College Football Playoff spot comes down to Notre Dame, Texas A&M

It’s all about the Irish.

The other a few places in Sunday’s College or university Football Playoff bulletins should really be locks. But the fourth collection could convey drama.

Undefeated Alabama will be No. one soon after acquiring by Florida, fifty two-46, in the SEC championship sport. Clemson, devoid of a loss when Trevor Lawrence is below middle, is No. two next its 34-ten dismantling of Notre Dame in the ACC last. Ohio State, inspite of participating in just six video games, has the inside of monitor on the third seed thanks to its shorthanded, grind-it-out, 22-ten victory over Northwestern in the Massive Ten title sport.

Then, it will come down to Notre Dame, and how a great deal its no-demonstrate efficiency on Saturday impacts mentor Brian Kelly’s crew. There is now at minimum a discussion, issues if a inadequate last effect could sway the thirteen-member committee into passing on the Irish, who were rated next in the newest College or university Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday. There hasn’t been this a great deal uncertainty due to the fact the to start with 12 months of the playoff, when Ohio State leapfrogged TCU in 2014.

The top contender to substitute the Irish on Sunday would be a single-loss Texas A&M, which shut the year with 7 straight wins and was rated fifth on Tuesday. It sets up an intriguing conclusion, pitting the powerhouse SEC versus a single of the most well-liked and legendary plans in the state. As normally, scores will be considered, and couple teams draw far more eyeballs than Notre Dame.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame offensive lineman Aaron Banking institutions

Like Notre Dame, the Aggies’ a single loss was an unattractive a single, a fifty two-24 setback to Alabama on Oct. three.

The two teams have very similar résumés, even though Notre Dame’s is better. The Irish have four wins over teams earlier mentioned .500 and Texas A&M has just two. It has two top-twenty five wins, when compared to a single for its SEC counterpart, and has performed two far more video games, and as a outcome owns two far more wins. It’s most effective gain, over Clemson, is far more remarkable than the Aggies’ most effective victory, a a few-place household gain over a few-loss Florida on Oct. ten, even if the Gators became the to start with crew on Saturday night time to thrust Alabama this 12 months.

The caveat is the point out of Clemson in the double-overtime loss to Notre Dame. It was devoid of Lawrence, the presumed No. one decide in April’s NFL draft, and a few key defensive starters, James Skalski, Tyler Davis and Mike Jones Jr. In the rematch, the Tigers manhandled the ACC normal year champions, dominating on both equally sides of the ball en route to their sixth straight convention crown.

A further component: Notre Dame received its normal year convention title. It performed in the league’s championship sport. Texas A&M could not say it has done possibly, even if it did defeat Florida, the SEC East winner. In the six-12 months record of the playoff, only two teams — Ohio State in 2016 and Alabama in 2017 — have been selected devoid of reaching their convention championship sport.

“We’ve got two top-15 wins,” Kelly informed reporters Saturday soon after the lopsided loss to Clemson. “We’ve got a gain over this Clemson crew that was No. one in the state. I do not know that any individual has a résumé that has those two wins, and we’ve performed eleven video games. That matters, participating in eleven video games. Testing your crew week in and week out I imagine in my intellect places us as devoid of question as a single of the top four teams in the state.”

Predictably, Texas A&M mentor Jimbo Fisher used the strength of the SEC as the basis of his argument on Saturday, and took goal at Ohio State and not Notre Dame, professing that the amount of video games a crew plays requirements to be factored in. He also pointed out that no a single-loss SEC crew has ever not been bundled in the playoff and when the Aggies faced Alabama, it experienced superstar receiver Jaylen Waddle, who has been out due to the fact Oct with a damaged ankle.

“If you are gonna decide the most effective four teams, we’re a single of them,” Fisher reported.

That is, of system, up for debate.

It’s challenging to envision anyone else actually being in play, even though other contenders consist of undefeated Cincinnati of the AAC, and Massive 12 champion and two-loss Oklahoma. Equally, even so, are lengthy pictures.

Rated ninth, Cincinnati lacks the sort of gain the committee values — No. 23 Tulsa does not slice it — as well as a non electricity-convention system has hardly ever been invited to the playoff. Oklahoma is streaking at the suitable time, with seventh straight wins, a few top-twenty five victories, a victory over sixth-rated Iowa State and four wins over teams with a .500 report or better. However, a two-loss crew has hardly ever been selected, and a setback to four-gain Kansas State is a major stain on the resume.

It almost definitely will come down to Notre Dame and Texas A&M. Early Sunday afternoon, we locate out what this committee values far more: Résumé or recency.