Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is joining the College Football Playoff committee in 2017, according to ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich.
Smith will replace Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez, whose term as a member of the committee has expired. Alvarez has served on the committee since the first season of the playoff in 2014.
Former Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are both stepping down as well. Their replacements have not been named.
The move ensures the Big Ten will maintain the same amount of representation on the committee. Dinich said Smith “is held in high regard throughout collegiate athletics.”
Smith has served as Ohio State’s AD since 2005. He played defensive end for Notre Dame. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1977, and he served on the Fighting Irish coaching staff from 1977-1981. Between Notre Dame and Ohio State, he has won national titles as a player, coach and administrator.
The Buckeye AD spent five years as a member of the NCAA men’s basketball committee, serving as the committee chair for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Committee policy will require Smith to recuse himself from any deliberations involving the Buckeyes.
Ohio State has made the College Football Playoff twice in its three-year existence. The Buckeyes were the No. 4 seed in 2014, beating Alabama and Oregon en route to a national championship. They earned the No. 3 seed this season, losing 31-0 in the Fiesta Bowl semifinal to Clemson.