College Football Playoff Rankings
Clemson Tiger college football head coach Dabo Swinney.

Clemson Coach: Ohio State Shouldn’t Make College Football Playoff

Clemson’s coach Dabo Swinney does not think the Ohio State should make the College Football Playoff and noted that Texas A&M and Florida – two teams ranked below them in the CFP rankings, deserve to be ahead of the Buckeyes.

Ohio State is currently ranked No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings despite playing only five games in the COVID-19 pandemic restricted season.

The Big Ten conference also modified its six-game season rule to accommodate the Buckeyes (5-0) advancing to the conference championship game.

A win for Ryan Day’s side would secure the conference title and ultimately justify its place in the top four of the CFP.

However, Swinney believed Ohio State is not one of them that should be in the playoff, based on his criteria, noting that even if Clemson loses for a second time to Notre Dame in the ACC championship game, the Tigers should still be ahead of the Buckeyes because of their significant difference in games played this season.

“Obviously, that’s a tough question to answer in my position because we feel like we’re definitely one of the best four teams in the country and there’s nothing that’s going to happen in that game next week for Clemson or Notre Dame that’s going to change that in my opinion,” he said on The Rich Eisen Show.

“And that’s based on data. It’s almost like you’ve got to have 120 hours to get a business degree and yet these people over here only need 60 hours to get a business degree.”

He added: “I think any time you step in between the lines, the game of football, there’s a lot that can happen — a lot. I mean, heck, in 2017, we lost to a three-win or four-win Syracuse team and still went to the Playoffs. So anything can happen. Guys can get hurt.”

The outspoken Clemson head coach also to a swipe at the Big Ten for not following some of the other conferences and get a proper schedule.

“There’s a lot. So I think the fact that we’re going to have 11 games as well as the SEC teams – I mean, you look at Florida and Texas A&M and Alabama. I mean, these teams are going to have 11 games this year. It’s incredible.

“And I think the Big Ten had the same opportunity and they chose not to play, and I think the only reason they ended up playing is because of the leadership of the SEC and the ACC and the Big 12, and have demonstrated that we can do it and do it in a safe way.

“So it’s been an unbelievably challenging season, that’s for sure, but I think that the committee’s going to have some tough, tough, tough questions to answer and things like that, regardless of what they do.

“Obviously, as coaches, we don’t control any of that stuff. So I do think that our team has played incredibly well. We had a double-overtime loss at the No. 2 team in the country now in Notre Dame, who’s a great team and an unbelievable game. Again, no matter what happens for Notre Dame or Clemson, nothing changes in my mind, as far as both of these teams being in the top four.”

Swinney said he wouldn’t have any issues with Ohio State making the playoffs, but can’t see how they should be ahead of Texas A&M and Florida

“I wouldn’t have an issue with it because, again, it’s not my position to have an issue with it,” he noted. “My position is to coach my team, regardless of whoever. I just think there has to be some type of standard.

“If I was on the committee, it would be hard for me to leave out a 10-1 Texas A&M or an 11-game Florida team over a team that’s played six games. That would be hard for me if I was on a committee, but I’m not on the committee. So it doesn’t really matter.

“It doesn’t mean they’re not a great team and couldn’t win the whole thing. I just think that there has to be — I just think, from a big-picture standpoint, I would lean toward rewarding the teams that have been all in because it’s been an incredible challenge.”


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