Archie Manning to take leave of absence from College Football Playoff selection committee

October 20, 2014

The 2014 season and its upcoming playoff system was supposed to eliminate some of the controversies the absurd BCS used to generate by including more legitimate teams into the national championship competition.

Today, Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff, announced that Archie Manning will take a leave of absence from the playoff selection committee for the rest of the season, a move that could change perceptions in either direction as to the fairness of the new system.

Manning said he would undergo surgery next month to help relieve discomfort he is experiencing while walking and moving around. He will be unable to travel to the meetings.

“We will miss Archie,” Hancock said. "He has such a great knowledge of college football and history with the game, but we all understand his reason for taking a leave. I wish him all the best and look forward to his return in 2015."

So far, most observers are cautiously optimistic that the new playoff system will be a step in the right direction, but already there are well-deserved grumblings of SEC bias, as that conference has historically -- and perhaps this season too -- benefitted by playing teams internally and avoiding tough non-conference opponents.

Nobody denies that Manning has an astute football mind and seems to be a man of integrity, but his Southern roots and the fact that his sons attended SEC schools, creates at least an appearance of bias. Of course, in fairness, all the other committee members have their own built-in biases as well, and Manning, a former NFL star quarterback, certainly is far more qualified than most on the committee when it comes to knowledge of the game.

Manning said, “It is an honor to serve on this committee, and I enjoy the group and was looking forward to the opportunity ahead. My health had to be my primary concern and I intend to be up and about as soon as possible."

The committee has been meeting since November, 2013. It will now have 12 members for the rest of the season. The group will issue its first rankings Tuesday, October 28, and will also issue Top 25 rankings on five more Tuesdays before Selection Day, Sunday, December 7.

By Staff of and news services

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