College Football Playoff hypothetical: Kirk Herbstreit makes claim Ohio State could make field even at 6-0
Selecting the four teams for the College Football Playoff is an imperfect science. That’s the case even in a normal season.
The selection committee is going to have its work cut out for itself this season though. Some conferences are playing 10 games, while others play 11. Some teams are playing nonconference games while others are playing a league-only schedule.
With the B1G back in the mix, things have gotten even trickier. The league is playing a nine-game schedule in a nine-week period, providing no wiggle room for make-up dates if a game is cancelled. That lack of flexibility could come back to hurt the conference if a team like Ohio State misses out on a game or two due to COVID-19 related issues.
But could a team like Ohio State — or anyone else — still carve out a spot in the four-team field if they play a limited number of games in 2020? ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit believes it’s a possibility.
“I think it’s a great point — and we already deal with subjective analysis and people who get frustrated with the system and how did this happen and how did that happen — you have to almost put that aside and give the committee a chance here to do it their way,” Herbstreit said on College GameDay on Saturday. “It’s going to be more subjective this year than it’s ever been. What if Justin Fields and Ohio State, and all that talent sitting there, are 6-0 and win a Big Ten Championship, but only won six games? Are you going to hold them back because they only played 6 games when every time you watch, they’re blowing people out by 50 points? That would be a team you need to green light and put in, even though they only won 6 games. Same with Clemson or Alabama, or those kinds of teams.”
It’s unclear whether or not the College Football Playoff selection committee will implement a rule in which a team must play a certain number of games or not. Even if it doesn’t go that route, if other teams are able to play 10, 11 or even 12 games this season, justifying a team earning a spot with just six or seven games under their belt.
But, this is a strange year, so there may be some strange circumstances in determining a national champion.