Greatest Non Playoff Teams of the CFB Playoff Era

There may be no worse feeling than your team having an amazing season and getting snubbed from the College Football Playoff. Only 4 teams can make it, so some amazing teams have missed the cut due to a tough loss or two (or none). So, here we pay homage to those amazing college football teams that just barely missed the cut.

5. 2017 UCF

2017 UCF is an extremely controversial team. They finished the regular season undefeated yet were snubbed from the playoff (though they were not the first G5 team to get this treatment, with Western Michigan being another recent example). Their weaker strength of schedule was held against them. That being said, they beat Auburn in an all timer Peach Bowl, demonstrating they had what it took to beat the big dogs. How many games would they have won had they been let into the playoff?

4. 2018 Ohio State

While many may celebrate Ohio State missing the playoff, you have to admit their 2018 team had a resume worth getting in. Their only regular season loss was a stunning upset from Purdue, 49-20. Despite this bad loss, they beat up on many teams they faced with a very high strength of schedule in the competitive Big Ten East. Perhaps what makes this snub so controversial was that a non conference champion 12-1 Alabama got in over them, after losing to Georgia in the SEC championship game. As we know, that Alabama team would go on to win it all.

3. 2015 Stanford Cardinal

2015 Stanford was greatly hurt by a Week One loss to Northwestern. Their only other loss that season was to a very strong Oregon team, 38-36. While two losses is generally too many to make the playoff, this year had a generally weaker field and Stanford looked like one of the most powerful teams out there. This is less of a playoff snub and more so one of the all around best football teams that just couldn’t get it together when they needed to. At least we’ll never forget Christian McCaffrey tearing up that Rose Bowl game against Iowa.

1. (Tie) 2014 TCU and Baylor

You all knew this would be here. Both TCU and Baylor were absolute forces of nature in 2014. This marked the first ever playoff snub, as this was the first year of the College Football Playoff. Both TCU and Baylor were seen as playoff caliber, with TCU’s only being to Baylor and Baylor’s only loss being to a 2 loss WVU (who would end the regular season 7-5). This snub wasn’t just painful for these fans, but it literally reshaped CFB. The Big 12 did not have a championship game at the time, so both 1 loss Big 12 teams would be left out in favor of conference championship game winners FSU, Oregon, Ohio State and Alabama. Immediately following this, the Big 12 began putting plans in place to reinstate their championship game between the two teams with the best record.

Who do you think was the best College Football Team that didn’t make the playoff? Who was the worst CFP snub? Let us know in the replies!

What does “FBS” Mean in College Football? Is “FCS” worse or better?

jacksonville state fcs what is fcs
FCS Jacksonville State upsets FBS Florida State

The college football landscape is confusing, certainly much more complicated than its professional counterpart, the NFL. So, when you hear terms like “FBS” and “FCS” thrown around while watching college football, it’s easy to get confused. Here’s a brief explanation of what exactly “FBS” and “FCS” mean in College Football.

FBS stands for “Football Bowl Subdivision”. The reason it’s called a subdivision is because both FBS and FCS are technically Division 1 football – but, “FBS” is the more competitive level. The primary difference between FBS and FCS Football is how the championship is played.

FBS Football has bowl games (hence, “Bowl Subdivision”). In the current version of this format, 2 of the New Years Six Bowls (rotating) are semifinal games between the top 4 college football teams, and then the two winners of those championship games go on to play the championship game, run by ESPN.

Appalachian State, at the time, a subdivision 1-AA team, upsets Michigan, a subdivision 1-A team
Appalachian State, at the time, a subdivision 1-AA team, upsets Michigan, a 1-A team

FCS stands for “Football Championship Subdivision”. In FCS Football, the top 24 FCS Subdivision teams play in a bracket style tournament for the NCAA Championship trophy.

Fun fact – this is the highest level college football championship awarded by the NCAA itself. The ESPN College Football Championship Game is what is almost always used to designate the NCAA champion, but there are technically other championship selectors that could make multiple different teams count as National Champions. For an example of this, see UCF in 2017, in which they were awarded National Champions by the Colley Matrix, even though Alabama won the National Championship game – most everyone refers to Alabama as the champions that year, but UCF technically has a rightful claim.

Another significant difference between the two subdivision is that FBS teams can award 85 football scholarships while FCS teams can only award 63. This contributes to FBS college football teams having an elevated standard of play, but the main driver between the increased competitive level of these schools is that the best conferences in the country form the Football Bowl Subdivision.

north dakota state what is fcs football
North Dakota State, perennial FCS Champions

The subdivision split traces its roots to 1978, when Division 1 football was split into two subdivisions, 1-A and 1-AA. The main driver of this split was that the smaller D1 schools couldn’t keep up with the largely developed football programs of the largest D1 schools. This is similar to “mid majors” vs Power Conference basketball teams in College Basketball. In 2006, these two subdivisions were given the FBS and FCS names they hold today.

Though FBS is technically the higher level of play, FCS football is spectacular to watch. The large tournament system for the championship is extremely exciting and may even reflect the future state of the FBS playoff. Here at CFB Select, we love college football of all kinds – bookmark our site and follow us at @CFBSelect on Twitter if you do too!

Best Candidates for Big 12 Expansion

byu and colorado state big 12 expansion
BYU and Colorado State are both great candidates for Big 12 Expansion

With today’s announcement from the Pac 12 that they do not intend to expand, every Big 12 team besides Texas and Oklahoma (who, in case you’re living under a rock, are moving to the SEC) are now in a state of limbo. The Big 12 conference won’t survive past 2025 – unless of course they add some serious College Football schools through expansion. Here’s our list of the best schools for the Big 12 to target to have a chance to stay afloat.

UCF

ucf big 12 football expansion
Courtesy ucf.edu

Lets get this obvious candidate out of the way. Following their undefeated National Championship season (you can debate that one in the comments), UCF became the de facto leader of the G5. It’s a no-brainer that they offer the most in terms of geography (the Big 12 has already tried to break into Florida via FSU), talent (yes, we remember the winless year, but they’ve won big across decades) and brand. If the Big 12 expands and doesn’t add UCF, people will be scratching their heads.

BYU

byu football big 12 expansion
Courtesy Lawless Republic

Yes, BYU carries some baggage. The Utah school’s close mormon ties are off putting to some, but they have an extremely loyal and large fan base. Plus, they’re continuously a powerful performer viewed more in lie with the current Big 12 schools in terms of history and on field product. One interesting angle – BYU has a TV station, BYU.tv. The Big 12 is losing their resident TV station with the eventual departure of the Longhorn Network.

Boise State

College Football News Preview 2020: Boise State Broncos
Courtesy College Football News

Boise is one thing – entertaining. Who doesn’t remember the Statue of Liberty play in which they beat soon-to-be Big 12 ex Oklahoma. Even more recently, the Chris Petersen and Bryan Harsin led offenses terrorized defenses all around the Mountain West. Boise’s play style and personality would fit perfectly in the Big 12 – the roadblock issues are the school’s academics, facilities, size of fan base and budget.

Colorado State

colorado state big 12 expansion
Courtesy The Coloradoan

Did we mention facilities? Yes, Colorado State may not be the first school you thought of for Big 12 candidacy. However, they have one hell of a negotiation point, and that’s their stadium. Colorado State’s Canvas Stadium seats 41,000, less than 5,000 behind the smallest Big 12 stadium, TCU. Few other schools on this list can compete with CSU in terms of the facilities they already have. More seats = more ticket revenue (if filled), which will definitely catch the Big 12’s eye.

Houston

houston big 12 expansion

While the Big 12 already has a few schools in Texas beyond the Longhorns (TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech), adding Houston helps the Big 12 keep 4 teams in its central state. Plus, the local rivalries are certainly intriguing. Houston also has fielded some extremely competitive teams (including a few almost-playoff invaders). The program has been sliding a bit recently with some unsuccessful head coaching searches, but Houston is one of those G5 programs you can rely on to consistently play well enough to glue eyes to the screen. This is the most important thing to the Big 12 right now.

Cincinnati

College Football News Preview 2020: Cincinnati Bearcats
Courtesy College Football News

Cincinnati is up there with UCF for no brainers on this list. While Cincy hasn’t quite caught the spotlight like UCF did recently, they’ve continuously put a winning product on the field. Cincinnati would be an instant contender in the Big 12, at least finishing in the upper half based on previous performance. Provided Head Coach Luke Fickell sticks around, Cincinnati is probably the most P5 ready school on this list. Plus, they (along with the final school on this list) will ease WVU’s travel burden.

Memphis

Memphis football: Everything we know about Mike Norvell, Cotton Bowl, next  coach
Courtesy The Commercial Appeal

Memphis has had some ups and downs, but they land on this list for a few reasons. They expand the Big 12’s footprint to an important football state they don’t occupy (Tennessee), they play winning football, and their program is trending upwards. A smaller fan base presents an issue, but Memphis will be more appealing to sell tickets for than say, Marshall, who is comparable in terms of performance.

Who do you think should go to the Big 12, should they expand? What do you think happens next? Let us know in the replies or on Twitter @CFBSelect.

Week 12 Top 25

Our Week 12 Top 25 comes out right on the heels of the playoff committees first official college football rankings. Let us know in the replies and on our forum (click the link in the menu) which you agree with more!

BYU falls a few spots, though still undefeated. Perhaps that UW game would help? Florida and Texas A&M remain peripheral SEC contenders, with Oregon and suddenly Top 10 Northwestern shortly behind.

As for the G5, Cincinnati jumps back to #5. Coastal jumps up to #13, and Marshall sits at #17. Louisiana and Tulsa remain in our college football rankings at #21 and #22 respectively. Again, let us know what you think in our forums HERE.

Top 25:

1Alabama (17)425
2Notre Dame405
3Ohio State390
4Clemson367
5Cincinnati350
6Texas A&M333
7Florida328
8BYU309
9Oregon288
10Northwestern263
11Miami (FL)254
12Indiana236
13Coastal Carolina210
14Georgia208
15Oklahoma190
16Iowa State174
17Marshall172
18USC125
19Wisconsin114
20Texas68
21Louisiana68
22Tulsa63
23Oklahoma State61
24Auburn58
25North Carolina33

Others Receiving Votes:

Washington12
San Jose State8
Kent State5
Liberty4
West Virginia1
Missouri1

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Week 11 Top 25

This week’s College Football Top 25 doesn’t bring many shake ups – the biggest change are some G5 teams shifting down while continually dominant P5 teams rise to the top. Clemson jumped back in the playoff picture after, along with BYU, hopping Cincy. The Bearcats have fallen down to 6th. Texas A&M and Florida are the SEC teams lurking further in the Top 10, with Wisconsin and Indiana biting at their heels as well. Georgia also hopped Coastal Carolina and Marshall to get back to #14 in our college football poll.

Notable re-entrants in our College Football rankings are Louisiana at 23 and Auburn at 25. Will either of these teams be able to stay in our rankings once again? Let us know what you think about this and the rest of the rankings in our forums, HERE.

Top 25:

1Alabama424
2Notre Dame398
3Ohio State392
4Clemson380
5BYU351
6Cincinnati328
7Texas A&M320
8Florida313
9Wisconsin275
10Indiana271
11Oregon263
12Miami (FL)219
13Oklahoma State207
14Georgia200
15Coastal Carolina191
16Marshall183
17Northwestern134
18Liberty127
19Oklahoma112
20Iowa State105
21USC83
22Tulsa75
23Louisiana55
24Texas43
25Auburn20

Others Receiving Votes:

North Carolina19
San Jose State12
UCF9
Appalachian State3
Memphis3
Virginia Tech1
Boise State1
SMU1
Washington1

Enjoy our content? Discuss it in our forums, HERE.

Week 10 Top 25

Oh boy…this might be one of our biggest shake ups yet.

In this weeks College Football Top 25, Alabama stays #1. Beyond that, almost everything has shifted. Most notable is Cincinnati entering out Top 4 – this is the first G5 team we’ve had in our Top 4 this season and the first ever in the history of this poll.

Notre Dame jumps up to #2 in our poll after upsetting a DJ Uiagalelei led Clemson. Trevor Lawrence will be back soon, but it’s an outright lie to say the QB change was the only thing that lost them this game. The Tigers have dropped to #5.

Florida kicked Georgia down all the way to #15 with their upset, as Texas A&M, BYU and Indiana continue creeping up the Top 10 hoping no one notices. Check out our full poll below and let us know your thoughts in our forums, HERE.

College Football Top 25 Poll

College Football Top 25 Poll:

1Alabama (17)449
2Notre Dame (1)422
3Ohio State418
4Cincinnati376
5Clemson369
6Texas A&M351
7BYU351
8Florida313
9Oregon288
10Indiana277
11Miami (FL)263
12Oklahoma State254
13Wisconsin215
14Coastal Carolina205
15Marshall183
16Georgia179
17SMU127
18Liberty127
19Iowa State118
20Oklahoma107
21Northwestern85
22USC71
23Army54
24Texas41
25Tulsa38

Others Receiving Votes:

Louisiana35
Purdue33
Auburn17
North Carolina17
Appalachian State9
San Jose State6
UCF5
Washington5
Washington State5
Nevada5
Arkansas4
Kansas State2
Virginia Tech2
Boise State2
Wake Forest2
Kentucky1
NC State1

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in our College Football Forums or on Twitter @Sidelines_SN!

Week 9 Top 25

This week’s College Football Top 25 is the first in which every team from every conference is eligible. College Football is truly back! And along with it – TEXAS IS BACK! (At the 25 slot in our poll). Other re-entrants include Oklahoma and, as they start their season, Oregon. Now that we finally have all teams included, how do you feel about this college football poll picture? Who’s too high? Who’s too low? Let us know on Twitter or in our College Football forums!

Note: For the first time this season, all College Football teams are eligible for our poll.

Top 25:

1Alabama (14)398
2Clemson (1)379
3Ohio State370
4Notre Dame347
5Cincinnati313
6Georgia310
7Texas A&M291
8BYU288
9Florida256
10Wisconsin228
11Miami (FL)219
12Oklahoma State213
13Indiana201
14Coastal Carolina (1)192
15Oregon175
16Marshall170
17SMU116
18Boise State113
19Liberty101
20Iowa State100
21Oklahoma79
22Tulsa49
23Army45
24Northwestern38
25Texas31

Others Receiving Votes:

Michigan29
USC27
Purdue25
Louisiana20
Auburn15
North Carolina15
Kansas State15
Virginia Tech11
UCF6
NC State3
San Diego State3
Wake Forest2
Penn State1
Arizona State1

Agree? Disagree? Let us know on Twitter @Sidelines_SN or in our College Football Forums, here!

Week 8 Top 25

This is our last weekend without every conference in our college football poll! And we have a new number one…Alabama. We added the B1G last week and we’ve already seen quite they shake up in their positions. After falling to Indiana, Penn State began falling in our poll too. Wisconsin climbed a bit after unveiling their fancy new passing offense (though we may not see it again soon with the COVID positives) as well as Michigan after stomping out Minnesota. See the full college football poll below!

Note: We are only including teams set to play the next weekend. This means the Pac 12 and MAC are currently not included in the poll.

Top 25:

1Alabama (7)319
2Clemson (6)318
3Ohio State296
4Notre Dame279
5Oklahoma State272
6Cincinnati252
7Georgia242
8BYU236
9Wisconsin212
10Texas A&M194
11Michigan188
12Florida184
13Miami (FL)166
14Kansas State151
15North Carolina147
16Marshall125
17Indiana114
18Coastal Carolina96
19Boise State73
20SMU65
21Penn State60
22Iowa State58
23Liberty54
24Tulsa28
25Army25

Others Receiving Votes:

Oklahoma14
Memphis14
Minnesota7
Virginia Tech6
Arkansas5
Northwestern5
Appalachian State4
Louisiana4
NC State3
UCF2
Boston College2
Purdue2
Wake Forest2
Texas1

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in our forums HERE!

Week 7 Top 25

It’s a big week – or should we say B1G week? With both the Big Ten and Mountain West Conference set to return to play this weekend, they are now officially included in our Sidelines Sports Net poll. Ohio State finds its place inn the Top 4 and Penn State rounds out the Top 10, with 3 other B1G teams making appearances. However, no MWC teams made the cut (though 2 received votes).

As far as movers and shakers, perhaps the biggest story of the week is UNC’s fall from grace. We also have G5 starlets Cincinnati, SMU, Marshall and Coastal holding their ground even with the new additions. Check out the full poll below and let us know what you think on Twitter @Sidelines_SN and in our forums!

Top 25:

1Clemson (11)419
2Alabama (5)412
3Notre Dame390
4Ohio State337
5Oklahoma State336
6Cincinnati310
7Georgia297
8Texas A&M283
9BYU281
10Penn State258
11Florida251
12Miami (FL)236
13SMU221
14Wisconsin170
15Iowa State164
16North Carolina150
17Kansas State149
18Virginia Tech130
19Marshall122
20Coastal Carolina (1)104
21Michigan94
22Minnesota89
23NC State57
24Memphis28
25Oklahoma22

Others Receiving Votes:

West Virginia22
Liberty19
Tulsa19
Arkansas18
Army17
Missouri16
Boise State12
Air Force12
UAB12
Auburn11
Tennessee9
Louisiana9
Kentucky3
Iowa2
South Carolina2
UCF1
Indiana1

Agree? Disagree? Tweet us at @Sidelines_SN or start a thread in our forums!

Week 6 Top 25

Did the SEC get exposed this week, or did they showcase their top to bottom strength? Regardless, we now have 4 SEC teams in our Top 10, the most of any conference – but, only 1 other in the 25! Oklahoma rejoined us this week as well as new entrants BC, Tulsa and NC State. Will any of these newcomers stick around? Let us know in the replies, forums and on Twitter @Sidelines_SN!

Note: We are currently only ranking teams set to play the following weekend. Thus, we are not yet including the Big Ten, Pac 12, MWC or MAC.

Top 25

1Clemson (16)448
2Alabama (1)428
3Georgia (1)419
4Notre Dame393
5Oklahoma State358
6Cincinnati355
7North Carolina351
8BYU303
9Florida277
10Texas A&M265
11Miami (FL)251
12SMU250
13Louisiana203
14Tennessee198
15Kansas State194
16Iowa State192
17Auburn181
18Virginia Tech140
19Marshall138
20Coastal Carolina79
21UCF70
22NC State65
23Oklahoma55
24Tulsa50
25Boston College45

Others Receiving Votes:

West Virginia28
UAB21
Army20
Texas13
LSU10
TCU10
Pittsburgh9
Liberty7
San Diego State7
Memphis4
Houston4
Iowa2
Kentucky2
Arkansas2
MIssouri2
Appalachian State1

Be sure to let us know what you think in the Forums and on Twitter @Sidelines_SN!!!