The Western Michigan Dilemma

Photo Credit: 49erswebzone

The Western Michigan Broncos are one of two unbeaten teams in the FBS this season, sitting at 12-0 and having beaten all but one team by double digits. The other unbeaten team is the Alabama Crimson Tide, a team that has all but clinched themselves a berth in this season’s College Football Playoff (CFP).

Western Michigan has been in the AP Poll for much of this season, and their most recent rankings of #13 in the AP Poll and #17 in the CFP rankings show that they are a well-respected team in the national picture despite not having the strongest strength of schedule and playing in a non-Power Five conference.

So why is an unbeaten team who is consistently pounding the life out of their opponents not even in the CFP discussion? After all, they are doing pretty much everything they can do and destroying everyone on their schedule.

Not only that, but they have a top-tier quarterback in Zach Terrell, who has thrown 30 touchdowns and only 1 interception, and one of the greatest FBS wide receivers of all time in Corey Davis, who just broke the all-time career FBS receiving yards, leading their high-powered offense.

The Broncos are not even in the CFP discussion because they have not played a single team ranked in the AP Poll…or any poll for that matter…all season long. Ok, that isn’t the only reason. If you add a #25 or even a #20 or #15 ranked team to their schedule that they beat, they still would not even be in the discussion.

The Broncos are in the Mid-American conference, which is composed of 12 teams. Aside of themselves, just three of the other 11 teams have winning records. That’s it, three. The easy competition is why Western Michigan has been able to roll over pretty much every team that has been on their schedule, and it is another reason why they are not even in the CFP discussion.

Not putting an unbeaten team in the CFP is tough given the fact that whoever that team is will have done pretty much everything in their power to make their case as to why they deserve a spot. However, given Western Michigan’s strength of schedule, it is the right move, and they will in all likelihood still earn a berth in a New Year’s Six bowl, which would be an amazing accomplishment to cement the amazing turnaround of this program, and it would also show that the selection committee does respect what they have been able to do this season.

 

-Asher Fair

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