CFP committee chair Rob Mullens discusses what separates Alabama, Oregon
With no change in the top seven of the College Football Playoff selection committee’s rankings, many media members – including the ESPN analysts on the reveal broadcast – debated whether Alabama or the Pac-12 champion would take the last spot, assuming No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Clemson all win out. (LSU is the almost certain to be No. 4 Georgia’s opponent in the SEC Championship Game.)
After the rankings reveal, Rob Mullens spoke to media members on a teleconference. He offered some insight into how closely the committee views No. 5 Alabama and No. 6 Oregon. Here’s what he said about the two teams when discussing the top six in his opening statement:
The committee spent a lot of time talking about Alabama and Oregon. Members talked about how dominant Alabama has been all season. They also said Oregon is explosive and they were impressed by Oregon’s quarterback, but Oregon’s only loss came to No. 15 Auburn at a neutral site, while Alabama’s only loss was to No. 1 LSU. Alabama is ranked No. 5 and Oregon No. 6.
He was later asked to further explain the Tide being ranked ahead of the Ducks:
Q. Regardless of Tua’s injury at quarterback for Alabama, is there still-how close is that between Oregon’s resume and Alabama’s resume, and is Utah a factor at all in that discussion between those two?
ROB MULLENS: Well, sure. I mean, teams 5 through 7 — obviously when you look at Alabama, outstanding play. Their only loss is to the No. 1 team in the country, and in every other game they’ve had convincing wins. Oregon is a team that’s won nine in a row, good road wins against ranked Southern Cal, at Washington, quality quarterback play, undefeated in the conference, only loss on a neutral field to Auburn. And then Utah, really strong defense, only loss is to No. 23 USC, and that’s what separated them from Oregon, and when they lost to USC, Zack Moss, their elite running back, missed most of that game.