When pressed for an answer, SEC Network analyst Tim Tebow uses chalk to make his College Football Playoff picks.
For now, he’s taking No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 5 Oklahoma — which makes sense considering No. 4 Georgia likely would drop out if it loses to the Crimson Tide in Saturday’s SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Tebow, however, can still build a Playoff case for the two-loss Bulldogs if Oklahoma and Ohio State also lose.
That scenario would create a mess of two-loss teams, one that Tebow thinks would favor the Bulldogs.
“If Georgia loses, then it depends on how they look,” Tebow told Sporting News. “If they play Alabama the same way they played them in (2012) with Aaron Murray at quarterback, when they got stopped on the play before (the end of regulation), that could happen. I think everybody will say, ‘Wow. They just played the best team-by-far in the country within one play.'”
The Crimson Tide won that SEC championship game 32-28.
This time, Alabama (12-0) and Georgia (11-1) meet in the marquee matchup of the weekend — a rematch of last year’s College Football Playoff championship game the Crimson Tide won 26-23 in overtime. Tebow believes the Bulldogs could jump to No. 2 with a win, and Alabama would slide to No. 3. He thinks both would be ranked ahead of Notre Dame (12-0), which doesn’t play a conference championship game.
“I think if the committee is looking at truly the best teams, (Notre Dame) would be No. 4,” Tebow said. “I wouldn’t have them at No. 4, but (the committee) would. If Alabama loses and they put Alabama at No. 4 and Notre Dame at No. 3, they are truly not doing the best teams. They are doing more deserving, and you made it through the schedules. If that’s they do it, then I get it. Let’s not call it four best teams.”
Tebow does not have the Irish in his top four, even though he knows the Irish are a virtual lock for the College Football.
“Do I think they are one of the four best teams in the country? No, personally I do not,” Tebow said. “We’re going to get further into a debate about deserving vs. best. Notre Dame is undefeated. You can make the argument they are deserving because they beat everybody on their schedule. As far as if you are looking for the four best teams on a neutral field? I can’t put them in my top four right now.”
Tebow thinks Clemson (12-0) will win the ACC championship. That leaves the Ohio State vs. Oklahoma debate, which will likely be the final piece if Alabama beats Georgia.
While Tebow said Oklahoma will win the debate, he believes Ohio State is the better team, especially after a 62-39 victory against No. 7 Michigan on Nov. 24.
“I think what they did to Michigan said something to me,” Tebow said. “They finally played the way we know they can play, and they did it in the last week of the season. If they do it again Saturday and demolish Northwestern similar to Wisconsin in 2014, then they could get in. They are the only team that truly has the athletes that can match up athlete-to-athlete with Alabama and Clemson.”
Still, Tebow is sticking with picks for now and reserving judgment for Saturday’s games. He understands the one thing that can change on Championship Weekend.
“It’s about you win,” he said. “But it’s also about how you look.”
Tebow continued his work with Allstate on Thursday along with several other SEC legends and volunteers. Tebow was part of a group that refurbished the football field at the C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center in Atlanta. “One of the biggest things is to use the platform to rally people together for something that has meaning, significance and purpose,” Tebow said. “It’s not about playing (football) with the youth. It’s about sharing words of encouragement, caring about them and letting them know that they are loved.”