Group of Five New Year’s Six Watch, Week 4: UCF fortunate, Temple rising

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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In this first edition of the Group of Five New Year’s Six watch, the Knights got lucky and the Owls are on the rise. Who else is in the conversation?

Each year, the Group of Five team that is ranked highest in the College Football Playoff poll is given the opportunity to play in a New Year’s Six game.

Since 2014 Central Florida (twice), Western Michigan, Boise State and Houston have represented the Group of Five conferences in the New Year’s Six.

In case you might be new to college football, or the playoff process, let’s do a little vocabulary, shall we? The New Year’s Six: Bowl games played on or after New Year’s day. They include, the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Peach Bowl, Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl. Group of Five: Conferences include the Mountain West, Conference USA, American Athletic Conference, MAC and Sun Belt.

Although these schools would like to play in the College Football Playoff, their strength of schedule — especially in conference action — prevents them from doing so. There would be a lot that would have to happen for a Group of Five to get into the playoff, so we will look at the schools that have the best chance of getting into the New Year’s Six.

There are two common themes in this list: The AAC has the best chance to get a team in and the other is that you probably have to win all of your games to get in.