19 for ’19 Offseason Topics, No. 19: The five winningest programs who haven’t made the College Football Playoff.
We’re five years into the whole College Football Playoff experience, and so far it’s been a blast – even if it has been a bit heavy on Alabama and Clemson.
Just ten teams have made it to the show so far – Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Oregon, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Washington, Michigan State, Georgia and Notre Dame – and a whole lot more have come achingly close.
Which programs have won the most games and had the most success in the College Football Playoff era without getting in?
LSU just misses out on this list with 44 wins over the last five seasons.
Auburn came an SEC Championship win away from going in the 2017 season, but it has 41 wins over the span, and a four-win 2017 season killed Florida’s chances to get on this list with 40 wins overall.
Oklahoma State was surprisingly close with 44 victories, and USC would’ve been a lock, but the clunker of a five-win 2018 ended the five-year run with 43 wins.
Michigan? 43 wins.
As a warning, there’s a bit of a left turn being taken here when it comes to the top winningest programs over the last five years to not get into the CFP.
You’ll see when you get there. First, the top bridesmaid programs are …
5. Penn State Nittany Lions
James Franklin is doing a better job than you think he is.
Penn State was still trying to get out from under the all-timer of a scandal when he took over, and his team wasn’t even permitted to go bowling early on in his tenure thanks to the NCAA sanctions.
Now he has won 31 games over the last three seasons, won a Big Ten title, got to a Rose Bowl and a Fiesta Bowl, and probably should’ve been in the College Football Playoff after the 2017 season. Had that team not lost to Pitt early on in a wild 42-39 shootout loss, as things turned out, it would’ve been in.
The Nittany Lions, though, won just seven games in both 2014 and 2015, setting the winning count for the program over the last five seasons at 44.
How good has Penn State been? Over the last four years, it has lost 15 games. Last year’s 21-17 loss to Michigan State was the only one that didn’t come against a team that finished with ten wins.