Playoff committee chairman explains why Clemson, not Alabama, earned the No. 1 Playoff spot
About a week ago, College Football Playoff Committee Chair Jeff Long hopped on a teleconference and explained one of the most back-and-forth decisions of last week’s Playoff rankings: leaving Clemson at No. 1 instead of Alabama.
“There were times in the meeting I thought Alabama was going to be voted ahead of Clemson,” Long said at the time.
But five days later, with the SEC and ACC Championship games now played, Long and the committee have the clarity they need.
“After the games played this weekend, for us in the committee room, Clemson was a clear-cut No. 1,” Long said Sunday. “I think they had three wins over top 10 teams, I think maybe 8, 9 and 10 as I recall.”
He checked his notes to confirm that was true — it was — and then he continued.
“Alabama had three top 25 wins, but I think the top position was trumped by Clemson’s three top 10 wins, and that really had an impact.”
Long said another major factor was that Clemson went undefeated. The Tigers capped off a 13-0 season with a 45-37 win against North Carolina in Charlotte on Saturday night.
“Certainly being undefeated, going through that entire schedule 13 games and not stumbling,” Long said. ”Yes that was significant in ultimately them being No. 1.”