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Big 12 commissioner says UCF’s Playoff exclusion was fair because they didn’t face a power-conference schedule

He’s sort of got a point, but this sounds pretty BCS-esque.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 02 Big 12 Championship Game - Oklahoma v TCU Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UCF not making the Playoff was reasonable, just as UCF now claiming to have won the national title is reasonable. An unbeaten team with a win over the SEC West champ has some folks calling for the playoff to expand, others newly incensed about UCF missing the field, and plenty more just plain mad about a system seemingly designed to exclude half the country from paths to the national title, no matter what they do on the field.

So here’s Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, via ESPN’s Heather Dinich:

[UCF’s Playoff exclusion is] fair because playing in the American Athletic is not the same as playing in the Big Ten or the SEC or the Big 12, it’s just not. They have some big games, but they don’t have an Iowa State who can beat a second-ranked Oklahoma. The depth of those leagues and the quality at the top, getting ready for one game against Auburn, that’s a lot different than playing Auburn every week. ... TCU, if TCU and UCF played 10 times, I defy anybody to convince me that UCF would win the majority of the games. Of course I’ve only been looking at it for 35 years.

I’m not sure how wise it is for a college football power broker to pretty much say mid-majors aren’t eligible for the Playoff, considering the BCS’ litigious history, but sure.

Most of the Power 5 conferences are usually significantly better than most of the Group of 5 conferences. (2017 Pac-12, lay low for a minute, please.) Every team plays a couple good teams and a couple weak teams, but the P5 conferences have a higher number of above-average teams in the middle.

S&P+ thinks the average Big 12 team was about three points better than the average AAC team.


No one beat UCF.

And if we’re getting into Bowlsby’s hypotheticals, S&P+ would favor UCF over TCU by 4.5 points.

Of course, advanced stats have only been looking at it for more than 35 years.