Notre Dame has gotten plenty of love in the college football playoff discussion. The fact that they've played so many ranked teams last season garners them such love into next season (aside from the fact that they have a good team this year). However, the Fighting Irish have been cutting it close in every game this season, hurting their chances. Notre Dame doesn't play in a conference, either, which will hurt their chances further.
There is another independent that deserves some talk in the playoff conversation: BYU. Fresh off a monumental upset in Madison against #6 Wisconsin, Kilani Sitake's squad already has their marquee win. In two weeks, they can obtain another marquee road win against a Washington squad that hasn't been firing on all cylinders offensively. Imagine that: Having not one, but two big road wins against teams that were/are in the Top Ten.
The Cougars do have one loss: a 21-18 defeat at the hands of California. As long as California doesn't head south in a hurry, the Cougars shouldn't have their resume hurt too much by the defeat. However, this does leave BYU with little room for error the rest of the way. Also consider that the Pac-12 and the Big Ten are once again in danger of missing the playoff this year. This leaves an opening for the fourth and final playoff spot. As for the Huskies game in two weeks, that Washington game could make or break them. If they lose, their playoff hopes are done. That's not the only problem BYU faces in their quest for a playoff berth.
Like Notre Dame, BYU doesn't play in a conference. Therefore, they aren't able to partake in a conference championship, which is something the committee takes into serious consideration (that's what they've said). Between a one-loss SEC school who made the SEC Championship and a one-loss BYU squad who doesn't have that luxury, who would get in? It would probably be the SEC school. BYU's schedule could also be an issue, as Washington is the only team currently ranked that they'll face. Games against Utah, Hawaii, and Boise State should help them should they win those games. However, it may not be enough to get them considered over that one-loss SEC team.
Still, road wins over Wisconsin and Washington would put the Cougars on the map and rightfully so. BYU would have something that not many schools can claim on their playoff resumes. I'm here to campaign for BYU to be considered for a playoff spot until they fall out of the picture.
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