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Clemson Football

Corrigan: Clemson at No. 10 'based on the game that they played against Notre Dame'

November 9, 2022
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BRETT DANIELS: I'd like to welcome everyone to the second College Football Playoff Selection Committee teleconference for the 2022 season. Joining us again tonight is Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff, along with Boo Corrigan, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee chair.

Last week you said Ohio State was one of the three teams you were considering at No. 1 along with Georgia and Tennessee, or the committee did. I was just curious if Ohio State was still getting any consideration at No. 1, and if that was a reflection on the way that Northwestern win went for them or if it was just Georgia separating with the way it beat Tennessee.

BOO CORRIGAN: Yeah, I think there was consideration given to everyone, but I think as we got more into it, the decisive win by Georgia over Tennessee was the primary reason. Again, you're looking at Ohio State and the balanced offensive scoring, scoring defense, scoring offense both being in the top 10, averaging 47 points a game. Really good team.

But we felt that Georgia separated.

Also on the Georgia-Tennessee thing, what conversely went into the decision to keep Tennessee up there pretty high, still the highest of the one-loss teams?

BOO CORRIGAN: Looking at the Alabama win, looking at the LSU win, looking at the Kentucky win, we do value wins. TCU with their record, six wins over .500 teams, teams above .500, what they've done, what Max Duggan has done at TCU, again, I don't think it was as much what Tennessee didn't do as much as what TCU did do, and Georgia played really, really well, as everyone saw, and what they did with their defense versus the Tennessee offense was incredibly impressive.

How much does the committee look at margin of defeat to common opponents, with the obvious one in this case being your No. 5 and No. 6 teams, Tennessee and Oregon, both having lost to the same team?

BOO CORRIGAN: As a committee I think we're looking at the game itself, and is it more one-sided. From our standpoint, it's not this one was X number of points and this one was X number of points from that standpoint. You look at the overall game, the flow of the game, and making sure that we're doing the evaluation on the overall big picture as opposed to a late score or an early score, that type of thing.

Would the committee say that both those games were one-sided?

BOO CORRIGAN: Yes, I would say so.

When you guys were evaluating Ohio State this week, how much did the weather that Ohio State played in at Northwestern factored into your evaluation and ultimate decision to keep Ohio State at No. 2?

BOO CORRIGAN: As we looked at all the different factors, whether it's injuries or going back to last year, Coach not being available, those types of things, we're going to consider weather, as well, and it was a topic of discussion as we went through it, just as everything else is, just to make sure we understand all the factors as well as the time that people spend watching the game and being able to reflect on that.

I was just curious about you put Clemson at No. 10. I was curious did you feel like you maybe overvalued Clemson last week, or was this related to the way they looked against Notre Dame, or was it both?

BOO CORRIGAN: Coming off of last week, the win over Wake, over NC State, Florida State, Syracuse, this was in large part based on the game that they played against Notre Dame and how that game went at the time, an unranked Notre Dame team that has been improving and is improving. But in large case it was the Notre Dame game itself.

What specifically separates Tennessee from Oregon at 5 and 6?

BOO CORRIGAN: I think the wins. As a committee, as we talk about it, the wins over Alabama, the win over LSU and Kentucky, in looking at that, with Oregon you've got eight consecutive wins, a win over UCLA, but at this point as we're looking at it, I think that was the primary reason. As we were looking at two really, really good football teams, we felt that Tennessee was deserving of the 5 and Oregon of the 6.

Do you judge the quality wins differently week to week? In other words, if you have a top-10 win but then that team drops significantly, do you judge those differently week to week?

BOO CORRIGAN: Over the course of the season, what we're looking at is the body of work of the team as a whole and making sure that we're doing the evaluation with a clean sheet every week, but making sure that we're taking everything into account going back to the previous question about weather or injuries or anything else and making sure we really dive as deep as we can on as many levels as we can.

I'm interested in the committee's view on Notre Dame; obviously we didn't talk about them this week, but they move up in the rankings and have played three teams in the top 25. How do you view them, and how does that impact those teams that they have faced this year?

BOO CORRIGAN: Well, I was recused when Notre Dame was being talked about as a result of my brother being the lacrosse coach. I'm not going to say he's my favorite brother but one of my brothers, but when I came back into the room the committee told me the win over Clemson, the win over North Carolina, the win over Syracuse at the time, winning six out of seven games played really strongly into that conversation.

But again, I was not there for the actual conversation.

Between LSU and Oregon, is Oregon ahead because they simply have the one loss, or was that actually a pretty close discussion despite the fact that LSU has two losses?

BOO CORRIGAN: We talked about everything. We have multiple teams on the board. We're looking at as much information as we can find on it. Obviously the LSU wins the last couple of weeks with Alabama and Mississippi has played in strong in the last couple weeks.

If you think back to last week, we had LSU at 10, so there was a lot of respect for LSU going into that room. Again, the Oregon piece of losing that game early and averaging over 40 points in their last eight games, the job that Bo Nix has done both running for touchdowns and throwing for touchdowns, it's really an impressive team, as well.

Again, we're looking at everything that we can find as well as watching the games and making sure we're doing a full evaluation.

A lot of folks here are asking about the Liberty Flames. Obviously they won just knocking off Arkansas. Was there any discussion about Liberty being in as one of the top 25 this week, and given their strength of schedule, is there any avenue for them to get into the top 25?

BOO CORRIGAN: Well, we're going to look at this week and then we'll move on to next week as we get there.

But there was a good deal of discussion around Liberty and the win over Arkansas this past week. Strength of schedule does play into it, close loss to Wake Forest, win over BYU. But again, as we're looking and evaluating everything that goes into it, we want to make sure that we get the right 25 teams, and believe it or not, we spend a lot of time on each group as you kind of go from 1 through 25, but Liberty certainly was talked about and a lot of respect for what they've done and what Coach Freeze has done this year.

Just wanted to ask about Michigan and them moving up to No. 3. How close were they with Ohio State? Did they have any consideration for No. 2?

BOO CORRIGAN: Again, we put them up and we talked about each team individually. We talk about them in groupings to make sure that we've got it in the right area or in the right spot as we go through this.

The win over Rutgers this weekend and the second half in particular and the way they've played, they've done a really good job of pulling away from teams. As you look at Ohio State, obviously they both have the win over Penn State but Ohio State has that win over Notre Dame. Both have top-10 scoring offenses, top-10 scoring defenses, and we're going to continue to evaluate it as we move forward.

If anything, that non-conference schedule from Michigan has been a factor.

When you look at LSU right now and their situation when it comes to their two losses, overall I know it's hard to look down the line, but how much are you guys taking in championship potential games three weeks from now into any type of rankings or when you watch a game over the next three weeks, especially with Oregon coming up in the Pac-12, as well?

BOO CORRIGAN: We look at it one week at a time. We do not project forward. We do not prognosticate on what's going to happen moving forward. We look at it each week and make sure that coming out of week 10 that we've got what we believe is the top 25, which we do, and then move forward down the line. We leave the projecting up to other people.

Do you take into consideration a team that might be ranked right now at the current moment but might lose to a top-3 team in the next weeks ahead? Overall do you guys look at that when it comes to where somebody is ranked at right now compared to others when it comes to maybe a common opponent?

BOO CORRIGAN: All we can do is base it on the information we have at this point in time, and that's how the committee looks at everything, and then we'll look at it again.

I was going to ask about Florida State coming in at No. 23. What was it about the Seminoles that got the committee to put them in the rankings this week?

BOO CORRIGAN: Well, you start to see them with that win, I guess it was their second game, the win over LSU, a win at Louisville, a tough stretch for them going Wake, NC State and Clemson. Their defense is giving up less than 20 points a game. Good win over Miami.

As we're looking at this, again, we're looking at a body of work. We're looking over the 10 weeks of the season and making sure we're making the right decisions, and that's how Florida State came into the discussion at that point.

Just wanted some clarity on Michigan. Is Michigan where it's at in your rankings more so based off of what they have been able to do or more so because of what the other teams kind of surrounding them have done or have not done?

BOO CORRIGAN: Well, I think it's a combination of both is what it is. It's not one particular thing. You can't just look at a team without any comparable information with the people that are around them.

Again, really, really good football team, really talented football team, has done a good job on both sides of the ball. But as we looked at it and as we evaluated it, we had Michigan 3, Ohio State 2 and Georgia 1.

Back to the Tennessee and Oregon comparison, both playing Georgia, you did mention both games that you thought Georgia had control of that game and it was kind of one-sided, but do you factor in Tennessee actually had a lead in that game? It was early, 3-0 in the first quarter; do you look at that? Also, do you factor in the elements with the rain in that game?

BOO CORRIGAN: Yeah, we're going to look at everything associated with it. You've got to take the total 60 minutes when you're watching the game and making sure that you're doing an evaluation from that standpoint.

Again, really good –Tennessee is a really good team with big wins at the top. Hendon Hooker has had a great year to date. Their defense is giving up about 22 points a game and playing well.

Again, as we look at it, it's not this quarter here's what the score was; everything changed. At this point we're looking at the totality of the game and making sure that we're making the right decisions as a group.

Liberty as an independent, you have ranked independent teams like Notre Dame this week, BYU in the past. Is Liberty's strength of schedule and not playing as many power conference teams a factor in not having the Flames ranked despite an 8-1 record?

BOO CORRIGAN: It certainly is one of the factors that we take into account as we're looking at the body of work, the teams around them and making sure that we're doing an evaluation.

We did talk about them. We talked a good amount about Liberty. There's respect for the job that they have done. The win over Arkansas at Arkansas, to be up 21-0 in that game and see how they played, it is a factor as we're looking at it, and we'll continue to evaluate as we move forward.

Concerning USC and UCLA, USC is ranked four spots higher but both teams have a similar strength of schedule, UCLA has two ranked wins and UCLA beat the team that beat USC, and UCLA's loss is to a higher ranked team. What kind of balanced out those factors and ended up making USC the higher ranked team?

BOO CORRIGAN: I think the one-point loss by USC at Utah, going for two, the emotion of that game is something that the committee certainly has talked about the job that Caleb Williams has done with the 28 touchdown passes, one of the top offenses in the country, putting up 41 points.

That being said, there's a lot of respect for UCLA in that game, with their one loss being to Oregon by 15 at Oregon. Again, we're taking what we have to date and going to continue to evaluate and make sure that what we're doing and how we're looking at this is in the best interest of college football and making sure we get the top 15 right.

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Corrigan: Clemson at No. 10 'based on the game that they played against Notre Dame'

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