2020 CFP: New Year, Same Teams

As this ramshackle excuse of a college football season rambles on, we now have the majority of teams and conferences across the country participating in some degree of football-like activity. While some schools have played a full season to this point, the top 25 rankings are chock full of teams slotted to high rankings based on as little as one game.

The Oregon Ducks and Wisconsin Badgers find themselves in the top 15 based on highly impressive 1-0 records, while Ohio State has shockingly managed to dominate their joke of schedule to the tune of a 3-0 record and a No. 3 national ranking. The Buckeyes will not be losing in 2020, and will more than likely ride a 7-0 record against a garbage schedule to a ceremonial position in the College Football Playoff.

If you're Maryland, Indiana (cute, but going to lose), Michigan State, or the artist formerly known as Michigan that has become the most consistently overrated program in college football, please prove me wrong. I strongly doubt you will.

We've already witnessed the game of the year, as Notre Dame bested the latest juggernaut program in college football, Clemson, in a 2OT thriller. An ideal situation for the NCAA powers that be, who crave nothing more than a Notre Dame national championship run.

Oh yea, and then there's Alabama, No. 1 for the 78th year in a row (or something like that). The Tide will more than likely waltz their way to an undefeated regular season, with their remaining contests against Kentucky, Auburn, Arkansas, and a delayed date with a down LSU. We can play pretend that an SEC East team can take down the Tide in the SEC championship game, but Alabama's 6-0 record since 2009 in SEC title games tells a different tale.

I suppose I didn't even consider the Big 10 title game as it pertains to OSU. Why would I? Wisconsin can hardly get their cotton swabs in order, much less take down one of college football's most untouchable blue bloods.

The only new scenario adding any intrigue to this year's playoff race at all is the holy Golden Domers deciding they would grace the rest of the nation by participating in a conference this season, for no other reason than it would benefit them. So the ACC contender Fighting Irish was born.

They've now defeated Clemson, and their inevitable ACC championship match up with the Tigers is really the only intrigue left in this stunted season. Should Notre Dame once again defeat Clemson, the door could open for a non-cash cow program to sneak into the CFP. Should Clemson redeem their October loss, it's likely both schools will make the playoff and the semifinals will be typically boring. Same programs, year after year. Maybe swap out an Oklahoma or LSU here and there, but it's the same teams.

On that gloomy note, let's discuss the teams that might have any outside chance of crashing the elitist party. The conversation has to start with the BYU Cougars, the OG's of powerhouse outsiders. It's difficult to make a "non-conference schedule" argument for BYU, mostly because they belong to no conference, but if we're really getting down to it, play in the MWC and AAC.

The Cougars have smacked everyone they've played this season, but it's difficult to assign them a "signature win." They dominated Boise State, who are no where near the Group of 5 power they were years ago. Aside from the Broncos, BYU has hardly faced any type of real national test. So while they may get points for playing an actual full season, their likely 10-0 finish still won't be enough to play in January.

While BYU is independent, the University of Cincinnati is tearing through the AAC. It may be of some minor benefit that the Bearcats are a member of the conference typically considered the strongest of the non-Power 5 leagues, but dominant wins over SMU, Memphis, and Houston don't have the same impact without any major non-conference victories, withheld from the Cincinnati Bearcats of the world this season.

Hence my major gripe and disillusion with the 2020 season. The already heavily favored Big 10, SEC, and ACC conference champions essentially have automatic tickets to the CFP, while the Pac-12 (even with the same amount of games as the Big 10) has virtually zero chance of having a top four ranked teamed, even if Oregon goes undefeated.

In a year like this, the massive bias in the college football landscape shines even brighter. The teams that can salvage the budget will be brought to the forefront, while everyone else is left to flounder. The BYUs and Cincys of the world can go 10-0 with a 20-point avg margin of victory and not even sniff the CFP.

Such is the way of things. More of the same, coming this January.

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