Clemson was “solidly” ahead of Alabama in last week’s College Football Playoff rankings, but this week, there was “great debate” and a “number of revotes” to decide No. 1, according to committee chair Jeff Long.
“There were times in the meeting I thought Alabama was going to be voted ahead of Clemson,” Long said on Tuesday night.
Clemson’s two wins against teams in this week’s top 10 (No. 8 Notre Dame and No. 9 Florida State) were big for the committee, yet so was Alabama’s 8-1 record against winning teams.
“The committee debated long and hard about the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked teams,” Long said. “They both have impressive bodies of work.”
The difference was in the strength of the Crimson Tide’s wins. But after beating Auburn in the Iron Bowl, the Tide drew closer to the Tigers, who sputtered to a three-point win over lowly South Carolina.
“Those are two more pieces to those resumés that allowed us to look deeper into that No. 1 and No. 2 ranking,” Long said.