Fulmer said Friday that he’d like to be considered for the committee that determines which four teams get picked for the playoff event that kicks off next year. Fulmer was speaking before a 15th anniversary celebration of Tennessee’s 1998 national championship team to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The makeup of the selection committee that will determine the four playoff teams hasn’t been determined, but former administrators and coaches, as well as media members, have been discussed as possible candidates. Organizers have said they want a geographic balance to the committee, and conference commissioners have said they don’t want to be included.
“I think it should be former coaches as much as anybody,” said Fulmer, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last year. “Yes, I’d be interested in at least learning the parameters of what it would be about.”
Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden isn’t nearly as enthusiastic about the idea of joining the playoff selection committee. Bowden, whose Seminoles lost 23-16 to Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl that capped the 1998 season, also attended Friday’s event.
Bowden said last year he wanted to be part of the selection committee. He has since changed his mind.
“The way I feel, to be honest with you, I wouldn’t want to,” Bowden said. “If I felt like I should, after coaching as long as I did, that I owe it to football, I would. But I’d really rather not because you make people mad at you.”
Bowden also feared the possibility of bias toward a particular school or region in the selection process.
Tennessee’s Fiesta Bowl victory over Florida State marked the first national championship game of the BCS era. The salute to the 1998 national championship team occurred Friday in the weeks leading up to the final season under the BCS system.
The collection of players joining Fulmer included All-America linebacker Al Wilson and cornerback Dwayne Goodrich, who scored on a 54-yard interception return in the Fiesta Bowl. Former Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt also was in attendance at the Tennessee Theatre event.
The ceremony put Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart in an unusual position. Hart, who attended Friday’s event, was Florida State’s athletic director in 1998.