What if an electoral college chose the College Football Playoff field?

Next2 of 4Prev
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Golden Hurricanes’ C-USA title from 2012, courtesy of a 33-27 win over UCF, counts as an additional electoral vote for the state of Oklahoma. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Methodology for Determining Electoral Votes

A) 130 FBS teams
B) 127 FCS teams
C) 110 FBS conference champions from 2010-19
D) 24 CFP finalists from 2014-19
E) 10 FCS national champions from 2010-19
F) 10 Heisman Trophy winners from 2010-19
G) 24 most well-attended stadiums from 2019 season

Total: 435 electoral voters

As indicated above, each of the seven categories allow for a state to earn delegates or electoral voters. There are a finite number of electoral votes up for grabs, and using the U.S. Census Bureau (with official population counts once a decade) as one example of measurement, I decided to use several instances of conference champions or Heisman winners from the past 10 years.

Let’s the state of Oklahoma as an example. It has A) three FBS teams, B) zero FCS teams, C) eight conference championships since 2010 (one Big 12 title from Oklahoma State and six from OU, plus one C-USA for Tulsa in 2012), D) four CFP appearances, E) zero FCS national champions, F) two Heisman winners since 2010 (Baker Mayfield and Jalen Hurts) and G) one stadium among the top 24 in average game attendance (OU). In total, the state of Oklahoma receives (3+0+8+4+0+2+1) 18 electoral votes.

Some notes about how the electoral votes were accumulated for each state:

  • Heisman winners: I tracked them by the university they attended, not from where they are originally (i.e. Jalen Hurts counts for OU, though he’s from Houston).
  • For FCS schools, I counted Tarleton State (Stephenville, Texas) and Dixie State (St. George, Utah), who will join the Division I FCS level for the upcoming football season as Independents.
  • For the 10 years worth of FBS conference champions — if there was ever a split without a conference title game, I awarded the point to the team that was ranked higher in the season’s final AP poll.
    • For example from above, the 2012 Mountain West title was split between three teams with 7-1 marks. There was no title game, but Boise State finished the season ranked No. 18 in the polls while the other two squads (Fresno State and San Diego State) finished unranked after a bowl game loss. The state of Idaho gets that point. If neither team was ranked, I gave the point to the winner of the head-to-head matchup.
  • The AAC was created in 2013, so to fill out the decade, I counted the Big East’s last three football champions: Connecticut, West Virginia, and Louisville. Wow, times have certainly changed.
  • I counted Independents as a conference to come up with 10 more electoral votes and used the highest-ranking team (or the one with the most wins). Surprisingly, this team was Notre Dame only four of the 10 years — BYU has four years and Navy has two as the mythical Independent “champion.”

Next2 of 4Prev
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse