When Condoleezza Rice was named to the first College Football Playoff selection committee there was a lot of silly criticism that she wasn’t qualified because she had never played football.
One ESPN college football analyst actually went so far as to say women don’t belong on the committee at all.
But based on how much of Rice’s life is dedicated to the sport now, one would be hard-pressed to find anybody else on the panel — or any voter in one of the traditional college football polls for that matter — who is putting more time into deciding which are the best teams in the country.
In an interview with Heather Dinich for ESPNW.com, Rice explains just how much of her life is dedicated to the sport now. Here are some of the highlights:
- Rice watches 14-15 games per week, including some live on Saturday and some on her DVR on Sunday.
- She also watches coaches’ tapes during the week.
- Rice still attends Stanford home games, but watches other games on an iPad at the same time.
- Rice will skip a November conference in the United Arab Emirates on foreign policy, a conference she typically attends, including last year: “This year I just didn’t make it because it would have come right in the middle of the time we were ranking.”
- In fact, Rice won’t travel overseas at all during the college football season.
- She has one trip to Mexico planned in a few weeks but has scheduled a return red-eye flight on Friday night so that she will be home to watch games on Saturday.
- A professor of political economy at Stanford, Rice just finished one class and will not teach another class until after the season.
For a sports fan, there is nothing better than being able to tell people you have to skip an event because you just have to watch some big games. It’s even better when you have a legitimate reason.
That’s where Rice’s life is right now and it sounds awesome.
There are still three weeks until the selection committee will release their first Top 25 (Oct. 28) and you can bet, nobody will be more prepared than Rice.
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