Every member of the College Football Playoff Committee has two things in common. First, each has at least one letter from the word "IOWA" in his or her name. Second, none of them have all four of those letters in their given name; Dan Radakovich and Ty Willingham come closest. (Why doesn't he go by Tyrone? Oh, you'll see momentarily.)
That "coincidence" continues with the Committee's latest appointee, Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt. But this goes beyond letters; every single sitting member of the Committee has a connection to the Hawkeyes and Kirk Ferentz. Those connections are troublesome and numerous enough that, taken together, they lead to one inescapable conclusion - the Playoff is designed to favor Iowa above all others.
1. JEFF LONG. Hired Bret Bielema, an Iowa alumnus and former linebackers coach under Ferentz.
2. BARRY ALVAREZ. Coached with Ferentz in the 1980s; Iowa is also 6-8 against the Badgers since Ferentz took over as head coach.
3. LT. GEN. MIKE GOULD. Iowa took former Air Force commit Mark Weisman and turned him into the first running back under Ferentz to gain 800 yards on the ground in three consecutive seasons. Now the Academy can point to Weisman and say "our boys are even tougher than that."
4. PAT HADEN. Ferentz lost in his first BCS Bowl appearance...to USC.
5. KIRBY HOCUTT. In 1999, Hocutt started to rise up the college athletics administrative ranks when he was hired to lead fundraising at Oklahoma. The coach at the time? Bob Stoops, who played for and coached with Ferentz at Iowa.
6. TOM JERNSTEDT. Former NCAA VP who was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 along with his close friend Wayne Duke - an Iowa grad.
7. ARCHIE MANNING. Thanks to Ferentz, the Oakland Raiders selected former Hawkeye Robert Gallery second overall in the 2004 Draft despite needing a quarterback. Had they selected Philip Rivers instead, Eli Manning might have ended up in silver and black.
8. TOM OSBORNE. Ferentz has gone 1-5 against Nebraska, helping to keep the Huskers afloat in more challenging times.
9. DAN RADAKOVICH. While he was AD at Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets lost the 2009 Orange Bowl to Iowa. Until, presumably, Ferentz stepped in and arranged for that loss to be vacated as part of the NCAA's sanctions.
10. CONDOLEEZZA RICE. You can tell yourself Iowa won at least 10 games in 2002, 2003, and 2004 because they were "good" or "well-coached." Or you can admit that the Hawkeyes were playing the part of national distraction during the build up and beginning of the Iraq War.
11. MIKE TRANGHESE. In 1991, Ferentz led the Maine Black Bears to a 23 point loss to Rutgers. In so doing, he helped prop up the Big East's reputation enough for Miami to win the national title that year.
12. STEVE WIEBERG. It seems customary now, but USA Today's coaching salary database didn't get rolling until 2006. Who was on the byline? Wieberg. And who was featured as an emblem of exploding compensation? Ferentz.
13. TY WILLINGHAM. Never faced Kirk Ferentz in any of his head coaching stops. They're like two Highlanders, waiting for the weaker immortals to die off before they do battle.
Still doubtful? Look at the damn trophy.