by Johnny Texeira | After weeks of anticipation from College Football fans around the country, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee finally released their initial rankings for the 2020 season. To put it softly, they turned some heads. While most of the Top 25 were ranked logically, fans were utterly confused and astounded at the ranking of one team: the BYU Cougars.
At 9-0, BYU ranked at No. 14 in this week’s CFP Top 25 compared to their No. 8 spot in the AP Top 25 rankings. BYU ranks behind three two-loss teams in Georgia (9), Oklahoma (11), and Iowa State (13), all big-name programs in Power Five conferences. This proves that the College Football Playoff is a member only event exclusive to Power Five schools. Nobody was expecting BYU to be ranked in the top four, or even in the top six. It is plain disrespectful though to put an undefeated, 9-0 team at No. 14. It shows just how unobtainable a playoff spot is for a non Power Five team.
Following the reveal of the rankings, the selection committee cited BYU’s strength of schedule as a reason for their low ranking, which I simply do not understand. Strength of schedule should not be everything, and this explanation proves that the committee has watched little to no BYU football this season. The Cougars are absolutely obliterating their opponents. They boast a +303 point differential on the season with an average of 31.4 a game. That is the highest in the country. I would agree with the committee if BYU was 9-0 by way of barely winning week in and week out, but that is simply not the case. A simple eye test will prove that this team is far and away better than their competition and they should not be punished for their schedule, especially in a season marred by a global pandemic.
Their ability to even put together a cohesive schedule that included two top-tier Group of Five teams in Houston and Boise State and come out undefeated nine weeks into their season is far more impressive than anything Georgia, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Northwestern, or Indiana have accomplished this year.
The Cougars are playing a perfect season as they are a top-ranked offense in almost every category. They are being led by Heisman candidate quarterback Zach Wilson. I am what more could they do to prove that they deserve a shot? Despite their ranking, the Cougars should not let this affect them in any way. There are still games to be played. With a potential NY6 Bowl Game on the horizon and a Heisman candidate in Zach Wilson, now is not the time to be discouraged. BYU has played a phenomenal season thus far and has certainly proved themselves as being legitimate threats outside of the Power Five Conferences.
As college football fans contine to see the blatant disregard for Group of Five schools year after year, I think a serious discussion needs to take place. The conversation should be regarding the future of the College Football Playoff and the role that Group of Five teams should have in terms of a college football postseason. Even though the committee has yet to appreciate the talent that exudes from Group of Five teams, I hope that exceptional teams like BYU and Cincinnati are able to start a conversation regarding the current state of the College Football Playoff.
BYU’s next game comes against San Diego State University on December 12th. Expect the Cougars CFP ranking to steadily drop until they are able to play again. Hopefully we can see BYU schedule a game in between now and when the Aztecs travel to Provo. If not, we are in for a long wait with no BYU football for two weekends.
Featured image courtesy Daily Herald