Spencer Tillman has no problem with the College Football Playoff rankings this week – at least not in the top six – but he, like Brian Jones, still doesn’t fully understand the method to the playoff committee’s madness.
Tillman doesn’t expect to get real answers any time soon, either.
“Listen, they got one representative (Jeff Long), and I think that that’s good but that’s more just image,” the Fox Sports college football analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “When Jeff speaks, he’s supposed to be speaking for the whole group, but the only way we ever know the answer to that question is if we have access and are able to talk to them. You and I could ask them questions and figure out exactly what they’re discerning, what they’re looking at and what they’re evaluating, but we don’t have that – so we’re left to guess and speculate – and then (it’s) filtered through one person the opinions of 12 other people.”
Based on last year and this year, the committee is clearly not enamored with the Big 12’s style of play, mainly due to the perceived lack of defense in the conference. But is it really bad defense, or is it just great offense?
“There’s a major chasm between that committee’s understanding of what constitutes great defense today,” Tillman said, emphasizing that last word. “A team that gives up 350, 400 yards – it sounds like a lot, but not really. Not if you’re in a conference and that’s what they do. That’s just the way the game is. . . . I don’t think the make-up of this group understands or has fully accepted (that) the new brand of football can win and beat you by spreading you out.”
Tillman was asked what would happen if No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 7 Oklahoma both win out and finish with one loss.
“That’s a bad question for me. Sooner Nation thinks I hate them anyway,” said Tillman, a Tulsa native who played for Oklahoma. “No one wants to see Oklahoma do well better than I do, (but) I believe Oklahoma is in a precarious situation. Brent Venables, who used to be the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma, (is) now at Clemson (and) just waxed Oklahoma in their bowl game this past year.”
Waxed, indeed. Clemson beat Oklahoma, 40-6, in the Russell Athletic Bowl last December.
“That sticks in my mind,” Tillman said. “I’m looking at not just the body of work for this year. You’re Clemson. You will be undefeated, and if Notre Dame plays Clemson significantly closer in a close loss, that’s a good loss for them. Oklahoma will have defeated a TCU and a Baylor team without their (intended starting quarterbacks). So what I’m saying (is) they’re going to devalue what Oklahoma does down the stretch. At least that’s what I would assume they would do based on what they’ve done so far.”