Could Texas A&M Follow Path of 2017 Alabama?

by | Nov 6, 2020 | College Football | 0 comments

While Florida and Georgia battle each other in Jacksonville, only one of the remaining three SEC games has national consequences. Texas A&M (#7, 4-1) continues its quest to reach the College Football Playoff when they travel to Williams Brice Stadium.

After the Aggies defeated Florida on October 10, I predicted their place in the College Football Playoff. Like Alabama in 2017, not winning the West benefits them, eliminating the risk of losing in the SEC Championship. While the Tide was exceptionally more dominant than the 2020 Aggies are, the circumstances surrounding College Football this season provide a much different landscape.

PPG, YPG Differential
2020 Season
W-LPPG Diff.YPG Diff.
Texas A&M4-10.440.6

Jimbo Fisher finally seems to be getting through to Kellen Mond.

However, I’m not 100 percent convinced of Jimbo Fisher’s squad’s ability for consistent play. Looking at their remaining games, Tennessee, LSU, and Auburn all can play spoiler.

In previous seasons some questioned QB Kellen Mond’s desire and consistency. This season, Mond is producing career-best in passer rating (154.5), yards per pass attempt (8.9), completion percentage (64.1), and interceptions (2).

On defense, Texas A&M ranks fourth in the SEC in total yards (375.8), including trailing only Georgia in stopping the run (104.8 Rush YPG, 3.4 YPC). If you subtract the 544 total yards allowed against Alabama’s explosive force, that number drops to 333.8.

If the Aggies complete the season with eight straight wins, it says a lot about their growth and undoubtedly worthy of reaching the College Football Playoff.

Best Cross Division Records
SEC, Since 2012
Texas A&M>>14-4
>>Play South Carolina Saturday

Why Would The Aggies Make it Over Florida or Georgia?

Texas A&M holds the tie-breaker over Florida since they defeated them. However, this scenario ASSUMES Alabama runs the table and defeats Florida or Georgia in the SEC Championship.

If Georgia defeats Florida on Saturday, finishes the season with one loss, AND defeats Alabama in the SEC Championship, they would replace A&M as the second team in the SEC.

If Florida defeats Georgia tomorrow, finishes the season with one loss while beating Alabama in the SEC Championship, that presents an interesting equation. 

Such a scenario gives Alabama, Florida, and Texas A&M one loss, while all three teams hold advantages. Florida has the head-to-head edge over Alabama, Alabama holds the head-to-head advantage over Texas A&M, and A&M holds the tie-breaker over Florida. 

Trevor Lawrence will not play Saturday against Notre Dame.

What about the Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12, and Big 12?

Forget the Big 12. The winner of Clemson-Notre Dame represents the ACC, and due to playing fewer games, only Ohio State has the resume to make an argument amongst Big Ten and Pac-12 teams. Before Pac-12 and Big Ten fans send hate mail, this assumes no one other than Ohio State finishes undefeated, giving them the final spot in the Playoff.

If Notre Dame defeats Clemson on Saturday, the Tigers could make a case to advance to the playoff due to Trevor Lawrence’s current health. However, the weakness of the ACC outside of these two teams creates a more challenging case.

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