Five Thoughts: 5. Does UCF Or USF Have A Shot At The CFP?

Five Thoughts: 5. Does UCF Or USF Have A Shot At The CFP?

American Athletic

Five Thoughts: 5. Does UCF Or USF Have A Shot At The CFP?

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Five Thoughts: 5. Does UCF Or USF Have A Shot At The CFP?


Could an unbeaten American Athletic Conference champion get into the College Football Playoff?



5 Thoughts After Week 8

Week 8 Roundup: Rankings, Bowl Projections, Analysis
1. Win Out, Notre Dame, And You’re In The CFP. Maybe
2. Where’s The Baker Mayfield Heisman Love?
3. What A 16-Team College Football Playoff Would Look Like
4. Really? Are LSU And Auburn Still Alive For The CFP?

Contact/Follow @PeteFiutak

Is there any chance for USF or UCF?

Is there any sort of shot for an undefeated American Athletic Conference champion to get into the College Football Playoff?

It would’ve happened last year if Houston didn’t gack against Navy, SMU and Memphis – just a slight issue trying to get in with three losses.

The Cougars ripped up eventual Big 12 champ Oklahoma to start the season and later destroyed Louisville, but they blew it. Those were two wins over big-name teams with Heisman-caliber players. Had they won out, those non-conference wins would’ve been enough.

But USF and UCF won’t have those, especially USF.

South Florida could be the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers, and it wouldn’t matter a lick because of its schedule.

The best Bull win so far has been against … ummmm … Illinois? That’s the worst team in the Big Ten, so … Tulane?

Not only has USF yet to beat a team that’ll likely go bowling, but the date with Houston might be the lone one against anyone that’ll get a 13th game until the regular season-ender against UCF.

So even if USF faces UCF in an unbeaten vs. unbeaten Group of Five Battle of the Century, and then goes on to roll in the AAC title game, whatever – the schedule isn’t good enough no matter what.

UCF has a little more on the slate to work with.

There’s a shot FIU ends up bowling, beating Maryland before it was all banged up counts, blowing away Memphis by 27 is good, and beating Navy at Navy by double-digits is impressive.

It’s not like pasting 2016 Oklahoma, or stuffing Lamar Jackson, but it’s something.

If UCF goes 11-0 – it missed out on a key showdown against Georgia Tech – that means it’ll have also beaten SMU at SMU, and would’ve taken down USF. Win the AAC Championship, and that would be five or six wins over bowl teams.

For this to be even a consideration, though, the Knights would have to continue to destroy everyone.

They’d have to be 12-0 with all wins by double-digits, USF would have to be unbeaten when the two teams play, and chaos would have to kick in.

Somehow, at least three of the Power Five champs would need to have two losses or more, UCF would have to be the lone unbeaten, and a whole slew of other breaks would have to go the right way.

But look at UCF and USF like the talented backup quarterback. It’s the No. 2 guy’s job to be amazing and put the pressure on the coaches to figure it out.

Blow everyone away, and make the CFP committee to decide from there.

Week 8 Rankings & Thoughts 
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CFN Rankings & Reaction No. 1 to 130
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Heisman Race After Week 8
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