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#pounditFriday, June 21, 2024

Ryan Leaf thinks 1 Week 1 loser could still reach CFP

Ryan Leaf looks on

Dec 28, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Former NFL and Washington State Cougars player Ryan Leaf looks on before the game against the Michigan State Spartans in the 2017 Holiday Bowl at SDCCU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you are an SEC powerhouse, you generally have to go unbeaten or close to it to be in contention for the College Football Playoff field. Former quarterback and current college football analyst Ryan Leaf thinks one team has a shot at defying that trend.

Leaf said Monday that he believes Utah could still be in the College Football Playoff despite losing at Florida to open the season. Leaf argued that Utah will be favored to win their remaining games. He added that the Utes hardly played badly in defeat.

“If Utah handles their business, I could still see a one-loss Utah being still in the conversation for the College Football Playoff,” Leaf said. “I don’t for a moment want people to jump off the train simply because they lost the game down in The Swamp. They played as good as they could to ultimately not win the game. That team’s stull very talented and very good, and that opinion should not be changed.”

Utah lost by three on a late Florida touchdown drive, with the game ending on an end zone interception by Utes quarterback Cameron Rising. If Rising makes a better throw for a touchdown, Utah is still in line for an unbeaten season, so maybe Leaf has a point. That said, the perception of the Pac-12 is not good. It feels like a hugely uphill climb for the Utes to insert themselves back into the conversation.

The Utes were a popular dark horse pick to crash the Playoff. They still could, but some people might not want to climb down from that call just yet.

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