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Texas A&M Football

Wins still matter: Aggies' CFP dreams rely solely on winning remaining games

November 17, 2020
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A look at the future of college football. Two teams will play for 60 minutes. No scores will be tallied. No statistics will be kept.

When time elapses, a panel of three media members will issue a judgment to declare a winner.

Actually, that’s the present. Because the actual outcome of games doesn’t seem to matter to national media.

For example, ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit this week announced his personal top-six college football teams. He ranked Florida fifth and BYU sixth.

Texas A&M didn’t make his list, even though the Aggies (5-1) have the same record as Florida and beat the Gators, 41-38.

Several other media types also rank Florida ahead of A&M. Their rationale is that Florida would win if the two teams played again, as if A&M’s victory over the Gators was some kind of fluke.

Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics
When Texas A&M defeated Florida, 41-38, in October, the Aggies edged the Gators in most statistical categories.

Some try to justify their argument by pointing out that Florida lost a fourth-quarter fumble that led to A&M’s game-winning field goal.

They conveniently forget that A&M lost a fumble earlier in the fourth quarter that led to a Florida touchdown.

They also conveniently forget A&M linebacker Buddy Johnson made a great play to force the fumble that DeMarvin Leal recovered.

There’s more amnesia. A&M had to convert two third-down opportunities on its final series to set up a short field goal attempt for Seth Small. Obviously, the Aggies converted both. Fluke?

A&M is second in the nation in third-down conversions at 62 percent. The Aggies converted 12 of 15 against Florida.

Still, some in the national media ignore the fact that A&M prevailed when the teams played. More disturbing, several college coaches apparently do, too. Florida is ranked fifth and A&M sixth in the coaches poll.

It really doesn’t matter, though. The debate is all posturing to get in the College Football Playoff four-team field.

Florida will face Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game. Should the Gators pull off an upset, they would deserve to be in the playoffs. Aggies wouldn’t argue that.

But if A&M finishes 9-1 with fewer losses than Florida and a win over the Gators, the Aggies would be chosen for the playoff.

The Tuscaloosa News-USA TODAY Sports
A&M’s only loss in 2020 was to top-ranked Alabama, who Florida will likely play in the SEC Championship game.

Because Florida will need a win over Alabama, the Gators may be the least of the obstacles standing between A&M and the playoff.

A&M may need unbeaten Notre Dame or one-loss Clemson to lose. Should Clemson win a rematch with the Irish in the conference championship game, the ACC would likely get two teams in the playoff.

The Pac-12 champion — most likely Oregon or USC — has a great chance to finish unbeaten because the conference is weak and has only a seven-game schedule.

Group of Five teams Cincinnati and BYU are likely to go unbeaten. Some are touting them for the playoff despite anemic schedules. As previously mentioned, Herbstreit has BYU ranked sixth and ahead of A&M even though BYU’s opponents are a combined 23-30. The Cougars have not played a Power 5 opponent.

A more educated committee, without an agenda other than identifying the four best and most worthy teams, probably hold Cincinnati and BYU in high esteem.

A 9-1 Texas A&M, with its only loss to No.1 Alabama and with a win over top-ten Florida, would be difficult for the committee to omit unless two ACC teams get in.

Therefore, there’s no reason to worry about what other teams are doing. A&M just needs to keep winning.

For some, actually winning games still matters.

Discussion from...

Wins still matter: Aggies' CFP dreams rely solely on winning remaining games

5,867 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 7 days ago by UncleNateFitch
Magpie
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I think that pointing out how the Ags successfully converted on two third down plays on its way to kicking the game winner, and our nationally ranked average of third down success, would silence most people, but the national media is a tougher audience. You might also use the words unreasonable, petty (Herbstreit getting back at us for tanking in the past when he was a big Ag booster), stubborn and probably petulant when confronted with decisive facts that contradict their stories.
Detmersdislocatedshoulder
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Did Herbie cry while unveiling his top 6?
hunter2012
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AG
I disagree about the ACC runner up getting in. The committee in the past has used the conference championships as a quarterfinal so they wouldn't put the loser in for a 3rd rematch. They also have very little respect for the G5 teams. If A&M wins out I think we've at least got the inside lane assuming the committee stays consistent to their past criteria. They also won't match us up with Alabama, likely Notre Dame or Ohio State.
Divining Rod
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it would be a REALLY BAD precedent if the Committee were to reward a team that loses with a NC playoff berth. Aint gonna happen- not for ND, not for Bama, not for anyone.
floridAG
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AG
We want Herbie putting others over the Ags. Whenever he picks us, we typically fall the next game.
DartmouthAg
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How about we all just shut up and play ... and win these last 4 games? Otherwise, all this talk of disrespect, this fumble, that fumble, conversion percentage, etc. is moot and downright infantile.

It doesn't matter if we can prove that we're better than the Gators now, if we don't take care of business, and unfortunately our track record on that front has been abysmal of late.
Cotton79
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AG
hunter2012 said:

I disagree about the ACC runner up getting in. The committee in the past has used the conference championships as a quarterfinal so they wouldn't put the loser in for a 3rd rematch. They also have very little respect for the G5 teams. If A&M wins out I think we've at least got the inside lane assuming the committee stays consistent to their past criteria. They also won't match us up with Alabama, likely Notre Dame or Ohio State.
I very much want to agree with this notion.

Then I think of the abject insanity that has swept our nation this year for several reasons on several fronts and I come to the conclusion that all bets are off. "STUPID" has gained legal residence in America, so much so that I wonder if he hasn't weaseled a way to the bargaining table of the Selection Committee.
UncleNateFitch
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This headline.

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