The playoff rankings are out, and the powers that be sent a very clear message.
The Good: Western Michigan is most likely going to the Cotton Bowl if they win out.
The Bad: Only 2 Group of 5 teams were ranked.
The Ugly: No matter what happens, WMU cannot make the playoffs.
Regardless of all the great match-ups and potential upsets, there is no way the Broncos can climb to the top from number 23. As an almost after-thought, The Committee put Boise State at 24. That was a bone to the G5, so us plebeians can know who gets the automatic bid for the Cotton Bowl, should the Broncos stumble. These “experts” might not be aware that you need to win your conference to get the automatic bid to the Token Bowl, and that Wyoming controls their own destiny. More likely, they just don’t care.
The problem for The Committee is that this is unadulterated prejudice. This is based on games that were played 20, 30 years ago, or more. Let’s look at some of the contenders of the “Power” conferences THIS SEASON. This is also a list of teams you should be rooting for.
Kentucky: The least likely potential champion, Kentucky is sitting at 4-2 in the SEC. For them to win the SEC East is highly unlikely, because they are already lost to division leader Florida, 45-7.
They have Georgia and Tennessee left. If they can manage to win the East with help, they get a rematch against an Alabama squad they lost to by 28. Why are we rooting for them? They lost to a G5, Southern Miss.
Northwestern: These 'Cats have lost to your beloved Broncos. They also have two losses in the Big 10. Wisconsin is up next. If, and it’s a giant IF, they win out, they could win the West. They would need help.
A win would reward them with a match against either Ohio State or Michigan. Possibly Penn State. While a Big 10 championship is highly unlikely, any Northwestern win helps the Broncos cause.
Oklahoma State: Win out, and they win the Big 12. It’s that simple for the Cowboys. This is a team you really want to win out and win their conference. Their G5 loss was to Central Michigan, a team Western Michigan hammered. Would the committee put in OSU over WMU if they both won out and it was between just those two teams?
Absolutely, without question. Don’t kid yourselves, because OSU is sitting 5 spots ahead of WMU, and have #14 Oklahoma left on the schedule.
(Oklahoma winning the Big 12 wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, however. They also lost to a G5 school, Houston.)
Washington State: This is another team you should go out and purchase a jersey for. They are undefeated in PAC-12 play. They are also in a position to win out, and be in the playoff picture. It’s simple for them, win out and take the PAC-12 crown, and a possible playoff spot. The greatest glory of a Cougars’ victory? They lost to two non-power 5 schools.
That’s four of the Power Five conferences that could potentially have a champion with a G5 loss. A couple that are highly unlikely. A couple that are very much on the table.
The last Power 5 conference, the ACC, still has the potential for a champion with a G5 loss. It would need Clemson to drop 2 games, and Houston to then knock off a Louisville squad that won the rest of their games. That’s a lot of ifs. You can waste your time rooting for this, I am not going to bother.
You also want to root for your G5 brethren.
It would be nice if The Committee had to explain why they included an Oklahoma squad in a New Years 6 bowl game instead of a Houston team with the same record, and a head-to-head win.
"Why are the Wazzu Cougars in the big bowl game over a Boise State team that beat them and has a better record?" is certainly a question I'd love to see The Committee try to answer.
There is a lot of talk in the non-sports media right now about privilege, prejudice, and oppression.
I know it’s “just” college football, but college football is a microcosm of the real world. “All men are created equal”. That is a principle this great nation is built on. It’s not happening in the real world, and it’s not happening in college football.
This isn’t just about WMU, this is about the kid that’s 10, playing pee-wee football for the first time. Maybe he doesn’t go to the big high school and doesn’t get noticed by a Power 5 school. Maybe he is a late bloomer.
Let’s say this poor kid gets “stuck” at a G5. If he, and 100 like-minded individuals decide they want to be better than that, and win all their games, while kids of privilege are losing to kids just like him, shouldn’t he get a shot at the trophy? Just a shot, that’s all I am asking.
That’s why we as Group of Five brethren need to make it as uncomfortable for The Committee each and every year. Let these kids settle it on the field.
Isn’t that what the idea behind the playoffs was all about, and not just extra games and revenue?
There are four spots, and I am only asking for one. And not even every year. But the greedy administrators of those Power 5 Conferences don’t want that to happen, because that would cut into their paycheck.
That, friends, is what “amateur” football in America is today. That's why I choose to root for a g5, even if they can’t “win it all”.
A moral victory is better than a victory without morals.