Coming into the tenth and ultimate 12 months of the 4-team School Soccer Playoff, we’ve got a 2-time defending nationwide champion in Georgia, who’s one in all solely 5 groups to win a title within the post-BCS period. It’s been an oversaturation on the prime with the identical groups enjoying in crucial video games of the 12 months. And for those who’re a kind of fortunate handful of groups to expertise a CFP recreation, congratulations. If not, it’s nauseating to see the identical matchups time and again. A breakdown of what’s taken place within the final 9 years of the CFP is downright nuts.
Solely 14 groups have made the CFP, and half of that subject has made a championship recreation. Florida State, Washington, Michigan State and Cincinnati are one and executed in CFP video games. The trio of Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Michigan are a mixed 0-8, with the Sooners proudly owning 4 losses within the playoff by themselves. Oregon within the inaugural CFP and TCU final 12 months have been nationwide runners-up of their solely respective appearances within the playoff. Joe Burrow led LSU to a championship within the Tigers’ solely look within the playoff. Ohio State is the one workforce to seem within the CFP at the very least 5 instances and solely have one title to point out for it. Then there’s the dominance of Georgia, Clemson and Alabama to spherical out the group. So which groups outdoors that group stand one of the best likelihood to make the CFP this season?
Of the groups ranked within the AP Prime 10, solely Texas, USC and Penn State have by no means made the CFP. The Longhorns are the one ones of that trio to not have a close to miss of the playoff, with Penn State clearly being the fifth-best workforce within the nation in 2016 and USC being one win away from making the playoff final 12 months earlier than dropping the Pac-12 title recreation after which the Cotton Bowl. Increasing to the AP Prime 15, three extra groups which have by no means made the CFP could be added to the checklist in Tennessee, Utah, and Kansas State. You’ll be able to get rid of the Volunteers from breaking that streak this season, after they struggled to blow out FCS-level Austin Peay at residence. The opposite 5 aforementioned non-CFPers within the Prime 15 you possibly can’t rule out. Scanning the remainder of the Prime 25, and I don’t see a authentic contender. So we’re down to 5.
Kansas State surviving a harder matchup than most would count on on the highway in opposition to Missouri on Saturday could be an amazing begin to the Wildcats making a New 12 months’s Six bowl for a second straight season. It wouldn’t shock me in any respect to see Texas vs. Kansas State face within the Huge 12 championship recreation later this season with CFP implications on the road. I lean towards the Longhorns in that matchup as a result of I’d be silly to guess in opposition to Quinn Ewers. Texas additionally has pretty much as good of a non-conference win as anybody in school soccer, profitable on the highway in opposition to Alabama final weekend. My best choice for anybody to buck the pattern is the Longhorns, with the added context that the Huge 12 will probably be simpler to maneuver by way of than the Pac-12 or Huge Ten.
I’ll give Utah the worst odds among the many 5 that I consider could make their first CFP this season. The Pac-12 is simply too rattling robust and with how the Utes have appeared the primary two weeks, struggling just a few losses alongside the best way appears seemingly. If Texas doesn’t make it, I’ll give one of the best odds to Penn State. There will probably be an even bigger goal on USC this season, with Caleb Williams nonetheless on the core of that workforce. Someway, it feels just like the Nittany Lions may be underrated in Huge Ten circles with Ohio State and Michigan dominating these conversations.
Need an out-of-this-world loopy prediction for one more workforce? Wyoming. The Cowboys have already knocked off Texas Tech this season and a spot is open for a Group of 5 contender with Tulane dropping to Ole Miss. Who does Wyoming play this weekend? Texas. A win over the closely favored Longhorns and the Cowboys will probably be on the CFP radar the remainder of the season so long as they keep undefeated.