A panel of 12 mostly respected voices (I mean, the real Dan Beebe was a voter) compiled this list of the top 25 most influential people in college sports. Among the names behind Long? Nick Saban, Phil Knight, and tied with Jimmy Sexton.
Voter comment: "Long has ascended to a high profile role that no one could have seen coming only a few years ago. Though accompanied by more than a dozen colleagues (on the CFP Selection Committee), Long will again be this year's man on the hot seat. And coming from the most coveted football conference adds both pleasure and pressure to the role. For sure, however, his voice is more clearly seen in the leadership position of the game and the business as a result."