Tommy Bowden says Condoleezza Rice not qualified for college football playoff panel

Posted at 1:44 PM, Oct 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-28 11:38:39-04

Tommy Bowden would vote Condoleezza Rice into political office.

The former Clemson football coach just doesn’t think she’s qualified to be on the College Football Playoff selection committee.

“If the selection committee wants to get it right, and find the most knowledgeable people about the sport of football, go get people who played the game and preferably coached the game,” Bowden said at Monday’s Knoxville Quarterback Club meeting at Calhoun’s on the River. “... But just because she likes to watch football doesn’t necessarily mean she knows anything about football.”

Rice, who served as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under former President George W. Bush, is the only woman on the College Football Playoff selection committee.

Bowden’s comments come a day before the committee’s inaugural top-25 rankings are to be released. The rankings will be unveiled at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (TV: ESPN).

“I’m a big Condoleezza Rice fan,” Bowden said. “I’m Christian Conservative. I’d vote for her for President. I don’t necessarily agree that she should be on the committee.”

Rice’s initial appointment on the committee in 2013 came with criticism.

Former Auburn coach Pat Dye has said on multiple occasions that he didn’t think Rice was qualified to be on the selection committee, including during a 2013 appearance at the Knoxville Quarterback Club.

“I admire Condoleezza Rice as a smart football fan — and her father was a football coach in Birmingham, Ala., she went to Stanford and she was a big football fan,” Dye said on Nov. 4, 2013. “Well, I’m a horse racing fan, but that doesn’t mean I should run it.”

Before that appearance, quoted Dye during a radio interview, where he stated that the only thing Rice knew about football was “what somebody told her” about it.

Rice currently works as professor of political economy and political science at Stanford University, among other things. She’s twice been named the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes Magazine. She’s also one of two women to ever be granted membership at Augusta National Golf Club, the host site of the Masters Tournament.

Bowden comes from a football family.

His father, longtime Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, is the winningest coach in FBS history. His brother, Terry, is Akron’s coach and had a previous stint at Auburn.

Tommy Bowden hasn’t coached since being fired at Clemson in 2008. He currently works as a television analyst for Fox Sports South and the ACC Network.

Chris Thomas covers high school sports. Follow him at