One day after beating Rutgers to improve to 2-0, Indiana earned the 13th ranking in the AP Top 25, their first top-15 ranking since 1988. If the Hoosiers continue winning, they’ll undoubtedly reach the top 10 for the first time in more than 50 years. They would also crack the College Football Playoff Rankings for the first time ever and leave behind a shrinking group of Power Five teams who’ve never appeared in the playoff rankings.
Entering the 2019 college football season, nearly half of all FBS teams (63) had zero appearances in the first five years of the College Football Playoff Rankings. Only three teams made their first-ever appearance last year (App State, SMU, and Wake Forest), leaving behind 60 teams without an appearance.
Unsurprisingly, the heavy majority of those teams are in Group of Five conferences: Fifty. The other 10 reside in Power Five conferences, including Indiana, who’s one of five Big Ten teams without an appearance. (Illinois, Maryland, Purdue, and Rutgers also have zero appearances.) With five of their 14 teams carrying a goose egg into 2020, the Big Ten has the highest percentage of non-appearance teams of all Power Five conferences.
Two weeks before the playoff committee reveals the first rankings of 2020, here are the 60 teams with zero all-time appearances:
Air Force Akron Arkansas State Army Ball State Bowling Green Buffalo BYU California Central Michigan Charlotte Coastal Carolina Colorado State Eastern Michigan FIU FAU Georgia Southern Georgia State Hawaii Illinois Indiana Kansas Kent State Liberty Louisiana Louisiana Tech UL Monroe Maryland Miami (OH) Middle Tennessee Nevada New Mexico New Mexico State North Texas Northern Illinois Ohio Old Dominion Oregon State Purdue Rice Rutgers San Diego State San Jose State South Alabama South Florida Southern Miss Texas State Texas Tech Troy Tulane Tulsa UAB UConn UMass UNLV UTEP UTSA Vanderbilt Western Kentucky Wyoming
Andrew Doughty hosts the High Motor podcast and covers college football and college basketball for HERO Sports. A Kansas (B.S. Sport Management) and Memphis grad (M.A. Journalism), Andrew is also a Junior Writer for Sports Illustrated and has published work on SB Nation and Bleacher Report.