Clemson or Ohio State? ESPN CFB crew debates which team is more deserving of No. 3 spot on CFP Rankings
On Tuesday, we got our first look at the College Football Playoff Rankings and there weren’t many surprises. The top four consisted of Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Ohio State, with teams such as Cincinnati, Florida, and Texas A&M just missing the cut.
During the CFP reveal show on ESPN, the analysts debated over which of Clemson or Ohio State is more deserving of that No. 3 spot, even though both teams are currently in the top four.
When Kirk Herbstreit was asked about it, he pointed to the eye test as the difference:
“Exactly what I had. I moved Clemson over them to three and had Ohio State at four,” said Herbstreit. “You can say they only played four games. It has everything to do with the eye test, and Ryan Day would be the first to tell you they haven’t lived up to their bar. For now, I think the Committee got it right.”
After Herbstreit spoke, David Pollack chimed into the conversation:
“It’s great to see, first rankings, that they’re all ready to say ‘You’ve got one loss in your column, Clemson, and I still think you’re a better team than Ohio State,'” explained Pollack. “I think that’s a great message for us to receive. I love seeing that because I do think in the end I want them to pick who they think the best teams are, not who has a zero in the column.”
When Jess Palmer entered the discussion, he agreed that he had Clemson over the Buckeyes:
“This is how I had it. I think it has a lot to do with the eye test. Yes, Ohio State has played four games, but I think you’ve seen enough from the Buckeyes through four games that they are not as talented as they were a year ago when they reached the Playoff,” explained Palmer. “To me, I think the Committee gives Clemson a ton of credit for going up to Notre Dame without Trevor Lawrence, without all those playmakers on defense, and taking it to double overtime. It was a good loss. I think it was the right decision.”
For what it’s worth, no team at No. 3 has ever made the Playoff from the initial rankings so this should be an interesting storyline to follow towards the end of the season.