CFP director Bill Hancock made a proclamation recently that the UCF Knights could make the College Football Playoff this season. Last season, UCF went undefeated last season, even going as far as beating SEC powerhouse Auburn as a part of their current 16-game winning streak, the longest in the nation. In fact, UCF ranked No. 1 in the Colley Matrix rankings, which was a part of the formula used to rank teams in the now-defunct Bowl Championship Series.
The problem for Central Florida is that they don't play any ranked teams (at least so far). The only teams that have the potential to be ranked are Cincinnati and South Florida. UCF will get the benefit of winning their conference championship if they run the table. However, having that victory over one ranked opponent will give an immense boost to their case.
Could UCF make it in this year's College Football Playoff? Certainly. Having a conference championship and an undefeated record will help UCF's case quite a bit, especially if teams like Oklahoma and Georgia fall out of favor. However, these teams are also heavily weighted in the rankings, giving them an advantage over the Knights. Therefore, what should happen is that the College Football Playoff should expand.
The set-up would be the champion from each Power Five conference, the highest-ranked Group of Five team, and two at-large bids. The seedings would be based on the final rankings and the games would be contested at all six sites of the current College Football Semifinal rotation. Yes, there would be one or more games played in a barbaric sport. However, this would give teams like UCF and Boise State a chance to showcase how talented they really are.
Another benefit would be that conferences such as the Pac-12 and the Big 12 would get proper representation. Both conferences were left out of the playoffs twice and didn't get the representation in the playoff that they needed. If eight teams were in the playoff, every Power Five conference would have a representative. Another benefit would be more money for the sponsors of the bowl games. The NCAA would generate more money from having more playoff games (not to mention more quality advertising), while businesses such as Northwestern Mutual and Capital One would generate more revenue just for putting their name out there.
An eight-team playoff is the solution to all the madness about a Group of Five school making the College Football Playoff. Thank goodness Central Florida is this good, too. Their stellar play is bringing about a discussion to further expand the game for the betterment of college football.
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