Our Fact or Fiction segments have been doing well on our website. We have decided to continue with them right up until the SEC makes its decision at the end of July about whether or not to play games. So here we go with Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun embracing the debate. Today, it’s a special College Football Playoff edition:
There have been 11 teams to make the four-team College Football Playoff since its inception. This year, there will be a 12th, a new one that has yet to be in the playoff.
Andreu: I think Florida and Penn State are two programs that are starting to have that elite look about them and are positioning themselves to make a possible run at the playoffs. Other than that, no other teams really jump out at me. Michigan? Nah. Texas? Nah. Texas A&M? Maybe. USC? Maybe in a few years. So, it might come down to this: Florida has to find a way to beat Georgia or Penn State has to find a way to upend Ohio State for a new school to crack the playoff field. It definitely could happen, but … FICTION.
Dooley: It has been the usual suspects for the most part, especially when you consider the seven of those 11 teams have only been in the playoffs once. But this has been a crazy enough year that you would think some team will get in for the first time. The two most likely candidates are Florida and Penn State, but we could see a real outlier like Oklahoma State or Texas A&M. Another year of watching Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma? Blech. FACT.
The National Championship Game will be played Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Andreu: This all depends on when the season starts. If the SEC and other Power 5 conferences decide to hit the pause button and delay the start of the season to sometime in October, then everything’s going to get pushed back at least a month. If that happens, the chances of that game being played on schedule are slim to none. Even if the season starts on time, what if college football has to shut it down four or five games into the season? There are just too many unknowns right now, so I’ll just go ahead and stick to the schedule as it is. FACT.
Dooley: I am now of the belief that the season will get pushed back, but there will be enough open dates to allow it to end in time to have the regular playoffs. I don’t know if there will be the other bowl games, but they will do everything they can to play the title game, even if that means not having a 10-day window after the semifinals. This will be right after the NFL Wild Card weekend, but they don’t want to push it any further down the road or it will seem like an afterthought to the NFL playoffs. FACT.
The SEC has nine wins in the CFP, the most of anyone. This year, the conference will at least get it to double digits.
Andreu: The SEC always seems to have at least one dominant team in the CFP every year, but I’m not so sure how strong this year’s entry is going to be. Alabama and Georgia are going to have new starting quarterbacks, so there’s a little bit of an unknown there. LSU is rebuilding/reloading. Florida and Texas A&M are potential contenders, but are they ready to take that next step into the elite category? FICTION.
Dooley: We know there will be at least one team from the SEC in the playoffs because of the strength of the league and the history. Especially if the league goes to a plus-one with only conference games plus one strong non-conference game. Whoever wins the conference will find its way in and there could be two teams very easily. Considering how the SEC toughens up teams for the playoffs and the league averages almost two wins a season over the last five, it will see at least No. 10. FACT.