The impact of Saturday’s game Clemson-Notre Dame on the CCA title game may be minimal, but the impact on the school football play-off landscape is significant.
Due to the fact that the ACC format does not provide for a split before 2020, and also due to the fact that the Tigers and Battle Irish are not only the two best teams in the conference, but also the only two unbeaten teams in the conference, the loser of Saturday’s league in South Bend, Indiana, still has at least 82% chance of entering the game for the ACC title.
But the playoffs are real. In fact, according to the Allstate Playoff Predictor, none of the other scheduled games will have a greater impact on the playoffs than a Saturday game in South Bend. Notre Dame’s chances of reaching the CFP would have fallen to 13% if she could not win at home, but would have risen to 47% if she had succeeded.
In the meantime, Clemson’s odds will drop to 48% if he loses, while a win from his current 72% chance to 84% will mean a stingier move. It’s a long way to say this: There’s a lot at stake, even if it’s not a play-off game for either team.
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Both teams would love to go into the playoffs if they would lose on Saturday and then return to the table, but a loss this weekend would effectively correct their mistake.
This is especially important for Notre Dame, because ESPN’s football performance index is not as good as Clemson’s. Regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game, Notre Dame has only a 45% chance of winning all other Necklaceson games. Had they lost on Saturday, the Battle Irish would have had to reach 45 percent and then beat Clemson in the CCA championship game.
Saturday’s defeat also reduces the real possibility that Notre Dame will win all scheduled games, lose to Clemenson in the CCA championship and still be admitted. If Notre Dame does it – he’ll win all his games, including Clemson’s before losing to the Tigers for the second time – the beating Irish have a 62% chance of winning the playoffs, according to Playoff Predictor Allstate.
Clemson’s story is similar, but he has a better chance – 74% – of winning the other games not planned by Notre Dame. And she would also have about a 60% chance of winning the favour of the selection committee if she wins Saturday but loses the CCA championship. The CCA doesn’t have much chance of having multiple teams in the play-offs, but the Fighting Irish have a better chance of winning: 12% chance versus 5% for Clemson.
How will Saturday’s matches affect the soccer school’s play-off hunt? What are the chances of being in the top four? Predictor of the playoffs The whole state has the answers. Check every week if the odds are updated after that week’s games.
But of course there’s a downside to all this: Trevor Lawrence. The current absence of the quarterback of the Tigers as a result of KOVID-19 has two different effects.
First, it compromises Clemson’s chances of winning. It’s pretty obvious when you consider both Lawrence’s skill and the fact that Clemenson almost lost Boston College last weekend.
And this is not fully reflected in the FPI, so it is likely that 66% of the chances we give the Tigers to win on Saturday are somewhat exaggerated.
In vague terms, this raises questions about what the committee can do. If Clemson lost Notre Dame without Lawrence, would that give the tigers the benefit of the doubt? Let’s play it.
If Clemenson loses on Saturday but then wins, he will be champion this season with a virtual play-off loss and victory. If he loses again and doesn’t win the CCR, he’ll almost certainly fall out of the playoffs. Lawrence doesn’t work on Saturdays, and none of the scenarios change. What if the Tigers lose again, but still win the conference championship?
In this case, assuming a second loss at Virginia Tech, Playoff Predictor gives the Tigers only a 16% chance to reach the PCP. Will the committee forgive the loss of Notre Dame without Lawrence? This is a question we can’t answer. But that would be weird. The committee will guarantee Clemson’s victory in the toughest game of the regular season as long as there are no quarterbacks. What better, in retrospect, than playing a game with your quarterback!
After all, the play-off prognosticator can’t know exactly how the committee can relate to Lawrence’s absence, especially in this unique season. But even with this long variable, it is clear that Clemson and Notre Dame are much more likely to make the playoffs if they win against others.
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