Coastal Carolina, Cincinnati headline Bowl Day snubs
The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers did everything that was asked of them and a few more.
Coastal played 11 games during a pandemic that wreaked havoc across the country and won everyone. The Chanticleers even added unbeaten BYU on short notice, claiming a win in one of the most exciting games of the season.
That wasn't enough for the Sun Belt co-champions to get even closer to the college football playoffs. The Chanticleers were number 12 in the ranking published on Sunday.
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Cincinnati was also verbally abused. The Bearcats defeated Tulsa in the American Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday night to remain undefeated, but the Bearcats finished eighth overall.
Once again, teams of the group of five are not represented in the college football playoffs. This has been the case every year since the current format was introduced for the 2014 season.
"If a G-5 team didn't make it this year, I don't know if they will ever make it, just under any circumstances," said Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina coach.
Cincinnati was rewarded with a New Year's game - the Bearcats play Georgia in the Peach Bowl. But Coastal was banned from the top games. The Chanticleers will play Liberty in the Cure Bowl on December 26th.
Chadwell said it was "disappointing" not to receive a New Year's offer.
"I thought they might think differently this year because this year outside of the top 4, maybe the top 6 - we'll say top 6 - our résumé, Cincinnati's résumé, was as good as everyone else's," he said. "I thought maybe this year they'd put two G-5s together. Let's and Cincinnati play together because the eye test was such a big deal. Let's see what happens in this game."
It wasn't just the group of five teams that got injured. No. 5 Texas A&M, with just one loss to Alabama and seven straight wins in the rough Southeastern Conference, finished fifth in the playoff rankings. The SEC often benefits from the doubt, but not this time.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond used social media to express disappointment.
"All of those SEC teams that are 'mediocre' in the eyes of the media would lead the table in some of these other leagues," he tweeted. "Few teams from the SEC can really play in the SEC."
Texas A&M got a pretty good consolation prize: The Aggies are playing North Carolina in the Orange Bowl.
That's the kind of key command Chadwell thought deserved. He said the system was working exactly as expected.
"Is it broken? Depends on who it is broken for," he said. "For the G-5 it is. I don't think it was ever fixed for them. For the Power 5s and what they're trying to get there, it works the way they want it to. "
Tulsa's coach Philip Montgomery stood up for the American Athletic Conference after his team lost the title game to Cincinnati.
"I think our conference is one of the toughest conferences in the nation, from top to bottom," said Montgomery. "Every week is a fight. Everyone has good players. There are good coaches in this league.
Montgomery said he felt Cincinnati deserved a place in the playoffs.
"If at some point in the college playoffs we don't want to get anyone out of our conference, we either have to expand it or do something else," he said. "But our teams deserve the opportunity to keep competing."
AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco recently said the previous system used before the playoffs - the largely unpopular selection process for the Bowl Championship Series - was actually fairer. In this system, polls and computers selected participants for the title game and other major bowls.
In an example of the opportunities non-Power Five teams are looking to use to impress the committee, BYU - an independent - traveled over 2,200 miles to intervene after Liberty was dropped from a Coastal game due to COVID. 19 concerns.
Even so, Iowa State found itself in a six bowl game over Coastal. The Cyclones lost to Louisiana-Lafayette at the beginning of the season, with three losses - a Coastal team beat a month later.
"I think that's the kind of, you scratch your head a little bit because they had three losses ... They were in love with Iowa State all year and do a good job," said Chadwell. "That is what I would have been. "I don't get it." But they won't let Cincinnati and Coastal get all the money. "
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP
More AP College Football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25.
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