Rick Neuheisel & Curtis Conway weigh in on College Football Playoff Poll #2

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (Nov. 4, 2014) – Following the release of the second College Football Playoff poll of the season, Pac-12 Network analysts Rick Neuheisel and Curtis Conway shared their thoughts on how the rankings fell.  

Neuheisel on what stands out in this week’s poll…

“Most everything is as it should be, but I do not agree with Alabama being ranked ahead of TCU. Alabama should not benefit by not playing last week, they had a bye. TCU went on the road, beat a very good West Virginia team, a team that the committee has left in the Top 25, even though they have three losses. [TCU] beat them on their home turf… You look at Michigan State at No. 8; That’s where they were before [the bye], and that’s where they should be. You shouldn’t go up because you didn’t play. The only reason you move up by not playing is because it’s a poll. And this is not supposed to be a poll.”

Neuheisel on the ‘better’ team versus the ‘deserving’ team…

“It’s not fair to use eyeball tests and say, ‘I’m taking that team,’ because that team doesn’t play other places. We’re talking about the world of college football in total; The ‘who’s deserving.’ When we look at the two teams at the top, they’re undefeated in Power Five conferences. That’s why they’re there; They are deserving to be there.”

“I could pick a team other than Florida State and Mississippi State that I’d rather coach because of who’s on that team, and who I think based on an eyeball test would be better than them, but [Florida State and Mississippi State] are deserving to be there because they’re undefeated. Auburn is deserving of being there because of the schedule that they’ve played and the quality of their loss. Oregon is worthwhile being there because of what they’ve done of late and the way they’ve responded to early season injuries. Alabama benefited this week by virtue of their reputation, nothing else.”

“To me, Alabama’s schedule to date has not been challenging. If you go back and look at it: They’ve played Florida, who is not in the Top 25; They’ve played Arkansas, a team that hasn’t won an SEC game – Alabama beat them 14-13. Alabama beat a West Virginia team on a neutral site; TCU, the team behind them beat West Virginia at West Virginia. Alabama beat a Texas A&M team handedly that this week is a 21-point underdog to Auburn. And they lost to the one Top 10 team being Ole Miss; albeit at Ole Miss, but they still lost.”

“To me, Alabama is there [at No. 5] on reputation alone and the eyeball test. They look like a really good team – We know Nick Saban coaches up a really good team, he recruits well.

You have a committee in place to do the same thing that polls have done for years. And that is move people up by virtue of a reputation. TCU and Kansas State still control their destiny, but it looks more like a poll than totally new data.”

Conway on what stands out in this week’s poll…

“I agree [with Rick Neuheisel] that Alabama should not be higher than TCU. I don’t see a signature win for Alabama outside of West Virginia.”

“It’s definitely about reputation, but I’m not getting too caught up with it all at this point because there’s still so much football to play. Oregon is now getting the respect that they deserve being in the top four. Arizona State, it’s shocking that they put them in the top 10, but it’s well deserved. It will be exciting to see how it all plays out.”

Neuheisel and Conway will join host Mike Yam on Pac-12 Football Weekly tonight at 9:00 p.m. PT with more or the College Football Playoff poll.