February 09, 2015

Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt was appointed to the College Football Playoff selection committee Monday.

Hocutt will replace Oliver Luck, the former West Virginia athletic director who has moved to a position with the NCAA. Luck was the Big 12's pick for the selection committee last season. Each of the five power conferences in FBS has one current athletic director on the 13-member committee responsible for choosing the participants for the four-team playoff that determines major college football's national champion.

Hocutt grew up in Sherman, Texas, and was a linebacker at Kansas State from 1991-94 under head coach Bill Snyder and then-defensive coordinator Bob Stoops. He has previously been athletic director at Ohio University and Miami. He took over at Texas Tech in 2011.

''I just believe in the lessons that the game of football teaches,'' Hocutt said in a phone interview. ''To have an opportunity to be a part at this level of an event that has become immediately one of the most popular sporting events in our country is an exciting opportunity.''

Hocutt said he spoke with Luck about his experience on the first selection committee. He also said he had talked numerous times with Arkansas athletic director and committee chairman Jeff Long. Hocutt called Long a close personal friend. The two worked together at the University of Oklahoma.

''(Luck) shared with me how much he enjoyed it and that it was going to be something that he actually was going to miss as he stepped into his new role at the NCAA,'' Hocutt said.

At 43, Hocutt will become the youngest member of the selection committee.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby nominated Hocutt, and he was approved by the other commissioners who make up the playoff management committee.

''He will fit right in, because he is a thoughtful, hard-working person of the highest integrity,'' College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock said.

The Big 12 was the one Big Five conference to get shut out of the playoff, with Baylor and TCU finishing behind Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State. Baylor coach Art Briles was critical of his team's omission and said a lack of representation from Texas was a problem.

The committee worked with only 12 members for most of last season. Former Mississippi quarterback Archie Manning stepped aside because of health issues.

Hancock said Manning had recently told him he fully intends to return to the selection committee in 2015.

Last month, Long was re-elected selection committee chairman.

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