Who Is on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee?

    Who is on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee? Inside the room that decides the postseason fate of all 134 college football teams.

    The College Football Playoff Selection Committee has become one of the most divisive and controversial entities in the whole of the sport, arriving on our television screens on Tuesdays in late October to deny or approve your favorite team’s résumé for a run to the playoffs.

    It could be argued that this entity is one of the most powerful in all sports, controlling the destiny of all 134 programs. Behind the public face of the committee are the individuals who come together to make the decisions. Who is on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee?

    Who Are the College Football Playoff Committee Members?

    There are 13 members of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, listed below with their area of expertise in the field of college football and the expiration of the term.

    • Mike Riley
      Former Oregon State and Nebraska head coach, February 2027
    • Randall McDaniel
      Former Arizona State player, February 2027
    • Gary Pinkel
      Former Toledo and Missouri head coach, February 2027
    • Mack Rhoades
      Baylor Athletic Director, February 2027
    • Hunter Yurachek
      Arkansas Athletic Director, February 2027
    • Carla Williams
      Virginia Athletic Director, February 2027
    • Chris Ault
      Nevada Athletic Director, February 2026
    • Chet Gladchuk
      Navy Athletic Director, February 2025
    • Jim Grobe
      Former coach, February 2025
    • Warde Manuel
      Michigan Athletic Director, February 2025
    • David Sayler,
      Miami (OH) Athletic Director, February 2026
    • Will Shields
      Former Nebraska player, February 2025
    • Kelly Whiteside
      Former college football reporter for multiple outlets, February 2025

    The initial CFP Selection Committee Protocol deemed that these members would be football experts tasked with upholding the principles and working toward the guiding principles that decide the College Football Playoff rankings.

    The first College Football Playoff Committee members were announced in October 2013. Since then, members serve a three-year term (although there have been some exceptions).

    This creates a rotation of members with varying expertise in the arena of college football. These consist of former coaches and players, current athletic directors, and retired media member.

    The final 13 College Football Playoff Selection Committee members are selected from a list of over 100 candidates submitted by conference commissioners.

    The College Football Playoff Committee aims to avoid any potential conflict of interest caused by current athletic directors serving on the committee by removing athletic directors from being directly involved in the discussions that relate specifically to their teams.

    Who’s the Head of the Committee?

    The current head of the committee — and the face of public revulsion over perceived playoff slights — is Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel. The man who helped guide the Wolverines to the 2024 College Football National Championship replaced Boo Corrigan in Feb. 2024.

    While the 13 members of the College Football Playoff Committee are all involved in the decision-making process, Manual is the elected chairperson responsible for publicly explaining the committee’s decisions to the media and the general public.

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    As the head of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, Manual takes part in a cross-examination on the weekly College Football Playoff show, answering questions about how the committee came to certain decisions and explaining what might be considered egregious exclusions from the rankings.

    Furthermore, Manual also has to participate in a post-rankings reveal media teleconference.

    While the head of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee isn’t always popular among college football fans or even some of the 134 member schools, Manual has an extremely successful college football résumé.

    During his eight seasons overseeing football operations in Ann Arbor, Michigan has become one of the consistently competitive teams in college football. At the time of his appointment as the head of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, the Wolverines held the longest active win streak in the sport, with 15 successive wins thanks to their undefeated 2023 campaign.

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    Although he has been the Michigan Athletic Director since 2017, his ties to the program date back to his time as a Wolverine student-athlete. Manual also worked in various roles in Ann Arbor before leaving for the State University of New York in 2005. The new head of the selection committee also spent four seasons as the University of Connecticut Athletic Director.

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