Prior to 2014, the championship game in College Football was known as the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). The game would occur between the top two ranked teams in the country to decide the national champion. Since 2014, College Football has decided to go with a new format known as the College Football Playoff. In this new format, analysts sit down and pick the top four college football teams in the country. Most years, it is the top 3 teams are pretty clear. This year, those teams are the Alabama Crimson Tide, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Clemson Tigers. The real debate is always for the last spot. It will be harder than ever to decide on the final team this year. In past years, strength of schedule has been one of the biggest deciding factors among the final few teams. However, not having a non-conference schedule will make it difficult to tell the difference in competition. The teams that are fighting for the last spot are the Ohio State Buckeyes, Texas A&M Aggies, Florida Gators, Cincinnati Bearcats, Miami Hurricanes, and BYU Cougars.
One of the biggest teams being discussed is Ohio State. They have been ranked in the top 4 all season, and they have been considered a serious contender for the National Championship. However, a late start and COVID-19 cancellations leave the Buckeyes with a record of 4-0 with only 2 more games to play. This could be a problem if they have another game canceled because the Big 10 said a team must play 6 games in order to be eligible to play in the championship game. Therefore, if there are more cancellations, one of the best teams in the country could be left out of the picture.
The Cougars are undefeated at 9-0, and the Bearcats are at 8-0. There are a lot of arguments that debate if these two teams can make the playoffs. If both these teams remain undefeated and go on to win their conference championship, it will make things even more interesting when it comes time to pick the 4 best teams.
The Aggies, Gators, and Hurricanes all have 1 loss so far. These teams have the smallest odds of all the teams, but if they can win a conference championship in a power 5 conference, they will also have a strong argument for why they should be in the playoff. They would also need Ohio State to be out of the picture and some undefeated teams to lose at some point. Even though they are currently ranked higher than some undefeated teams, they need more to happen in order for them to get in to the playoffs.
Drew Frey, a former football player at Greenville High School, says, “It will be interesting to see what the selection committee does this year. On one hand, you have Ohio State, who has looked good in every game they’ve played, but they have only played 4 games so far. On the other hand, you have undefeated teams that are out of the power 5 conferences [ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC], like BYU and Cincinnati.” If Ohio State plays all of their games, the selection will ultimately come down to which team wins their conference championship.
Media by Paul Garrett.