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Iowa’s Gary Barta Named 2020 College Football Playoff Selection Committee Chairman, For Some Reason

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A move that’s dumbfounding to Iowa fans and no one else

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 Rutgers at Iowa Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In a move that’s dumbfounding to Iowa fans and no one else, less-than-venerable Iowa athletics director Gary Barta was named chairman of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee on Wednesday morning.

Barta replaces Rob Mullens, director of athletics at Oregon, as chair. Barta served as a member of the CFP committee for the first time in 2019, and I’m assuming he’ll spend the next two years as chair before his three-year term expires, as was the case with Mullens. Still, the chair is appointed annually.

Frank Beamer and Chris Howard join Mullens on his way out with their terms expiring. They’ll be replaced by Tom Burman, athletics director at Wyoming, Rick George, athletics director at Colorado, and John Urschel, a former All-American offensive lineman at Penn State, which is honestly probably the least impressive thing on Urschel’s professional resume. He’ll be the youngest committee member by far at age 28.

I’m not certain what responsibilities the chair holds outside being in charge of briefing the media about weekly CFP developments over the course of the season. Barta is going to inevitably explain some stupid rationale for ranking this team over that team weeks 10-15, and I guess if you need some guy to fall on a grenade while wearing a homemade bomb diffusing suit and still walk away, there’s no one better than Barta.

It seems only Iowa fans are all-too aware of Barta’s numerous fuck ups. To rehash, I’ll let Jordan Hansen take it from here:

His mistakes have been many and they’ve all been embarrassing. There was the field hockey controversy where, legally speaking, the Iowa athletic department was found to be discriminatory. There was a full-fledged Title IX investigation. There was a controversy with the rowing team. There was the mishandling of the retirement of a softball coach and the subsequent destruction of a once-prideful program. There was the rhabdomyolysis incident that if it happened now, would have probably resulted in the firing of someone in the football program. There was the mess with the announcement of Fran McCaffery’s most recent contract. There was the first Gary Dolphin episode. There’s now a second Gary Dolphin episode.

And now Barta is being rewarded with one of the most important roles in all of college football. It’s almost impressive to watch a guy who can’t manage his way out of a paper bag fall upwards at the speed of light.

I’m not too worried about Barta’s heightened presence on the committee, however. At least in 2020. Since Iowa will be in the playoff hunt, Barta will be forced to recuse himself from playoff selection duties :)