No matter what happens the rest of the season, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney doesn't think the Ohio State is worthy of one of the four coveted College Football Playoff spots.
Swinney's line of thinking has everything to do with the number of games played - he can't get past the idea of a potential 6-0 Ohio State team making the playoffs ahead of Texas A&M, Florida or even his own team, even if any of those teams have two losses.
He eventually acknowledged that he thinks the Buckeyes are good enough and capable of winning the whole thing, but he doesn't believe they should be invited this year because of the Big Ten's decision to play such a truncated season.
Swinney made his comments on The Rich Eisen Show on Thursday morning. Here's what he had to say:
"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. 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.
"I think any time you step in between the lines, in the game of football, there's a lot that can happen — a lot. I mean, heck, in 2017, we lost to a 3-win or 4-win Syracuse team and still went to the playoffs. So anything can happen. Guys can get hurt. 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 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 was pressed on the issue even further, and his answer wasn't popular with Buckeye fans. He thinks a 2-loss team out of the SEC or ACC like Texas A&M, Florida - or potentially even his own team - deserve to be in the Playoff more than the Buckeyes did, purely because they will have only played six games.
"I wouldn't have an issue with it because, again, it's not my position to have an issue with it. 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."
He's right - he really doesn't have a say in the matter. And there's a chance that the committee actually doesn't follow with his line of thinking. But something drastic would have to happen between now and then, in my opinion, considering how the teams have been ranked by the College Football Playoff selection committee each of the first three weeks they've released their rankings.
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