Desmond Howard and David Pollack think Clemson has no shot at making the College Football Playoff if the Tigers were to lose today to No. 2 Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. However, Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fallica think otherwise.
“I think it depends on how the game is played. If they lose a hard-fought game, I think they would have a strong case with their only two losses being to a top 3 team in Notre Dame,” Herbstreit said on College GameDay Saturday morning.
Howard and Pollack think Texas A&M can get in over Clemson if the Tigers lose, using A&M’s win over Florida earlier this year as a better win than the Tigers’ win over Miami. But Herbstreit said there are other numbers the CFP Committee will look at as well.
“A&M, I think if you look at their resume, they play in the SEC, so there is an assumption that they play this brutal schedule and the win at Florida helps them until last week when they lost to LSU,” he said. “But what the committee does, they look at efficiency numbers. If you look at A&M’s efficiency on offense, defense and special teams, and you compare it to the other teams that are around them, it is not favorable.
“If you watch them, they have not necessarily been this dominate team. If you ask Jimbo Fisher off the record … he coached at Florida State. He has been around elite teams. I don’t know if this is an elite team.”
Herbstreit believes the Iowa State and Oklahoma winner can get into the discussion, too. Fellica, a.k.a. “The Bear” says A&M has always been a place holder for another conference champ if the Tigers are to lose.
“I have felt all along that A&M at five has been a place holder waiting for a conference champion to jump ahead,” he said. “(Herbstreit) hit it on the efficiency metrics. We want the best four teams in the playoff, 17th on offensive efficiency, 23rd in defensive efficiency. That is a good solid team but is that one of the best four? I think using the committee’s logic, I think conference champions matter today.
“I don’t think anybody is going to sit here and say win or loss with Clemson that Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M is better than Clemson, so we will see what will happen.”
Herbstreit said, “I think Clemson still has a shot.”
“I think Clemson with a close loss, I still think they are in the conversation,” the Bear said.
“I think Clemson is one of the four best teams and they can win the national championship, but you have to win the games that are in front of you, but when you don’t, you have to pay the price for it,” GameDay host Rece Davis said.
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