Why Did Notre Dame Get Into the College Football Playoff Over Texas A&M?

The 2020 College Football Playoff is officially set. Unsurprisingly, Alabama earned the No. 1 seed after its SEC Championship win over Florida, while Clemson and Ohio State rounded out the top three after their respective conference title victories.

But the fourth and final spot was largely up for grabs heading into Sunday’s selection show. Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Cincinnati were the four teams vying for the final spot in the CFP, but the committee eventually went with the Fighting Irish. How come?

Notre Dame has the best win of any team in the country

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Notre Dame might not have looked like a playoff team Saturday night when the Fighting Irish were smothered by Clemson in a 34-10 loss, but we have to look at the big picture when deciding who’s worthy of a College Football Playoff berth.

The fact of the matter is no one in the country has a better win than Notre Dame this year. The Fighting Irish defeated Clemson 47-40 in double overtime in November. It’s still the only loss for the No. 2-ranked Tigers all season. With Alabama and Ohio State both going undefeated to make the CFP, Notre Dame’s win against Clemson is the most impressive victory of the season.

No, Trevor Lawrence didn’t play in the game, but backup quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei still put up 40 points for the Clemson offense in the game.

Notre Dame also boasts a dominant win over No. 13 North Carolina this season. The best team Texas A&M beat this year was No. 7 Florida. The Aggies didn’t have another win against a top-25 team.

CFP chairman explains Notre Dame over Texas A&M

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Texas A&M players and fans thought the team was snubbed from a worthy College Football Playoff appearance this season. The Aggies went 8-1 this year with their only loss coming to No. 1 Alabama, but Notre Dame edged them out for the final playoff spot.

CFP Selection Committee Chairman Gary Barta explained the decision on Sunday.

“Two teams that have similar resumes and similar schedules,” Barta said. “The Committee felt like ND had earned its way with the resume and that came down to having an additional win over a ranked team.”

Notre Dame is the biggest underdog in CFP history

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In truth, it probably doesn’t matter who plays Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semifinal. The Crimson Tide have demolished nearly every team they’ve played in 2020, including Texas A&M by 28. The committee could’ve put the Aggies in ahead of the Fighting Irish, but we’ve already seen they don’t stand a chance against Alabama.

Well, apparently sportsbooks don’t think Notre Dame does either. The Fighting Irish opened as 17.5-point underdogs to the mighty Crimson Tide in the semifinal game, which makes them the biggest underdog in the short history of the CFP.

Notre Dame and Texas A&M fans can argue all they want about who deserves a playoff berth more, but the reality is whoever got the No. 4 spot will be embarrassed by Alabama on the national stage. Congratulations, Notre Dame. Have fun with that.