This season will mark the debut of college football’s new 4-team playoff format. While a selection committee has replaced the previous ranking system, we can still get a sense of how good a team has to be in order to be considered among the four best in the nation at the end of the regular season.
In the last ten seasons of the BCS (2004-13), 24 of the 40 teams that finished the regular season in the top four had at least one loss and five of those had two losses. While that may not seem like much, it does suggest that on average, a two-loss team will be in the college football playoff about once every two years.
What your favourite team can’t do is lose three games. If a team loses three games they are almost certainly eliminated from contention.
Interestingly, one theory is that if a team is going to lose, it is better to do it early in the season. But that does not appear to be the case.
Of the 29 losses suffered by teams that finished the regular season in the top-4 of the BCS rankings, 15 occurred in the first seven weeks and 14 came in the last seven weeks.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.