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If All Are Undefeated the CFP should take Alabama, Clemson, ND and UCF

An interesting situation could emerge in college football and if it occurs and if the College Football Playoff fumbles this it will be bad for the game.  It will say the game is rigged in favor of the major conferences.

The top three teams (Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame) are undefeated.  There is a good chance (let’s say 50% or so) that these three teams will remain so.  Maybe Auburn beats the Tide (NEVER!) or even loses to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.  Clemson seems safe although the SC came is always tough.  ND has Syracuse.  But all winnable.

What’s up for the fourth spot if these three run out the string and are all undefeated?

If we look at the CFP for last week, we have these teams (all with one loss unless noted) for the next several spots until you find another undefeated team:

  • Michigan
  • Georgia
  • Oklahoma
  • LSU (Two losses)
  • Washington State
  • West Virginia
  • Ohio State
  • Kentucky
  • then The University of Central Florida – undefeated and co-national champaion from last year (see here if you don’t believe me)

Now The CFP poll has not come out yet this AM but the Coaches and AP polls have and they have Mich, Geo, WV, WSU, OSU and LSU with the AP with WSU over OSU.  University of Central Florida is 11th.

I think this is a problem.  What if UCF finishes undefeated?  I would say with ranked Cincinnati and excellent and formerly ranked University of South Florida (an away game) and the winner of the other side of the American Conference facing them undefeated UCF has the toughest slog to be undefeated.

But let’s suppose all four teams turn up undefeated.  I think the CFP should take UCF over the one or two loss teams above them.  (There is an argument for one loss WSU due to geography I concede.)

Yes I can hear it now from the sports people – stick to politics, Sanders, stay in your lane, etc.:  Those other teams have a stronger schedule etc.  Probably right.  But if you are going to have a system where you have conferences in the hunt for a national championship that are outside the major ones there has to be a path to the crown available.  At least in the basketball tourney, most of the best mid-majors DO get a shot and it is usually a long shot.  But they do go dancing.

But there is only a four team playoff.  If a team can go undefeated for two straight years and not be invited to the playoff there is only thing to say:  The system is rigged.  And like the Olympics, I cannot stand that kind of thing.  Legal action could be possible.

So the CFP committee should say:  If Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and UCF go unbeaten:  They are in.  Incentive to win those games and the playoff would have four unbeaten teams, and a great David v. Goliath story that will boost ratings.  And alas, ratings are critical in sports.

Otherwise, whether they mean it or not, the committee has told the minor conferences to drop dead.  You have no chance.  That’s not right.  The best players will go to the major conferences and the TV will follow.  So do the right thing:  If undefeated:  Alabama, Clemson, ND and UCF go to the playoff.


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

One Response to “If All Are Undefeated the CFP should take Alabama, Clemson, ND and UCF”

  1. Sandy Sanders

    Just so my readers know: I got my law degree from Alabama (1983) and I follow the UCF Knights. Sandy


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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