David Pollack explains why he thinks Notre Dame got in the Playoff over Texas A&M
The Texas A&M Aggies were left on the outside looking in when the College Football Playoff rankings were announced on Sunday.
Now, they’ll play North Carolina in the Orange Bowl instead of competing for a national championship.
So, what gave Notre Dame the edge over the Aggies? ESPN’s David Pollack broke it down on his podcast this week (via 247Sports):
“When I look at the four spot, the difference between A&M and Notre Dame — first of all, Notre Dame played 11 games,” Pollack said on Monday’s episode of the CFB Podcast with Herbie, Pollack & Neghandi. “We have to point to that, right? And when you look at A&M, they played nine. They were 8-1. So Notre Dame played more games. Notre Dame had more wins over ranked teams. If you look at A&M’s win over Florida, huge win (41-38, Oct. 10). A&M’s next-best win? Auburn (31-20, Dec. 5). So (for Notre Dame), you’ve got North Carolina, which was a great win (31-17, Nov. 27), and Clemson, which was a great win (47-40 double overtime, Nov. 7). Obviously, without (quarterback) Trevor Lawrence … Clemson’s not a top-four team without Trevor Lawrence, so you can knock that down a little bit.
“So I think the body of work, it’s not just that last game you saw. And I’m OK with Notre Dame being in. If A&M was in, I wouldn’t be crushed if you thought A&M’s a better team because, honestly, I think Notre Dame and A&M are very similar football teams. I think they have great offensive lines. They have playmakers at quarterback but, by the way, they’re not the greatest throwing quarterbacks — but they can make things happen with their legs. Both defenses are really, really solid. I think A&M’s defensive line’s better. I think Notre Dame’s linebackers are better. I think both secondaries are OK. So, I mean, we can literally go down the list.
“And to me, the difference between those two teams, I think Ian Book is a better playmaker than Kellen Mond in this. So I’m OK with Notre Dame being four. And if I had to vote and I had to do my own ballot, I would put Notre Dame four.”
Do you agree with Pollack’s reasoning?