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College football playoff: Can a Mountain West team make the playoff?

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What will it take for a Mountain West team to make the playoff?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Getting a team in the College Football Playoff from outside of the power conference is a Herculian task, and only a few times in the BCS era was a non-power team even close to being in the top four. So, why would that change in the ear of an actual playoff?

It probably won't but the discussion came up during Mountain West media days and it would take a down year from multiple conferences to have a Mountain West -- or any Group of Five league -- to get in.

"The reality is that I can't imagine there's a scenario where they leave out a Big 12 and an ACC school with one loss (for a Mountain West school)," said Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter.

DeRuyter is probably right and while the USA TODAY coaches poll has no impact on the playoff poll, it still is a good foundation to see who is expected to be where. Boise State came in at No. 24, a far cry from being anywhere near the top four.

There are some media types who see Boise State as a possible party crasher in the new system, and that is Paul Meyerberg of USA TODAY. On The Football Four Podcast he speaks glowingly of Boise State this year and gives them a shot at making the college football, and is clearly in the minority.

Start at the five minute mark.

Head coach Bryan Harsin has high hopes in part because of how last season ended with a Fiesta Bowl win over Arizona, and returning 17 starters.

"I don't think that's a pipe dream," Harsin told Sports Illustrated. "I know what other people think. Here's the thing, I still think college football is the greatest sport and most exciting for that reason, that you give a team like Boise a chance."

With the playoff so new and with those on the committee, including playoff director Bill Hancock, saying that the postseason will stay at four teams throughout the entirety of the 12-year contract. It will likely take a few years for Boise State, or any other Group of Five conference member, to get closer and closer and to win these big time games to get consideration. An eight-team playoff would guarantee the Power Five champions a spot but it may or may not give one to the best of the Group of Five. However, eight is easier to crack than four.

Currently, to get a team in a four-team playoff there will have to be a 2007 like season to occur where the top conference champions have one or more losses to create room for an undefeated team from the outside.