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Paul Finebaum Has Already Eliminated 1 Conference From Playoff Contention

An extreme closeup of ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum from the Cotton Bowl in Texas in 2019.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: TV/radio personality Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network speaks on air before the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The 2019 college football season is only three weeks old, but that's enough time for ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum to eliminate one conference from playoff contention.

The ESPN college football guru thinks one major conference is already on the outside looking in when it comes to the College Football Playoff.

Finebaum says it will stay that way, too.

The ESPN analyst was asked earlier in the year if the Pac-12 had a shot at the playoff.

“I could pontificate, but I’m going to answer your question very succinctly — no,” Finebaum said. “Pac-12, get out of my hair, man. Every year they tease us and every year they blow the opening game. Last year it was Washington in a close one against Auburn. This time it was Oregon. Auburn was struggling. They were almost out of this game, and somehow Mario Cristobal mismanaged the game clock. He mismanaged the plays. With a really good quarterback in Justin Herbert, they found a way to lose. Give Auburn credit. They won at the end with a freshman quarterback, but come on, Oregon was their last big chance. Stanford? USC? Utah? Please.”

Finebaum added this morning that the Pac-12 having six ranked teams doesn't mean anything.

“That’s a number,” Finebaum said. “It’s a number for the Pac-12 PR department to put out because they don’t have anything else to put out. They’re not going to the playoffs this year. They’ve had some good games. Utah looks legitimate. We’ve already had the conversation about Oregon. They blew the game against Auburn. Washington State has got the most colorful coach in the country, but they’re not going to get through. Washington has already lost. California on this list? Really? Arizona State has a nice win. Utah, this weekend, will be on a big stage. If they can that game against Southern Cal, then we have two conversations. Utah knocking on the door, perhaps, of the playoffs and Southern Cal firing their coach.”

Finebaum is probably right.

It would be surprising if the College Football Playoff doesn't feature four of: Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU. Maybe someone like Michigan or Wisconsin or Notre Dame can get in, too.

The Pac-12 has an extreme uphill battle right now.