Posted on November 18, 2019, by Travis Pulver

So far, it is safe to say that the College Football Playoffs system works. It has not been without controversy, of course. But overall, it has done an excellent job of recognizing the four best teams in college football. Much like the BCS and every system before it, the CFP is imperfect.

But it seems to be working— as long as no one crashes the party.

The system is biased in favor of college football’s blue bloods (i.e., Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Oklahoma, etc.). But every year, there is at least one time that threatens to crash the party; a team without the pedigree of a blue blood that dominates it’s competition well enough that the Committee can’t ignore it.

UCF, Western Michigan, Houston—all threatened to make life difficult for the Committee at some point during the last few seasons. This season, up until last weekend, it looked like Baylor and Minnesota were going to make things difficult for the Committee.

Fate Of The Potential Party Crashers

Both were undefeated and playing really good football. But both entered the weekend as underdogs, though. While each had an opportunity to win their respective games, a slow start doomed Minnesota, and a slower finish doomed Baylor.

The Golden Gophers fell behind early, 20-3. While they were able to wake up and mount a valiant comeback attempt, in the end, they fell short, 23-19. As for Baylor, the Bears got out to a quick 28-3 lead in the first half. But as Oklahoma began to find its offense, Baylor lost it’s as the Sooners mounted a 25-point comeback to win, 34-31.

Minnesota, at No. 8 in the CFP rankings, would have had a solid case to move up in the rankings with a win over a ranked Iowa team. But with the loss, they will likely drop out of the top ten. This late in the season that also means dropping out of the playoff race.

Maybe, with a win over Wisconsin and against Ohio State in the Big Ten title game, they would have a shot. But they would need a lot of other guys to lose—and they aren’t going to beat Ohio State.

Baylor wasn’t viewed as much of a contender due to their schedule. But a win over Oklahoma would have put them in the conversation. Maybe with a second win over the Sooners in the Big 12 title game, they would be worthy—but we will never know now.

So—Is The College Football Playoffs Party Set?

Three of the four spots in the college football playoffs are as good as decided already. It looks like LSU, Ohio State, and Clemson are destined to make the playoffs this year, barring something unforeseen. Georgia, the current No. 4, is the one wild card.

With a loss to Texas A&M this week, they would undoubtedly fall out of the picture. But then a loss to LSU in the SEC title game will likely kill their playoff shot as well—and open the door for Alabama to come back in.

Whoever wins the Pac-12, either Utah or Oregon could have a case. Oklahoma may have a small argument as well if it runs the table in the Big 12. Penn State will have to beat Ohio State to have a shot, but that does not seem likely.

So—is the party set? No, but the pool of potential invitees is getting pretty small.  

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