The College Football Playoff committee consists of a lot of different people from different walks of life. We’ve got former head coaches, athletic directors, a media member and even Condoleezza Rice.
That’s quite a mix.
But should all of them – even the non-hardcore-football people – be watching every game and giving their football opinions, as opposed to just crunching numbers and analyzing data?
“I sure think so,” three-time Super Bowl champion Randy Cross said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “No matter who they are, if they’re voting for them – and their votes are basically opinions – I think they should look at it. That’s what they said on the conference call. That’s what they’ve said all along – that there’s resources for these guys and they do watch it, so I’ve got to take them at their word. You know who i’d love to see as an extra member on that panel? How about (Steve) Spurrier? Put him in there. I know (Pat) Haden’s not there anymore, but put (Spurrier) in there for another football voice. There’s plenty of football people in that room.”
Haden, 62, stepped down from the committee earlier this week, while Spurrier, 70, resigned as head coach at South Carolina in October.
Looking at the committee’s initial rankings, which came out this week, Cross was more than fine with Clemson (8-0) being No. 1.
“It should be Clemson,” he said. “I guess if you’re a pessimist, part of your mind is stuck on what happened (in 2013) when Florida State came storming there and Clemson was doing so well, and by the time the thing was over, Jameis Winston was posing for the cameras and going crazy and they were getting dogged (51-14). I just think this is an all-around football team that’s really playing well, has a lot of confidence and they’ve got a coach (Dabo Swinney) that’s got his finger on the pulse pretty good of what his team is doing.”
Clemson has its toughest remaining test of the regular season this Saturday against No. 16 Florida State (7-1). Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Looking elsewhere, LSU (8-0), Ohio State (8-0) and Alabama (7-1) round out the top four, while the Big 12 has four teams ranked between sixth and 15th.
None, however, would be in the playoff if it started today. Heck, Baylor (7-0) is undefeated but ranked behind a pair of one-loss teams in Alabama and No. 5 Notre Dame (7-1). Is it possible that the Big 12 champion could be left out of the playoff for a second straight year?
In a word, yes.
“Aren’t they getting the same signals that were sent last year?” Cross asked. “Hey, it’s about strength of schedule. It’s about what you’ve done for us lately. I know they’ve got their schedule back-loaded, but what if those games are either blow outs or no-defense-playing 7-on-7 tournaments? How is that going to impress football people? I don’t know even if they (go) undefeated if they’re in a bullet-proof state as far as a team (making the playoff). I know it sounds crazy to say it, but when you’re only playing 12 and everybody else is playing a championship, I just don’t know if there’s any way around having that natural bias. You can call it a championship weekend or do whatever you want, but if it isn’t, it really isn’t.”