CFP selection committee chair discusses Texas A&M's No. 5 ranking in relation to Ohio State, Florida
Texas A&M remained No. 5 in Tuesday’s College Football Playoff Top 25. The committee kept the whole Top 6 intact.
The Aggies are currently the focus of two rankings debates. Ahead of Tuesday’s rankings reveal, Greg McElroy of ESPN made headlines stating that Florida should move ahead of Texas A&M (and Ohio State) despite the Gators’ October loss to the Aggies at Kyle Field. CFP selection committee chair Gary Barta fielded a question about comparing the two teams’ rankings in the post-reveal media conference call. To the disappointment of McElroy and others, the committee still values head-to-head when it comes to comparable resumes.
Gary, specifically in the case of the Florida-Texas A&M question, you guys have your own proprietary metrics and things you look at. There are some metrics out there that says Florida has had the better performance overall, but the head-to-head went to Texas. How much in this case does a head-to-head victory matter?
GARY BARTA: Well, it matters. It definitely is one of the criteria that we use to evaluate.
Both teams, they’re both with one loss. Texas A&M’s only loss is to Alabama. They beat Florida, as you mentioned. Most recently last week, you watched the Kentucky game that Florida played, and that was a first half that really Kentucky was playing well in. Florida eventually ended up pulling away. Texas A&M, again, continued to play great defense.
When you go through all those criteria, at the end of the day I would say there was a lot of back and forth. Kyle Pitts is back for Florida. He had three touchdowns. He’s a difference-maker.
At the end of the day, Texas A&M, with all those other criteria, Texas A&M did beat Florida. That ends up tipping it over to Texas A&M’s side.
Texas A&M fans will appreciate that Barta was also asked about the Aggies’ case for No. 4 considering Ohio State is just 4-0 while Jimbo Fisher’s squad is 6-1. Barta implied that Texas A&M could have jumped OSU if the Aggies had shown more on offense against LSU:
Gary, on the ESPN show, you mentioned the debate between Ohio State and Texas A&M. My question is, how close was that call for the committee? What does the committee specifically see when it evaluates Texas A&M?
GARY BARTA: We don’t ever go through and take an official vote. What I can tell you is there was discussion in the room about putting both Ohio State and Texas A&M in that fourth slot.
As I mentioned on the show earlier, the firepower and the explosiveness of Justin Fields and Master Teague and Garrett Wilson, all those offensive weapons, the fact that they did beat the No. 12 team the last time they played. It was discussed that they played four and Texas A&M has played seven. That certainly was discussed.
When it comes to Texas A&M, defense is what the committee sees and is most impressed with when it watches Texas A&M. They have a heck of a defense. They beat No. 6 Florida. They only lost to Alabama.
The committee does continue to keep an eye on Texas A&M’s offense. That game against LSU, 20-7. When those two teams are put side-by-side this morning and last night, there just wasn’t enough there to put Texas A&M ahead of Ohio State.
Great discussion, but Ohio State came in at No. 4 and Texas A&M at No. 5.
Texas A&M’s offense has all the motivation it needs to a bounce-back performance against Auburn on Saturday.