The College Football Playoff committee is expected to choose between two one-loss teams, Alabama and Texas, for the final spot in the semifinals. Television broadcasters spent Saturday talking about a controversy between the two teams.
The Longhorns defeated the Crimson Tide earlier this season at Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide won the SEC Championship Saturday by defeating the previously unbeaten and defending back-to-back national champion Georgia.
Texas, Alabama shouldn’t get in over an undefeated team
But there shouldn’t be a controversy between the Crimson Tide and Longhorns. There are four undefeated teams in NCAA Division I football: Michigan, Washington, Florida State, and Liberty. All four of those teams deserve a chance to win the championship on the back of a perfect season.
The CFP was ostensibly created to replace the BCS system for seasons like this one, where more than two undefeated programs can have the right to play for the title.
Fans were sold that Cinderella teams, like Brian Kelly’s undefeated 2009 Cincinnati, would be able to compete in the four-team playoff. The 2010 TCU and 2009 Boise State teams were other examples used to argue for the necessity of the playoff.
Since the playoff was founded, the committee has routinely denied teams outside the Power 5. UCF went undefeated in 2017 but didn’t make the playoffs. (UCF went undefeated during the regular season again in 2018, and the committee denied them a spot in the playoff.)
Now Liberty will be the next undefeated Group of 5 team shunned from the playoff. They went 13-0 this season and won the Conference USA championship this weekend. They should have a chance to join the other three undefeated teams in the playoffs.
If Liberty has no chance to compete for a national championship in Division I, why are they allowed in the division? College football is the only sport where a team can win every game on their schedule and not have a chance to win a championship.
The playoffs are expanding to 12 teams next season, but that doesn’t mean the committee will include schools like Liberty. Liberty was ranked 24th heading into Championship Weekend.
Liberty likely wouldn’t win in the four-team playoff this year. But that’s not the point of the playoff. It’s to have a fair system to determine a true champion. And Liberty won’t get that chance.
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