On Tuesday’s episode of the daily ESPN show College Football Live, David Pollack and Todd McShay had a lively discussion about the Big 12 conference race near the top of the show. With Oklahoma’s loss to Texas, many believe the conference’s best hopes for a College Football Playoff berth lie at the feet of West Virginia and Texas, who play in Austin during the first week of November.
ESPN analyst David Pollack was dismissive of the idea that West Virginia is in position to make a run.
“Everyone is patting West Virginia’s defense on the back,” Pollack said. “When they play a team that actually has an offense, we’ll see if West Virginia’s defense is any good. We haven’t seen that yet because they haven’t played anybody.”
McShay showed some love to West Virginia.
“I think Tony Gibson is one of the most underrated defensive coordinators in college football, mainly because of the personnel he has to work with,” McShay said.
“So, basically what you’re saying is that they have no players,” Pollack responded.
Boy I hope some of the #WVU players see this…
David Pollack: “WVU defense doesn’t have any players. They haven’t played an actual offense yet.” pic.twitter.com/5sNT3V0IQE
— Schuyler Callihan (@DVNCallihan) October 10, 2018
It’s worth pointing out that Texas Tech was the No. 1 overall offense in the country and was ranked in the Top 25 when West Virginia played them in Lubbock. The WVU defense held Tech to 10 points in the first half and only gave up 34 by the game’s end, in spite of the offense sputtering and ceding time of possession to the Red Raiders. It seems unreasonable to suggest that West Virginia “hasn’t played a good offense.”
It’s also worth pointing out that the same analysts love the Alabama’s Tua-led offense, when Alabama has yet to play even an average defense. (That’s not to say that Alabama’s offense doesn’t look impressive — we’d just like to see some consistency from big-time College Football analysts.)
Pollack also said, “If they’d have played NC State, I’d have learned a lot.” That’s probably true, but maybe not in the way he meant it. Texas Tech has a powerful offense; NC State has a more surgical one. Many draft analysts believe Ryan Finley is the best quarterback prospect of the 2019 class, but there’s far less talent around him than the collection of players that orbit Will Grier.
The DAWGS will have their chance to prove Pollack wrong starting this Saturday at Iowa State.