One would think that a college team that has been unstoppable this season would be a shoe-in for the playoffs. Under the new procedures set forth by the College Football Playoff committee, however, the undefeated team has been overlooked in favor of regular contender, Alabama.
Following the championship games, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Georgia were all locked into playoff spots. It was only the fourth slot that was up for grabs, and many were hopeful that this year would prove to be a turning point for giving a different team a chance to shine. When push came to shove, however, the committee went with an old standby and gave the fourth slot to Alabama.
After the 2016 season, UCF was expected to do well this year, but by all measures, they exceeded expectations, raking up the wins against ranked teams, like USF and Memphis, while also crushing Big 10 teams like Maryland with a final score of 38 to 10.
For the rest of their games, they played against far inferior teams, easily winning most games by an average of 31.7 points. The team’s season long margin of victory was an impressive 23.4 points.
UCF may have taken the AAC title this year, but that didn’t stop the committee from ranking them at a meager number 10, despite playing better in games against similarly ranked teams like Wisconsin.
Athletic director for UCF, Danny White, feels that the committee has constantly snubbed the Group of Five teams, among which include UCF, consistently under ranking their performance, despite the numbers in their favor.
The boundary between the Group of Five teams and the Power Five shouldn’t be so fixed, which would allow teams who play like UCF a shot at attaining a rank on par with their performance, not to mention a shot at the playoffs.
It’s a discouraging precedent, which encourages coaches who build great teams to leave for bigger names year after year.