Currently in Dallas, Texas, there are 13 media members partaking in a mock selection process that will mimic what the actual College Football Playoff selection committee will go through when they start meeting later in October.
The mock session used the 2008 year which is a good season to use, because there were multiple high ranking mid-majors. Utah thumped Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and both TCU and Boise State were ranked No. 11 and 9 respectively heading into the Poinsettia Bowl.
Here are how the rankings ended up with the selection committee:
The mock committee has spoken. Here is your 2008 playoff rankings. pic.twitter.com/SV0Kz6M1qe— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 9, 2014
From the photo Utah comes in at No. 7, TCU at No. 10 and Boise State at 11. That 2008 year saw Utah win the Mountain West, TCU finish second and Boise State winning the WAC.
After multiple rounds of voting the committee actually put in all three non-power teams -- at the time, of course -- and two from the Mountain West.
And here is what the New Year's Six bowls would have looked like. pic.twitter.com/gzEzmPBLRj— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 9, 2014
The Mountain West had the same amount of teams as the SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten; more than the Pac-12 and ACC' plus the Big East was shutout all together. Cincinnati was actually ranked higher than Virginia Tech but due to bowl tie-ins put the Hokies in the Orange Bowl and the Bearcats on the outside looking in.
Also what is nice is that the committee avoided the non-power five schools from facing off from each other.
Fox Sports Stewart Mandel points out some common themes:
Common themes: Conference championships matter. Dominant defenses > powerful offenses. And tough for the little guy due to SOS emphasis.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 9, 2014
Strength of schedule will hurt the Mountain West going forward but it shows that it is impossible for multiple non-power five teams to make it into the New Year's Day Bowls. However, there are fewer big hitters in that group now that Utah and TCU have moved onto big time conferences.
While 2008 looked real good for these then non-power teams, it also is somewhat sad to see what could of been had there been some way that the Mountain West was able to retain TCU, Utah and BYU.