Jason A. Churchill, 1090 The Fan

David Pollack is a former NFL linebacker that starred at the University of Georgia. He’s now an analyst at ESPN. He’s a football guy. Pat Dye spent decades as a college football coach and athletic director at three schools, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. He’s a football guy. Neither want former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be part of the committee that will decide college football’s four-team playoff starting next season.

I have no idea whether or not Rice is qualified to serve on the committee. I have no opinion whatsoever on her political views or the job she did as Secretary of State. That is certainly not my area. Whether she’s qualified or not to be part of said committee also is irrelevant in the failures of Pollack and Dye as football people. If we took the route of either football guy noted above, neither of them are qualified to make the call on Rice.

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Pollack, on ESPN’s College Gameday this past Saturday, said “I want people on this committee, guys, that can watch tape … Yes, that have played football, that are around football, that can tell you different teams, on tape, not on paper.” In essence, Pollack is saying he wants men, not women, that can do their research, dig into some homework on each team that deserves to be considered in the process that will ultimately spit out the four that will play for the national title.

So, a former NFL player and college standout wants only those that can analyze film so their assessment is well thought-out and valid. He made clear he doesn’t want someone who might make some assumptions about teams based on things that may include win-loss record, points scored or how flashy their uniforms may be. Someone thorough and with attention to detail.

Mr. Pollack may want to heed to his own standards.

Let’s be honest here. Pollack did absolutely zero research on Rice before doling out such an opinion about her qualifications. His statements strongly suggest he’s basing his entire assessment on the fact that she’s female, rather than a “guy.” And the orange called the apple citric.

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On Rice, Dye stated that “all she knows about football is what somebody told her, or what she read in a book, or what she saw on television. To understand football, you’ve got to play with your hand in the dirt.”

One can argue, myself included, that you do not have to have been a player or coach to serve well on such a committee. Fact: There are scouts and executives in all three major sports that never played those sports beyond high school, yet they soar as successful evaluators of the game and its players.

I’d venture to guess Dye did the same amount of homework on Rice as did Pollack — none — before offering up his ridiculous comments.

Maybe Rice would be absolutely horrific on the committee. Maybe she’d be just OK, or maybe she’d be very good. We could say the same about another rumored candidate — former college head coach Ty Willingham, for various reasons. It’s awfully sad, though, that two “football guys” that we’re led to believe know the game very well by their own standards — because they played or coached it — and would indeed do the necessary investigating to put forth the kind of worthy report the committee would require, failed to do so before opening their mouths and spewing out such absurd, ignominious drivel about one potential committee candidate.

– Jason A. Churchill, 1090 The Fan

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