Texas A&M included in ESPN’s ’20 teams that can make the College Football Playoff’

With most of the Power 5 programs kicking their season off next Saturday, Sept. 3rd, one of the final preseason debates will ultimately gain some answers as soon as week four or five, with that debate being which College Football programs are among the “elite contender” crowd this season?

Earlier this week, ESPN Senior Writer Heather Dinich authored a piece profiling 20 programs with at least a 1% chance of earning a final four playoff spot, with Texas A&M making the list, surprising most of the media who have repeatedly called the Aggies “overrated” in recent weeks. Coming in as the 14th team listed, giving them a 2.0% to make the playoff, and a 0.1% chance to win the national championship game. Here is the list of reasons listed by Dinich regarding the Aggie’s toughest matchup, potential matchup win the committee will like, and potential matchup loss the committee will not like:

Toughest Test:

Oct. 8 at Alabama. As if this game needed any more drama, the  coaches provided it this spring when Nick Saban took a shot at Jimbo Fisher’s use of NIL for his No. 1 recruiting class. Fisher called a news conference and fired back in what was one of the most jaw-dropping rants by a college coach … ever. They both have said repeatedly it’s over. No big deal. Meanwhile, nobody else can seem to forget it. 

What the committee will like:

The No. 6 strength of schedule. The Aggies get a hall pass for Sam Houston State and UMass, because finishing with one
loss against a grueling lineup that includes Florida and
Miami is enough for a top-four finish — if, of course,
Texas A&M can survive it. The Aggies beat Bama last
year, but it didn’t amount to anything with the
selection committee because Texas A&M couldn’t beat
Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss or LSU.

What the committee won’t like: 

A Sept. 17 home loss to Miami. It’s the one opportunity in the
nonconference lineup to impress the selection
committee with a Power 5 win against what could be a
CFP Top 25 opponent. The Aggies don’t need the win
for their résumé as much as they do for some wiggle
room against SEC opponents. If they can’t beat Miami
at home, though, how are they going to beat Alabama
on the road?

So, a 2.0% chance to make the College Football Playoff for the first time in program history, and the second time in Jimbo Fisher’s head coaching career? I’ll personally take those odds all day long.

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Story originally appeared on Aggies Wire