now, let's see how this works, get the kinks out. It's been talked about.”

As the SI mock selection committee showed last week, the process by which a 12-person committee maps out a playoff field is complicated.

Swarbrick understands this after watching committees from basketball to lacrosse “work their asses off” and follow games all year long. It's too tough a job to drop the ball. A support system must be built.

“The fascinating dynamic in this is going to be something you do in a committee setting that polls don't do -- how to accommodate for injury,” Swarbrick said. “If Johnny Manziel were out two games and A&M didn't play well in them but you know he's going to be back for the postseason, how would you respond?

“We're trying to get the four best teams in America. You have to make those sorts of choices, engage in that sort of evaluation.”


Jeremy Fowler is a national college football insider with CBSSports.com. Fowler joined CBS in 2012 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for two seasons and covering the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel for two years. Fowler is also a contributor to the CBS Sports Network.
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