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Three Things About the 2016 College Football Playoff

The 2016 college football season has not even started yet, but the mental gymnastics over who will be in the 2016 College Football Playoff never stop.

The name of this website, for the literally challenged, is The Bracket Yard. As the season goes on, we will show the field as it currently stands, offer our projections based on the facts available, and have a bracket for you to print, fill out, and show your buddies. Far be it for us to say that we are immune from the need to prognosticate when there are no data points to ponder.

While there will inevitably be some predicting, three things stand out as having a high probability of truth as we approach the start of the season. (If they turn out not to be accurate, please direct your hate mail to me, John Q. Public, 123 Main Street, Anytown, USA 67890.)

1. See those preseason top four teams? They’re not all making the College Football Playoff.

This is a fact: the top four from the preseason AP poll almost never all stay there by bowl selection time. In 2015, three of the four at the top of the poll (Ohio State, TCU, and Baylor) did not make the CFP, but surprise, Alabama did. 2014 was closer with three of those four (Florida State, Alabama, Oregon) making the field while Ohio State jumped Oklahoma.

If you go back 20 years to the 1996 AP preseason poll and take that through last year, you will not have all of those first top four teams making it to the end. It may only be one team, but someone will drop off.

2. The CFP ratings will again suffer because of the semifinals on New Year’s Eve.

For whatever reason, the media braintrust in charge of such things decided that having the two semifinal games on New Year’s Eve is still a good idea. This is in spite of the fact that the ratings for both games in 2015 tanked. On New Year’s Eve, your average schmo prepares to get blasted with his dudes in celebration of flipping the calendar, or if he is more unfortunate, getting dragged by his wife or girlfriend to some party. In the latter case, he may wish he were watching the College Football Playoff, but he’s not, and in the former, it is not a consideration.

There is a reason television networks do not run new episodes of their shows on or around holidays. Maybe the aforementioned braintrust wants college football to rule New Year’s Eve, but if that truly is their end, don’t expect people to cancel their plans to watch.

3. Alabama missing the playoff would be a harbinger of the apocalypse.

(Not as big of one as if, say, the Cubs win the World Series, but it would be pretty surprising.)

As we speak, Nick Saban and his inner circle plot the destruction of every other FBS team. Tuscaloosa, where losing one game is considered a disappointing season, rarely has to worry on CFP Selection Day, and this year may not be an exception.

This is a program that reloads as opposed to rebuilds. Short of an uprising in the SEC (I’m looking at you, Les Miles, Alabama is just one of those teams you expect to be there when all is said and done.

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