College Football Playoff: Top 9 Programs To Not Make the CFP
9. Penn State
Wins Since 2014: 67
Best Season in CFP Era: 2016, 11-3, Big Ten champion, Rose Bowl appearance
Realistic Chance To Make College Football Playoff This Season: Medium-low
Bottom Line: For a long time Penn State was near the top of the charts of top Power Five programs that didn’t get into the College Football Playoff. It had an argument in 2016 – it beat Ohio State and won the Big Ten Championship, but the one-loss Buckeyes went to the CFP – and that’s been about it. Even so, Penn State still gets talent, and it can still beat anyone on the right day, but 2008 was the last time it got to November unbeaten.
Penn St Preview | Top 10 Players | Schedule Analysis
Wins Since 2014: 68
Best Season in CFP Era: 2019, 11-3, lost Pac-12 Championship
Realistic Chance To Make College Football Playoff This Season: Medium-high
Bottom Line: The actual best Utah season in the CFP era was 2021 with a Pac-12 championship and trip to the Rose Bowl, but the 2019 version might have made the playoff had it beaten Oregon in the conference title game.
Just talking about the program among the best of the best is special considering the journey from the Group of Five to the Pac-12 to a Pac-12 power. This year’s team has a real shot with the talent, schedule, and style to push for a one-loss season and a conference championship.
Utah Preview | Top 10 Players | Schedule Analysis
Wins Since 2014: 70
Best Season in CFP Era: 2015, 12-2, Big Ten Championship loss, Rose Bowl loss
Realistic Chance To Make College Football Playoff This Season: Medium
Bottom Line: The Hawkeyes were one failed goal line stop against Michigan State in the 2015 Big Ten Championship from going to the College Football Playoff. They’ve been strong ever since – going to the Big Ten title game last season – but haven’t been close to the CFP chase. This year’s team has the potential to win the West again, and getting to 11-1 before playing for the Big Ten title isn’t a crazy dream.
Iowa Preview | Top 10 Players | Schedule Analysis
Wins Since 2014: 71
Best Season in CFP Era: 2019, 12-2 AAC Champion, Cotton Bowl loss
Realistic Chance To Make College Football Playoff This Season: Slim
Bottom Line: If Cincinnati could do it and get into the playoff, could Memphis have a shot if everything goes right? The 2019 team would’ve had a great case had it not lost to Temple to go 13-0 with an AAC Championship, but even then it would’ve been tough. The CFP might not be reasonable this year, but shooting for a second trip to a New Year’s Six bowl in four seasons is a nice reach goal.
Memphis Preview | Top 10 Players | Schedule