Behold a “Fast Fact” the College Football Playoff put on the video board Monday at Levi’s Stadium, home of the National Championship between Alabama and Clemson:
“Every FBS team has equal access to the College Football Playoff based on its performance with no team automatically qualified.”
UCF’s No. 8 ranking on Selection Sunday in 2018 is the highest ranking a team from outside the Power 5 conferences has ever gotten, in five years of Playoff committee rankings. The Knights were 12-0 at that point. The prior year, they were 12-0 and came in 12th.
The Knights lost by 8 in the Fiesta Bowl to an LSU team that got destroyed by Alabama. Please do not take this blog post as me arguing that UCF should’ve made the field in 2018, because that’s not what I think. But let’s be straight-up about things, Playoff, and not pretend that Group of 5 teams have “equal access” to the Playoff.
(This is not the first time the Playoff has said this, though it’s the first time I’ve noticed it. Those exact words are right here on the official website. It’s the Playoff’s serious tack.)
A better way for the Playoff to act like it’s open to every team is to say every FBS team is “eligible,” though that’s strictly technical.
The Playoff was on the right track here!
“There are ten athletic conferences eligible to participate in the College Football Playoff, along with six schools considered independent,” that other Fast Fact read.
True, sort of, though UCF noticed something odd:
Too soon— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) January 7, 2019
Arguing about whether every team in FBS is “eligible” for a four-team Playoff is semantical, and the Playoff can get away with that.
But “equal access?” Lol.
One way to provide true Group of 5 Playoff access would be to expand the Playoff.