COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gene Smith’s tenure on the College Football Playoff selection committee has come to an end as it was announced on Friday that the Ohio State athletic director would be stepping down from the committee after just two years of service.
“Gene has been an invaluable member of our CFP selection committee,” said College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock in a release on Friday. “As a former football student-athlete, coach and now collegiate administrator, his influence is deeply appreciated. This is a significant time commitment, and we understand Gene’s need to focus on his primary responsibility on campus.”
Smith’s need, of course, to be on campus revolves around the fact that Ohio State is in the midst of a massive change within their football program as head coach Urban Meyer has retired and Ryan Day has taken over as head coach in his first head coaching gig ever.
“Serving on this committee has been an honor,” Smith said. “Contributing to this great sport is always a privilege, and I will miss the time with my colleagues. It is imperative for me to have 100% focus in helping our new coach with his transition at The Ohio State University this fall.”
Gene Smith joined the College Football Playoff selection committee back in 2017 and signed on for a three-year appointment. However, after just two seasons on the committee that saw his Buckeyes shut out of the playoff both seasons, Smith has made the executive decision to step down from his role in the college football hierarchy and focus solely on his own athletic programs.
Smith’s departure from the committee could end up actually helping Ohio State in future College Football Playoff selections as during his two years on the committee, the Buckeyes were kept out both seasons despite winning the Big Ten Conference both seasons and accumulating an impressive 23-3 combined record, excluding their two wins from their Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl victories.
Obviously, Smith’s presence on the committee didn’t help the Buckeyes at all as, previously stated, they were left out of the playoff the two seasons that Smith served on the committee yet Ohio State made the playoff two out of the first three seasons of the new system prior to Smith’s appointment. This is also due to the fact that, per committee rules, Gene Smith must recuse himself from the committee room when the conversation moves to Ohio State due to bias reasons.
With Smith off the committee and newly-appointed committee member Gary Barta, the athletic director at the University of Iowa, that gives the committee one more person in the room when it comes to discussing the rankings and final selections of the College Football Playoff. It also helps that that voice happens to be someone who resides in the Big Ten.
With the litter of returning talent, new recruits and a revitalized coaching staff, Ohio State will most certainly be back in the running for the College Football Playoff this coming season.
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