According to CBSSPorts.com, Barry Alvarez, Bret Bielema's former boss at Wisconsin, is expected to be named to the College Football Playoff selection committee.
From Bucky's 5th Quarter:
Back in August, Alvarez indicated that he had expressed interest in the committee and spoken to Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football playoff, "multiple times." According to CBS Sports, Alvarez will represent the Big Ten on the committee.
For Arkansas fans, the implications are clear. In the event the Razorbacks are in the discussion to be in the playoffs (and to be fair, who knows when that will happen), will Alvarez's relationship with Bielema have any impact?
We've heard mixed reaction from Alvarez regarding Bielema's decision last December to leave Wisconsin from Arkansas. According to Grantland, Alvarez told Bielema, "I'll always love you like a son" when Bielema informed him of his decision to leave.
On the other hand, former Ohio State president Gordon Gee infamously said Alvarez had called Bielema "a thug" (Alvarez vehemently denies he made that comment and Gee subsequently lost his job) and Alvarez has given several interviews indicating his relationship with Bielema had naturally been strained. He's indicated disappointment regarding Bielema's criticism of Wisconsin's willingness to pay assistant coaches, and as recently as August, told USA Today "
"And I'm not saying this negatively because Bret did a good job for us, but I haven't had one person say, 'Well, it's too bad Bret left' or 'We were sorry to see Bret leave' or 'Couldn't you have paid the assistants more money to keep him?' Not one."
In the event Arkansas ever finds itself a candidate for the playoffs under Bielema's watch, the relationship between Alvarez and Bielema will surely come under scrutiny - at least in Arkansas. Alvarez is highly respected throughout the college football world and his selection is unlikely to draw much concern from around the country.
Arkansas fans are of course no strangers to conspiracy theories. There are plenty of fans who were convinced College GameDay never came to an Arkansas game during the Petrino era because the show is sponsored by Home Depot, which is owned by Arthur Blank, who owns the Atlanta Falcons, who Petrino ditched and pissed off. (Hey, prove it wrong!)
The committee is expected to be between 12-18 people. USC's Pat Haden and West Virginia's Oliver Luck were two other AD's expected to join the committee.
Shortly after this was originally published, it was announced Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long is also expected to be part of the committee. So, there's that. I'd like to volunteer to be in the same room with Long and Alvarez at any point in the proceedings.