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A 12-team College Football Playoff in the BCS/CFP eras: Who would have made it?

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expanded 12-team college football playoffs The number of teams that can actually win may still be limited.

How can teams expect to compete for spots? Using the BCS and CFP rankings of the last 24 seasons as a guide for filling out fields dating back to 1998, the 12-team structure is at the start of the BCS era. Let’s say it was implemented.

Points in the new system: The top 6 conference champions will automatically receive bids, and the 4 highest ranked champions will receive 1st round byes. The selection committee rankings differ from his BCS, but he uses the BCS standings as a guide from 1998 to his 2013 before moving on to playoff rankings. For shared conference championships, whoever ranks highest in the BCS/CFP ranking will automatically reject the bid.

In June 2021, after the initial 12 team plan surfaced, athletic‘s Max Olson analyzed the 12-team playoff decade and how those races formed. Here we delve into the number of schools that have won bids over the last 24 years and other points.

66 schools made at least one playoff appearance

team app. Year

18

1998, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

16

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

13

1999, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021

12

1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2018, 2019, 2020

11

2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

11

2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019

Ten

1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Ten

2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019

9

2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2020, 2021

9

2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2016, 2017

8

2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014

8

1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2014

8

2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015

8

1998, 1999, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2019

7

2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

7

1999, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2016, 2018, 2021

7

1999, 2005, 2008, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

7

2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009

6

2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2013, 2017

6

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2017

6

1999, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2021

6

2001, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015

6

1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009

Four

2013, 2014, 2019, 2021

Four

2008, 2009, 2020, 2021

Four

2002, 2004, 2009, 2015

Four

1998, 1999, 2000, 2001

Four

1998, 1999, 2001, 2003

Four

2004, 2008, 2019, 2021

Four

2000, 2016, 2017, 2018

3

2006, 2010, 2011

3

2007, 2010, 2013

3

1998, 2012, 2020

3

2013, 2017, 2018

2

1998, 2014

2

2001, 2016

2

2004, 2006

2

2011, 2021

2

2014, 2021

2

2011, 2013

2

2005, 2007

1

2007

1

2004

1

2020

1

2009

1

2007

1

2015

1

2001

1

2020

1

2020

1

2007

1

1999

1

2001

1

2019

1

2003

1

2014

1

2015

1

year 2012

1

the year of 2000

1

2021

1

2008

1

1998

1

1998

1

1998

1

2002

1

2016

Thirteen schools have qualified for eight seasons in the four-team College Football Playoffs. With a 12-team system dating back 24 years to 1998, 66 of his FBS schools have won at least one of his bids.

The most frequent modifiers are predictable. Ohio, Oklahoma When Alabama The most consistently successful team in the entire AP polling era, Alabama is also the most consistently successful in the BCS/CFP era thanks to Nick Saban’s arrival in Tuscaloosa.

The Buckeyes made the 12-team playoffs in 18 of 24 seasons, falling short from 1999 to 2001 and again in 2011 (Luke Fickel’s interim season between Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer) and 2012. was undefeated under Meyer. was ineligible.

Alabama has made 12 teams in 12 of Nick Saban’s 15 seasons, excluding debuts in 2007 and 2010 and 2019.

12 current Group 5 teams to make at least one appearance, Boise State 8 out of 24 seasons. others: Cincinnati, UCF, coastal carolina,Hawaii, houston, Marshall, memphisMiami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Tulane When western michiganOnly the Big 12-bound UCF and Cincinnati (two of which were due to come to the Big East) make multiple appearances to attend Boise State, Utah, TCU When Louisville I would have won the bid before I joined the Power Council.


UCF would have won three bids for the 12-team playoffs. (Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today)

11 current Power 5 schools failed to win bids

team Nearest call (year, rank)

2007 14th

2013 24th

2018 14th

1999 13th

18th, 2021

2015 13th

2003 14th

2006 16th

1998 15th

none

2006 14th

Of the 66 teams that could have won at least one bid, 54 are now in Power 5. None of the 11 teams above stood in a position to earn a spot in the expanded 12-team bracket, but most came close. Only Vanderbilt has never made it into his final BCS/CFP ranking.Led by James Franklin Commodores Two AP polls in 2012 and 2013 were completed, but those rankings were after the bowl game.

The closest teams were the two ranked 13th in the Big Ten. Minnesota 1999 and Northwest 2015. wildcat 7 appearances in the final BCS/CFP rankings and 0 playoff bids for 12 teams. boston college Minnesota and Minnesota have the second most appearances among these teams, each of the four teams.

13 out of the top 12 teams won bids

The automatic bids given to the top 6 conference champions may fall to teams other than the top 12, but most teams are at least roughly within range. The lowest-ranked team that would have received a bid was Boise State University in 2014, where he finished 20th in the CFP rankings. With Big East evolving into his AAC, it was the first year of the Power 5/Group of 5 split. The Broncos earned a bid to the Fiesta Bowl and were in his highest-ranked group of five champions.

Two years ago, Boise State University would have received the bid even though it was ranked 19th on the BCS.of The 2012 season featured a lot of weirdness12-0 Ohio State were ineligible for the postseason, so the Big Ten won 8-5. Wisconsin And the meeting would have been left behind. 1st place would have also ruled him out of Big East, who tied for 4th. In addition to Boise in Mountain West, NIU should have gotten a bid from MAC.

6 teams from outside the top 6 seeds may receive byes

Two of these teams had double-digit rankings, including the 2012 ACC champions. FloridaRanked 12th in the BCS, the Seminoles would have jumped to the 4th seed. Notre Dame, if ranked #1 in the BCS, would have been the 5th seed due to no conference championship. Wisconsin should have been the No. 4 seed a year ago, even though he was ranked No. 10.

2001 8th place Illinois You hooked the last goodbye LSU upset Tennessee in the SEC title game.

32 schools would have received at least one bye

team good bye Year

9

1999, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021

9

1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

9

2000, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

7

1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014

6

2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

6

2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008

Four

2003, 2007, 2011, 2019

Four

2001, 2010, 2011, 2014

3

2004, 2010, 2013

3

2002, 2005, 2017

3

2000, 2001, 2002

2

2009, 2021

2

2006, 2008

2

2003, 2021

2

2013, 2015

2

2005, 2016

2

2012, 2013

2

2009, 2010

2

2005, 2009

2

2004, 2008

2

1999, 2007

2

2000, 2016

2

2010, 2011

1

2021

1

2001

1

2001

1

year 2012

1

2006

1

1999

1

2011

1

1998

1

1998

Again, it’s no surprise that Alabama, Ohio, and Oklahoma are ahead of the rest. Overall, 32 teams will receive at least one bye for him, including AAC’s Cincinnati in 2021, Mountain West’s TCU in 2009 and 2010, and Mountain West’s Utah in 2004 and 2008. No. 6 seed in 2009;

3 of the past 11 national champions would not have earned a bye because they didn’t win their conference: 2021 Georgia2017 Alabama, 2011 Alabama.


All but three of Nick Saban’s Alabama teams would have made the 12-team playoffs. (Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today)

SEC is one step ahead of everyone else

meeting bid

SEC

68

big ten

52

big 12

50

Pac-10/12

39

ACC

29

big east

11

mountain west

Ten

Independent

8

WAC

7

American

7

Mac

Four

Conference USA

2

sun belt

1

Based on conference affiliation at the time of the rankings, the SEC received 68 bids over 24 seasons, winning 5 bids in 2012 and expanding to 14 teams that year. The 1999 Big Ten, 2001 Big 12, 2006 SEC, 2011 SEC, 2013 SEC, 2016 Big Ten, 2018 SEC and 2020 SEC each had four bids. It is done. Both the SEC and the Big Ten have expanded to 14 teams, so there’s an asterisk here. Winning bids will be easy as we expand to 16 teams over the next few years.

The structure of FBS has also changed in the last 24 years. During his 16 years in the BCS, the Big East considered him one of six power conferences, so there was no guarantee that someone outside the power conferences could bid every year. Going forward, Group of 5 will be guaranteed at least one slot.

Top 2 BCS teams did not earn byes

Year team CFP/BCS

2003

1

year 2012

1

2001

2

2011

2

Neither Notre Dame in 2012 nor Alabama in 2011 failed to win the conference championship and would have been forced to play in the first round. As long as Notre Dame chooses independence, it will be the same.

Other oddities were in the controversial BCS seasons of 2001 and 2003. 2001, Nebraska beaten 62-36 in Colorado on Black Friday Didn’t beat the Big 12 North, only dropped to 4th after the loss, didn’t play and went back to 2nd, beaten 10-2 colorado and 10-1 Oregon BCS Title Game slot against Miami. Under the current system, Colorado, Oregon and Illinois would join Kanes on a bye, while No. 2 Nebraska would host Round 1 as the No. 5 seed. . This is based on BCS rankings only. The selection committee was probably not as kind to Husker as BCS Computers (Nebraska, where he ranked 4th in his AP poll).

In 2003 Oklahoma lost 35-7. Kansas Entered the Big 12 Championship, but remained number one in the BCS, outperforming other teams with one loss. LSUs When USCLSU beat Oklahoma to win the BCS title, but AP voters rebelled and tabbed USC as champions. In this 12-team system, Oklahoma would have been penalized for losing to Kansas State by sliding down to the fifth seed and hosting the first round game.

4 One of the losing teams had a bid

It was Florida State in 2002, who finished the regular season with a 9-4 record, but won the ACC and would have taken the last spot on the field. The other 28 teams would have made a 12-team field with 3 losses.

Four teams—1999 Marshalls, 2016 West Michigan, 2017 UCF, and 2020 Coastal Carolina—became the 12th and final team to qualify, but all undefeated teams qualified.

Find all 12 team playoff fields for each season since 1998 here.

(Top photo of Nebraska and Colorado in 2001: Brian Bahr / Getty Images)

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