I guess you know by now Alabama is playing Texas A&M this weekend. Johnny “Football”, Nick Saban, revenge for the Tide etc etc. Lots of subplots in this one. This being an ACC Centric blog though how does such a high profile game between#1 Alabama and #6 Texas A&M, affect the ACC’s top teams? In years past a matchup of top 10 teams barely registered in ACC country. This year is different, and its not too early for several ACC teams to start watching the scoreboard.
Clemson is #3 (AP) #5 (Coaches), Florida State #10 (AP) #9 (Coaches). Miami is little further down at #15 (AP) #18 (Coaches), but in position to be a factor as well. If I’m Clemson who am I rooting for? Does it change for FSU or Miami? Should they even care?
Taking care of your own business and winning as many as possible yourself is a given. With that, results of other games can and do matter and can directly play a role in whether your team has a shot at the national title.
If I’m one of the ACC’s top teams I think I’m rooting for Alabama to win. Here’s why…
The Aggies at #6 should they win would probably move to #2 or #3 in the AP poll, certainly no worse than #4. In the coaches poll, it’s a near certainty they would move ahead of Clemson. When Alabama lost last at home to Texas A&M last year they only dropped to 5th in the coaches poll and 4th in the AP poll. In 2011 when Alabama lost to LSU at home again they only fell to 4th in both polls.
The Tide have built up a ton of credibility with pollsters, and loss to Texas A&M not matter the score will keep them inside the the top 10. Possibly they would fall below Clemson, but they will stay ahead of Florida State. Suddenly you have 4 SEC teams Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, and Georgia that are ahead of Florida State, and likely 2 ahead of Clemson.
With a Texas A&M loss, they would fall outside of the top 10. If South Carolina is any many measure, as the #6 team a week ago, they fell to 13/14 range. after a loss to Georgia. Alabama stays where they are but Florida State moves up, possibly Miami, and Clemson stays where they are. Texas A&M only has one resume building game left against LSU. No I don’t count beating Ole Miss as resume building. The Aggies won’t have many chances to impress voters.
If I’m Clemson, FSU, or Miami, I’m rooting for Alabama, because a Texas A&M win puts another obstacle in the way you getting to the title game.. A loss wouldn’t take Alabama out of the picture. It never does.