Do Early Season Losses Prevent a Team From Making the Playoff?


Sean Powers ’15
Now that the first week of college football is over for the majority of the teams, we can now officially say it is once again football season. This year, the football season began with a fast start and a lot of close games and exciting finishes.
With this year being the inaugural season of the college football playoff, there are a lot of questions about this new system. In case you did not know the college football playoff will consist of the top 4 teams in college football at the end of the regular season. The top four teams are not determined by a ranking system which has been used by the BCS in the previous championship season. Instead, a committee consisting of 13 members will decide the top 4 teams, which is similar to the system used for determining the basketball tournament bracket.
Many people see this is a huge step forward in college football but a big question that comes up after week 1 is how do early season losses affect the chances of a team from making the playoff? Are teams like #9 South Carolina or #14 Wisconsin already eliminated from playoff contention with one loss or can they overcome that loss to make the playoff? My outlook is that these teams will still have a very realistic shot at making the playoff. The selection committee will be picking teams not solely based off of wins and losses (although it will have a significant impact). I believe that the 4 best all-around teams at the end of the regular season will be selected to play in the playoff.
USC vs. TExas AM
This will lead to some debate though because who is to say that a one loss Wisconsin team is worse than an undefeated team from a non Power 5 Conference. A loss can have a big impact on a team’s chances from making the playoff but I do not believe it will be the only reason a team may be left out of the playoff. So don’t worry Badger or Gamecock fans there is still hope!