The Pac-12 will indeed play football this fall – but will the conference play enough games to be eligible for the College Football Playoff? Kirk Herbstreit thinks so.
Pac-12 programs will play just seven games each this season. The final games will take place Dec. 18, which will also serve as the day of the conference’s championship game. Dec. 18 will also be the day before the final College Football Playoff rankings are revealed.
Some argue the Pac-12 shouldn’t be eligible for the playoff because each team will play just seven games. But that’s not how it works. The committee will consider any team that looks the part. Herbstreit agrees the conference should be considered for the playoff, despite the shortened schedule.
The College GameDay analyst said on Saturday if a team like Oregon or USC looks like a playoff contender, then that team should be selected to the playoff.
“But, for argument’s sake: If you get to seven games in the Pac-12 and let’s say Oregon or USC is winning and looking really good while doing it, then they’re going to have a case,” Herbstreit said, via 247Sports. “Who’s to say they shouldn’t have a case if there’s a team that as a champion that is 7-0 and looks good — what’s the difference between them and taking them as realistic as an option vs. a Big Ten team? … It’s going to be a very small margin, but I don’t think we should dismiss them before we even get started.”
Herbstreit’s right: the Pac-12 shouldn’t be dismissed before the season even starts.
The challenge the conference could wind up having, though, is if every other Power Five conference has an undefeated conference champion. The committee would then discredit the Pac-12 because of its shortened schedule.
Like every other season, the playoff scenarios will sort themselves out. The Pac-12 figures to be in the mix with the Ducks and Trojans battling for the conference title.