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How Difficult is it to make the College Football Playoff?

Post season college football has finally arrived and the college football playoff final selection show is less than a week away. Heading into conference championship week there is a multitude of teams with a shot at making the playoff, but just how difficult is it to be one of the final four teams?

The college football playoff system first began dating back to the 2014-15 season, changing from the original BCS format in which only two teams were selected to compete for a national title based on a variety of things. With there being four spots in the playoff one might think that it would mean a greater opportunity for more teams to become one of the final four, however, history would not agree with that statement. 

The college football playoff has been around for seven years now and despite that, there have only been four teams to win a national title since 2014. Alabama has three, Clemson has two, and both Ohio State and LSU have both been crowned champions once since the playoff began. Along with that, Alabama and Clemson have both ruled a spot in the final game as they have matched up against one another three different times and on top of that the Crimson tide has played in five of the seven national title games and Clemson has played in four of them. That is quite the example of what it means to become an expert in your craft. 

The college football rankings officially begin during the first week of November, a little over halfway through the season. This provides a talking point during the season and gives fans an outlook of who is looking like they will make the playoff as it currently sits. This also means that teams may at one point be ranked in the top four, but inevitably do not make the final cut. There have been ten different teams to have been ranked inside the top four at one point in the season but ended up not making the playoff when it was all said and done. In other words, don't count your chickens before they hatch. 

Along with that stat, there have only been eleven different teams in the past seven years to make the playoff, and five of those teams have made more than one appearance, and four teams have not made it back in four straight years. During the 2017-19 stretch, both Clemson and Alabama made the playoff all three of those seasons, and Oklahoma made it two of the years as well which means on two different occasions college football saw the same three faces in the final four. 

With all of that being said, there is a strong possibility that three new faces make the college football playoff this year with those teams being Michigan, Oklahoma State, and Cincinnati with Georgia more than likely being the lone team to make a repeat appearance. Therefore, it should be noted just how difficult it is to not only win a national championship but just to be one of the final four teams remaining. 

Due to the number of repeated national champions and repeated playoff appearances by teams, it is one of the many reasons why an expansion is to come in the near future. For the time though, landing a final four playoff spot is no easy feat to accomplish, especially when dynasties like Clemson and Alabama exist. 

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Even just one blemish on a team's record could mean the end of playoff hope, and in some cases even going undefeated isn't enough to land you a spot in the final four, just ask 2020 Cincinnati. So in conclusion, if your team makes the final cut, it is more than appropriate to celebrate that accomplishment as not many teams have been able to do the same and there is a good chance it may not happen again in the next couple of years to follow. 

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