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May
17
2015

What it really takes to make the CFB Playoffs (Part 2). Don’t Lose.

ACC-F

Here is the second of a two part series on what a team must do to make the College Football Playoffs. In part 1 we went into how much scoring margin factors into the playoff selection.  Now let’s get into the most sure fire way to get into the playoffs… DON’T LOSE.

AllSportsDiscussion.com contributor @Hokiesmash and I had a discussion on twitter on this very topic.

The fact is if you play in a power 5 conference and go undefeated it’s a virtual impossibility that you will be left out the playoff. While you can debate the merits of one conference over another, the last 3 years have proven with a national champion from 3 different conferences that the best teams from the various conferences are not separated by much. The SEC is no longer heads and shoulders above the rest of the country. Every power 5 conference owns wins over another conference’s team that finished the year top 20.

#8 Georgia Tech  (ACC) beat  #9 Georgia (SEC) and #11 Mississippi State (SEC)

Virginia Tech (ACC) beat #1 Ohio State (Big 10)

LSU (SEC) beat  #13 Wisconsin (Big 10)

#2 Oregon (Pac 12) beat #5 Florida State (ACC) and #5 Michigan State (Big 10)

#1 Ohio State (Big 10) beat #2 Oregon (Pac 12) and #4 Alabama (SEC)

#3 TCU (Big 12) beat #17 Ole Miss (SEC)

#22 Auburn (SEC) beat #18 Kansas State (Big 12)

Clearly each conference had teams capable of beating the better teams in another conference. Don’t confuse this with conference strength. That’s a different discussion all together. What I am saying if you go undefeated in a major conference you can’t argue that they shouldn’t have been in the playoff. In fact the argument has no historical basis, and the suggestion of an undefeated power 5 being left out of the playoff is completely laughable.

In the entire BCS era and the first year of the college football playoff no undefeated Power 5 entered the post-season outside the top 4. Even with the Big East included in this discussion in the BCS era. It’s never happened. I couldn’t find in the Bowl Coalition era either, all the way back to to 1992.  It didn’t happen in 1990 or 1991 either. Is it even relevant to go beyond that?

Championship Games, OOC scheduling, Conference strength are all debatable, but going undefeated hasn’t been yet.

I simply can’t imagine a scenario where an undefeated Power 5 team is left out of the playoffs. After that if you lose a game, run it up, run it up, and run up the score some more.

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