21 For 2021 College Football Topics, No. 20: Best Programs To Not Make The College Football Playoff

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

21 For 2021 College Football Topics, No. 20: Best Programs To Not Make The College Football Playoff

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21 For 2021 College Football Topics, No. 20: Best Programs To Not Make The College Football Playoff

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21 for 2021 College Football Topics, No. 20: The five winningest programs who haven’t made the College Football Playoff.


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21 for 2021 College Football Topics 
21: 21 Thoughts, Wishes, Hopes

Off the top of your head, how many teams have made the College Football Playoff?

There have only been seven of these things, and with four teams getting into each one, that means just 28 spots have been available.

However, only 11 teams were able to get past the bouncer, and only four schools – Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and LSU – have won it.

Florida State, Georgia, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington – that’s it. Those are the only seven schools outside of the four who won it to get in.

That means only 8% of the teams playing college football have been able to play for the national championship only the last seven years.

As the equivalent, imagine if only 28 college basketball programs played in the NCAA Tournament over the last seven years. (Actually, that’s how it should be, but that’s for another day.)

While expansion is an obvious necessity – it’s about getting the opportunity – the exclusivity makes the College Football Playoff the least-gimmicky post-season in all of sports.

Say what you will, but there’s no fluke factor. You can’t luck your way into a College Football Playoff national title, and that makes it so strong – there were a whole lot of great teams that weren’t able to get in.

Which programs have won the most games and had the most success in the seven-year College Football Playoff era without playing in the tournament?

NEXT: The Group of Five stars

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