College Football Playoff Interesting Observation 

Boh Suh, Staff Writer

Some people say as long as you keep winning, you will make it to the playoffs. However, in college football, winning 12 games (possibly 13 games) in a season is very challenging. Any championship contender can lose a game, so it is good to have another path to the playoffs. 

However, this doesn’t apply for all the college teams. While some teams may afford one loss or even two to still make it to the playoffs, some teams have to be perfect and still might not make it to the playoffs 

When UCF was undefeated in 2017 and 2018, they finished the season ranked 12th and eighth respectively. On the other hand, Auburn was ranked second in the nation even with two losses 10-2 in 2017. The loss against Georgia in the SEC championship game ended their season ranked seventh in the nation. Ironically, Auburn lost against UCF 13-0 in the Peach Bowl that season. 

Many fans of teams outside the Big 4 conferences were frustrated then, and they are probably still frustrated with the system. Even with 13-0 record, they may not even come close to the top four in rankings and one loss may even prevent them from being in top 25.  

I understand their frustration, but I also understand why Auburn was ranked the second in the nation because they beat Georgia, Alabama, and many other teams (close loss against LSU and Clemson.) 

With a short season, Big Ten and Pac-12 are at disadvantage in terms of boosting their resumes this year. Of course, an undefeated Big 10 champion or Pac-12 champion will have one of the four spots for the playoffs, but one loss? It is pushing a little bit. 

Pre-season ranking has too much influence on how teams are viewed throughout the year. LSU started the year ranked No. 6 in the nation, and now with 1-2 resume, they are not ranked. However, they still got some votes on the ranking, which means that they still have a chance. LSU still has a game against No. 10 Florida, No. 14 Auburn, No. 2 Alabama, and No. 11 Texas A&M. The chance for them to make it to the playoffs is slim, but there is still a chance that they can make it to a nice bowl game. 

However, what if LSU started as not ranked (probably not going to happen ever)? With 1-2 resume, would they even get a vote? Probably not. Even with 3-0, they might be at top 20 or top 25. This is why preseason ranking is very crucial to a college football team because then team can afford one, or even two, losses if it is ranked high in the beginning.