John Skipper Credit: The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on YouTube

While John Skipper as president of ESPN for five years had more power than just about anyone in sports, he insists he nor anyone else at ESPN holds any sway over the College Football Playoff selection.

Speaking on an episode of Sporting Class from his company Meadowlark Media, Skipper called it “silly” to believe conspiracies that ESPN is secretly controlling college football’s destiny.

“They never asked for my opinion, I never offered it to them,” Skipper said. “The idea that there’s some secret call made from ESPN into the 13-member room, it’s silly.”

Asked by cohost David Samson when exactly he would find out about the final slate selected by the committee while running ESPN, Skipper admitted he received a call before the broadcast listing the four teams. But Skipper said if he truly got his way all along, college football would have moved straight to an eight-team playoff from the jump.

Still, Skipper denied any involvement or lobbying when it came to the final bracket.

“I was there. We tried hard to influence things,” Skipper said. “We did not get to pick Alabama being in and FSU being out. I will guarantee you that nobody at ESPN called and said, ‘we’re going to pay you less money,’ or ‘you have to do this for us.’ We didn’t.”

Asked by Samson if ESPN gaining more SEC broadcast rights next season makes it beneficial to have more SEC representation in the College Football Playoff, Skipper said “nobody ever asked me my opinion of who should be in the four.”

However, Skipper argued leaving Florida State out was still a mistake. He just believes the anxiety came from the selection committee itself, not the Worldwide Leader.

“Maybe since I left, they’ve become corruptible,” Skipper said.

Fans will continue to believe ESPN exerts influence over the process. Some even believe ESPN wanted the committee to deny Florida State’s ACC dominance so as to force them to join the SEC.

Skipper laughed it off, but the allegations will continue.

[Sporting Class via The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.