5 modern era teams that would've been dangerous 12-seeds in expanded College Football Playoff

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5. 1999 Marshall Thundering Herd (12-0/MAC champion)

A year after Tulane was left out of the first slate of BCS games despite running the table as the Conference USA champion, Marshall felt a similar sting when they were overlooked in 1999 after a dominant MAC campaign. But the Thundering Herd were far less of a paper tiger than the pollsters and computers saw the Green Wave a year earlier, ranking second nationally in points per game allowed.

That dominance was not merely the result of an easy schedule, either. Sports Reference ranked the Thundering Herd as the sixth-best defense nationally in 1999, as they allowed more than 17 points only once all season. Coupled with an offense that boasted veteran quarterback Chad Pennington in his final season before heading to the NFL, Marshall also put up the eighth-most points on offense during the season.

In a hypothetical playoff, using the BCS rankings from that season as a guide, the Thundering Herd would have traveled to Knoxville to face Tennessee a year removed from their national championship. Pennington's counterpart at quarterback, Tee Martin, had regressed back to the mean after a strong title-winning campaign in 1998 as he threw seven fewer touchdowns and three more interceptions along the way. The oddsmakers would likely favor Tennessee, but the Thundering Herd would be a major thorn on their path to a title defense.