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Ex-coach Riley joins CFP selection committee


Former Oregon State and Nebraska coach Mike Riley has been named to the College Football Playoff selection committee. He replaces athletic director Pat Chun, who was appointed to the 13-member committee when he was at Washington State but stepped down when he was hired for the same position at Washington.

“We are pleased to have Mike join the committee,” Bill Hancock, executive director of the CFP, said in a statement Friday. “He has significant experience as a player and coach, and he loves college football. He will bring a unique perspective to the committee. Plus, he is a delightful human being.”

Riley, who will serve a three-year term on the committee, was the head coach at Oregon State from 1997 to 1998 and again from 2003 to 2014 before leaving for Nebraska. Riley was fired from Nebraska by former athletic director Bill Moos in November 2017, just hours after the Cornhuskers lost to Iowa 56-14 to close a 4-8 season in Lincoln, the worst at the school since 1961. Riley ended his stint at Nebraska with a 19-19 record in three seasons.

Riley, who at one time was the longest-tenured coach in the Pac-12, took over an Oregon State program in 1997 that hadn’t had a winning season since 1970. He left after two seasons for a three-year stint with the San Diego Chargers — but not before his Beavers knocked off a nationally ranked Oregon team in an overtime thriller in the 1998 Civil War game.

He returned to Corvallis in 2003 and had winning seasons in eight of the next 12. His Beavers defeated No. 3 USC at home in 2006, No. 2 California on the road in 2007, No. 1 USC at home in 2008 and No. 9 Arizona on the road in 2010. His decision to leave Corvallis for Nebraska shocked many at the time.

In 2018, Riley returned to Oregon State for a third stint, this time as an assistant under then-first-year coach Jonathan Smith. He was only there for a few months because he was hired as head coach of the San Antonio franchise of the Alliance of American Football league, which was entering its inaugural season.

Other new committee members include former Toledo and Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades, Virginia athletic director Carla Williams and Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek.

They will replace former committee chair Boo Corrigan, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart, Utah athletic director Mark Harlan, Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor, Hall of Fame former coach Joe Taylor and former Notre Dame linebacker and tight end Rod West, whose terms have expired. The CFP extended the term of former All-American Nebraska lineman Will Shields for an additional year.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel will replace Corrigan as the committee chair. While there are several former coaches and players in the group, seven sitting athletic directors representing seven conferences (including one from each Power 5 league) make up the majority. The other returning committee members are former Nevada coach Chris Ault, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk, former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe, Miami (Ohio) athletic director David Sayler, former sportswriter Kelly Whiteside, Manuel and Shields.

They will all be tasked with being the first group to select the teams for the new 12-team model, which will be unveiled this fall. The CFP will include the five highest-ranked conference champions and the next seven highest-ranked teams. The top four conference champions will receive a first-round bye.

While the playoff field and format have changed, the selection committee’s role has not. The new members will continue to use mostly the same protocol to determine their weekly top 25 rankings and ultimately the final teams on Selection Day.



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