Condi Rice is someone you can admire on biography alone. If you haven’t read her autobiography, “Extraordinary, Ordinary People,” give it a try. You’ll marvel at the woman she became, at the parents who made her that woman, and a family that believed she could become president despite living in Jim-Crow-era Alabama. Stipulating first her obvious intelligence and poise, she’s Forrest Gumpian in her connection to so many pivotal events and people of America’s modern era. She lost a childhood friend in the Birmingham church bombing. She debated Stokely Carmichael at the dinner table when her father hosted him and other sometimes radical figures for university events. She lived next door to a young Bibi Netanyahu as a teenager. She lived through the Cold War in the Reagan administration and the War on Terror in the Bush administration.

She also dated a Denver Bronco. Which brings me to one of my favorite things about Condi Rice— her passionate and well-known love of football, formed watching Alabama and the Cleveland Browns with her dad as a kid. She’s made it no secret she wants to be involved with the sport post-politics, often saying NFL Commissioner would be her dream job. She’s not there yet, but on top of taking one of the first female memberships at Augusta National, it seems Rice has snagged a spot on the sports world’s newest, high-powered panel— the playoff pickers who will save us from the BCS computer and, with any luck, make the Georgia Bulldogs national champions give the nation a definitive champion when there are so many teams with equal records.

AP reports, though it’s not officially confirmed because the selection process is not finished:

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to be part of the selection committee that will pick the teams for the College Football Playoff next year, a person with direct knowledge of the process told The Associated Press.

The person also said Friday that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, the former Air Force Academy superintendent, and former NCAA executive Tom Jernstedt, who worked with the basketball tournament selection committee, are expected to be part of the new 12-to-18 member football panel.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the selection process is still ongoing.

She’s a bit Gumpian in her college football connections, too, having grown up in Alabama as a fan of the No. 1 ranked Tide and been provost at No. 5 Stanford.

I trust her. Rice’s football love is featured in the NFL’s “Together We Make Football” ad campaign this year. Click the image to watch.


Here’s how the College Football Playoff will work, starting in 2014.