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!

College Football Playoff Predictions

The College Football Playoff isn’t even a decade old and it already has to adjust for a global pandemic. To be fair, the model itself doesn’t appear to be changing much – four teams will still compete in a tournament, with seeding set by the College Football Playoff committee. The semifinals will be at great locations this year; the historic Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. As far as the rankings, the first will come out Tuesday, November 17. The Playoff Selection show itself will be Sunday, December 20. That leaves one question – who will be in?

CFP prediction 1

1. Clemson

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence gets engaged

We’re highly expecting yet another undefeated regular season for Clemson. Their shortened schedule (with the Citadel being their only true out of conference game) leaves very few threats. Notre Dame is the only opponent that really jumps out as a test for Clemson, and while this will be a talented Notre Dame squad behind Ian Book’s leadership, it simply won’t be enough to cut it. The usual suspects like Pitt and Syracuse could provide a scare, but Trevor Lawrence’s talent and a great supporting cast (eyes on Etienne for best Running Back in college) mean they will waltz to another College Football Playoff appearance, where they’ll beat Alabama in yet another matchup but lose the title game to our next team.

2. Georgia

Kearis Jackson - 2020 - Football - University of Georgia Athletics

Of all four teams we have projected to make the playoff, Georgia returns the most overall production (65%) with 10 starters. Plus, Jamie Newman is not only a Heisman candidate but a proven baller with experience carrying a roster further than it should’ve gone. So, what happens when he is on an already good roster? We predict a national championship. Georgia has been criticized for an unimaginative offense, but we believe bringing in Todd Monken as OC will help them finally piece together both sides of the ball, as LSU did last year on their undefeated championship run. Georgia doesn’t exactly have an easy schedule, and we predict them dropping 1 in the regular season to Alabama, but we think they’ll win the SEC title game and every game afterward.

3. Oklahoma

Oklahoma football: The level Spencer Rattler is searching to reach

Seems like OU is always the fourth seed, doesn’t it? We don’t predict that changing this season. Spencer Rattler has all the makings of yet another elite OU QB, and he already has some experience in Lincoln Riley’s system. The loss of Kennedy Brooks (who announced he’s opting out) certainly hurts the diversity of OU’s offense, but Jeremiah Hall can help open up the offense. Oklahoma State is the biggest threat on OU’s schedule and we predict them or Iowa State gets a win over the Sooners this season, but we ultimately expect Riley’s coaching, an elite QB in Rattler and a top of the league passing game to bring the Sooners to another College Football Playoff appearance (but yet another semifinal loss).

4. Alabama

Najee Harris - Football - University of Alabama Athletics

This will be an interesting year for Alabama. We just hit the first 2 year title drought for the Crimson Tide since 2013-2014. They’re QB situation is interesting, with Mac Jones coming back as the projected starter but high school phenom Bryce Young waiting in the wing. The Tide’s defense looks airtight, so most questions are on the offensive side of the ball, and Najee Harris and DeVonta Smith are pretty powerful answers. We think the Crimson Tide will go undefeated in the regular season but lose the SEC title game to Georgia. This sets them up for a rematch with Clemson, and a strategic Dabo will exploit their few weaknesses (likely via Etienne) to scrape past them.

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