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Sorry, Dabo: Clemson Would Be Bigger Favorites Over Florida, Texas A&M Than Ohio State

Sorry, Dabo: Clemson Would Be Bigger Favorites Over Florida, Texas A&M Than Ohio State article feature image

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images. Pictured: Dabo Swinney

  • Dabo Swinney recently made comments questioning Ohio State's College Football Playoff consideration.
  • If the Buckeyes weren't included, his Clemson Tigers would be bigger favorites over Florida and Texas A&M.
  • Tommy Stokke breaks down Swinney's comments from a betting perspective below.

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Dabo Swinney hit the campaign trail in support of two SEC counterparts on Friday, pushing Texas A&M and Florida as more deserving of a spot in the College Football Playoff than undefeated Ohio State.

On the surface, there’s a fair argument to be made in support of his comments. Dig a little deeper and it’s no surprise such a move would be a huge benefit to his Clemson Tigers.

“It’s almost like you’ve got to have 120 hours to get a business degree and yet these people over here only need 60 hours to get a business degree,” Swinney said on The Rich Eisen show when asked about a team getting in ahead of Clemson despite playing fewer games.

When pressed specifically about Ohio State, Swinney said he’d take no issue with the decision. That’s when he went to bat for two others.

“I just think there has to be some type of standard,” he said. “I just think it would be — if I was on a committee, it would be hard for me to leave out a 10-1 Texas A&M or an 11-game Florida team over a team that’s played six games.”

When Dabo speaks, there’s often an underlying purpose. One reason it might be difficult for Swinney to leave out Florida or Texas A&M is because the other team in question — Ohio State — is superior to both SEC schools and presents a greater challenge to Clemson in a potential College Football Playoff matchup.

According to Collin Wilson’s power ratings, Clemson would be a half-point favorite over the Buckeyes on a neutral field, so they’re basically dead even. Compare that to being a 9-point favorite over Florida or an 11.5-point favorite of Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies, and yes, there’s reason for Swinney to get ahead of the conversation a week early.

Power rankings are not a blind endorsement of a bet, but in this case they suggest Ohio State is a much better team than either Florida or Texas A&M.

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Ohio State is a 21.5-point favorite over Northwestern on lookahead lines at DraftKings, so completing a 6-0 season is expected. A win would be the second over a ranked team this year for Ryan Day’s squad, which took down Indiana 42-35.

Three cancelled games for Ohio State (Maryland, Illinois, Michigan) put the Buckeyes’ Big Ten title game berth in jeopardy before a rule change allowed them to play.

Texas A&M will not be in the SEC Championship game but does own a head-to-head win over Florida. The Gators own a win over Georgia, but upsetting Alabama in the SEC title game would be the signature victory of their season.

Swinney will now prepare his Tigers for the ACC Championship game looking to avenge their only loss of the season against Notre Dame. Clemson opened as a 9.5-point favorite over the Irish, and will almost certainly be in with a win.

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