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Osborne gives committee credibility

One of the big concerns about the College Football Playoff Selection Committee was whether its members would have a good handle on the current college game.

That shouldn't be a problem with at least one of the members -- former Nebraska athletic director and head coach Tom Osborne.

"It's probably not healthy," Osborne said Wednesday. "I tend to watch Thursday night if I'm free. Friday night, I'll probably watch four or five games on Saturday. It drives me wife crazy because I flip back and forth and she doesn't like to watch football that way. This will be a little different. You'll have to study some film."

Osborne said he was approached initially by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany a couple months ago about becoming a part of the Committee, then later executive director Bill Hancock. Osborne said he asked for a few days to consider the decision before agreeing to join.

"I like football and I watch it anyways so I thought I'd go ahead and do it," Osborne said. "Mainly because I'm interested that we do as good of a job as we can. I feel like I can add something to it. They have a lot of really good people, and people with intelligence and people who have made decisions and have good judgement. I think it's important to have people who know a little about a zone blitz, and the short-side option, which I used to run all the time and people didn't like it."

The former athletic director said he understands that the committee is going to attract scrutiny, especially with the amount of money at stake for the four teams who are chosen. Any decisions to be made about Nebraska and its eligibility for the playoff would be made without Osborne.

Osborne is still on the Legends Poll with former coaches like Gene Stallings and R.C. Slocum. He said both are accurate and unbiased in their assessments of teams.

"You're trying to make this a meritocracy instead of some kind of political choice," Osborne said. "There's an automatic recusal if Nebraska would be considered for those top four teams. I don't think there will be any hint of partisanship or anything like that. I think people will really try to get at the top four teams."

A number of factors, though none that are predetermined will be used to pick the four teams. Osborne said factors like record, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition and even injuries could be among the factors considered. Osborne said he will have access to coaches' tapes so they can run review film of each team being considered.

He said he knows that the decisions he, and the other 12 members make, will be looked at closely.

"It's inviting controversy and it will take some time," Osborne said. "We'll see how it goes."

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