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#pounditWednesday, January 20, 2021

SEC commissioner takes shot at Big Ten, ACC

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The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will likely face its toughest task to date this year, and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey does not approve of what he views as rival conferences trying to manipulate the system.

The ACC announced on Tuesday that it is eliminating the final regular season game for both Notre Dame and Clemson in order to “preserve the integrity” of the ACC Championship Game, which is scheduled for Dec. 19. Many, including Sankey, believe the ACC canceled the games to give Notre Dame and Clemson, which are currently ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the country, a better shot at getting into the College Football Playoff.

“I was surprised to see the announcement [Tuesday],” Sankey told Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports on Wednesday. “It begs one question: If their two most highly ranked teams were, for instance, [ranked] five and six in the CFP Rankings, would this decision have been made?”

Notre Dame will face Syracuse on Saturday in what is now its final game of the regular season. Clemson closes out the year against Virginia Tech. If both teams win and 9-1 Clemson ends up beating 10-0 Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game, both teams would have one loss that came against a top-five opponent. They could make a strong case that they both deserve to be in the CFP if things play out that way.

The SEC could do something similar to increase the chances of No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Florida both making the playoff, but Sankey says that is not being considered.

“We committed to playing a 10-game schedule, which is certainly unique to see some other decisions this week, where they indicated one direction and they changed at the last minute,” Sankey said.

Sankey was also asked if he feels conferences that played fewer games than the SEC should be viewed differently, to which he replied, “Decisions have outcomes, right?”

The CFP could end up being a complete mess. Ohio State is considered one of the strongest teams in the country, and the Buckeyes may end up being ineligible for the Big Ten championship. In a year that has truly been unlike any other, people are sure to be more divided than ever about which teams deserve a spot in the playoff.

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