Did Oklahoma gain any ground on Georgia and others in Tuesday’s third College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings?
College GameDay host Rece Davis asked Playoff selection committee chairmain Rob Mullens about Oklahoma at No. 6 and how wide the gap is between the Sooners and say, Georgia and Michigan in the five and six spots, respectively.
Can Oklahoma soon make the leap?
“We’re very aware that they have one of the most dynamic offenses in the country, a great quarterback and lots of great skill position players,” Mullens said during Tuesday’s live broadcast on ESPN. “But we’re (also) very aware that they’re having defensive struggles and that’s a continued deficiency and something that goes into the evaluation.”
Oklahoma leads college football in total offense, ranks second in scoring offense behind Utah State and has the only player who is an actual threat to Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa at the top of the Heisman race.
“What’s interesting is (we) asked (Mullens) about Oklahoma’s defense and the first thing that was addressed was Oklahoma’s offense,” Joey Galloway said. “That’s the same thing we have done when we have talked about this team is their offense first. Other than that, I don’t think he addressed the gap between (Georgia) and Oklahoma.”
Co-analyst David Pollack said it’s not about Georgia vs. Oklahoma right now and instead focused on the one-loss teams right behind the Sooners in the rankings.
“The most interesting part about this is Oklahoma vs. Washington State vs. West Virginia,” Pollack said. “I think you can look at Oklahoma’s defenses consistently and you can start making a case for those other teams behind them. They’re not and they left the rankings exactly the same, but what Mullens said was the committee considers (those teams) similar. Obviously, Oklahoma has a more dynamic offense, but I wonder if that shifts at all when those teams start playing better defense.”
Jesse Palmer is quick to highlight Oklahoma’s dominance offensively, the elephant in the room when analysts start talking about which teams could pose problems for Alabama or Clemson’s elite-level defenses.
“The saving grace of Oklahoma is that statistically, this is historically one of the greatest offenses in college football history,” Palmer said. “Kyler Murray is playing better than Baker Mayfield did a year ago from an efficiency standpoint. They’ve have 300 passing and 300 rushing yards in three straight games. It’s ridiculous what this offense is going right now. I don’t think you can say Oklahoma is a complete team like Washington State or West Virginia, but this team continues to keep winning.”
CBSSports.com analyst Barton Simmons said on a recent 247Sports podcast that he believes the Sooners would be a matchup nightmare for any team they played in the final four.
“I’m done with the conversation of, ‘Notre Dame should be in the four because they deserve it, but I still think Oklahoma is better.’ I don’t necessarily think Oklahoma is better,” Simmons said. “I am still compelled to believe that Oklahoma is not a team that anyone else in the playoffs wants in the playoffs. They still don’t want to play that Oklahoma team.
“I still think that Oklahoma team is capable of beating anyone. For whatever reason, I feel like winning the way Oklahoma is winning is looked down upon in a way that if Michigan was beating teams 14-3 and holding them to 112 yards on offense and only putting up 315 yards of their own offense, but man that defense.I feel like, for some reason, that gets more playoff respect. But I don’t that should be the case. I feel like, Oklahoma, this is who they are. They’re going to outscore people. I don’t think that means they’re a top four team.”