Well how about that? Good find @TurtleBITW
There is often the debate on just how good Louisville’s 2006 Orange Bowl team was, especially considering Michael Bush was injured. Even without Bush, the Cards seemed to be on the doorstep of a National Championship. What if there was a College Football Playoff back then?
The following is from picksixpreviews.com:
SEASON BACKGROUND & SELECTION COMMITTEE
The BCS was dealt a new issue in 2006, as the clear-cut #1 and #2 teams (Ohio State and Michigan) faced off on the final week of the regular season and played to a 42-39 thriller. Would a rematch be fair to the winning Buckeyes? Was it fair to leave out 1-loss Michigan despite a better resume than the rest of the field?
Thankfully, our Selection Committee didn’t have to handle these issues with the 4-team College Football Playoff. Ohio State earned the #1 seed while Michigan earned a spot in the other semifinal to play SEC champion Florida. The 4th spot had some debate tied to it, as 6 teams made decent cases for a bid. LSU had the toughest schedule, winning 2 of their 4 top 10 matchups, but failed to win its conference, or division for that matter. Wisconsin did finish with 1-loss but the Committee felt it couldn’t take 3 teams from the one conference, especially with the high number of viable candidates. Oklahoma and USC won their conferences but had not one, but two losses on their resumes. Boise State ran the table for another perfect season, but their poor strength of schedule (and fellow non-AQ Utah’s sad performance in the 2004 Playoff) were reasons to exclude the Broncos. Ultimately, Louisville earned the #4 spot. The Cardinals won the Big East by beating #3 West Virginia, and also scheduled Kansas State, #15 Miami, and Kentucky out of conference. Their only loss came on a last-second field goal in Rutgers’ biggest home game ever during Rutgers best season ever.