Notre Dame 'earned its way' to No. 4 seed in College Football Playoff, official says

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Notre Dame sneaked into the No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff on Sunday, edging out teams like Texas A&M and the University of Cincinnati, and will have to play Alabama in the semifinal.

College Football Playoff committee chairman Gary Barta told ESPN what was separating the Fighting Irish, the Aggies and the Bearcats. Notre Dame lost to Clemson on Saturday, Texas A&M only had one loss which was to Alabama, and Cincinnati finished undefeated but plays in the American Athletic Conference, which is seen not to be as competitive as the Power Five conferences like the SEC or Big 10.

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"Well, you painted the picture of two teams that have really similar resumes," Barta said of the teams. "They played similar schedules. Coming into this weekend, Notre Dame was undefeated. They had beaten the No. 2 team, now, in Clemson and on the road against a No. 13 team in North Carolina. And Texas A&M's top win was against a very good Florida team. So very similar resumes. But in the end, the committee felt like Notre Dame had earned its way there based on the complete analysis of the resume and that probably came down to having an additional win against a ranked team."

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While it appeared the committee penalized the Bearcats for playing in a Group of Five Conference instead of a Power Five Conference, Barta said the team's performance was taken at face value. 

"Well, I don't know that anything held them back. The committee has great respect for Cincinnati. They're undefeated. They won their conference championship last night in a last-second field goal. A terrific team, but it's comparing them to the six teams you see on your board. And it was just believed by the committee that those resumes are stronger, overall than Cincinnati's resume," Barta added.

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There are definitely some frustrations among the teams that didn’t get into the playoff. But there’s one thing for certain, Alabama is the best team in the nation and each of its opponents will have a tough time against them.

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