Tony Caridi puts out an email list every morning and on today's email, he linked to a story about revenue by schools in USA Today. I noticed it because that is the basis for my other post and I believe comes into play here. Fans don't like the Notre Dame's or Texas's of the world but the reality is, without those schools, WVU would not be making $110 million a year. Without Texas and OU, the Big 12 is no better than the AAC and WVU is reduced to earning less than half of what they bring in, meaning that like Marshall, we would once again require substantial subsidization to cover the cost of the athletic department. I agree that the media hypes those teams but they do so because of the money they make and the fact that they are a driving force in college athletics.
As to your rationale regarding WVU, I don't disagree but then the same could be said of most power 5 schools. If Michigan State runs the table, they're likely in. Same thing for Pitt or UNC in the ACC, Kansas State or TCU in the Big 12, UCLA or Stanford in the PAC 12 or any team in the SEC. I think the point with the teams on the list is the secondary teams that could be included, the teams on the list either A) have a really, really good chance of running the table (hence the inclusion of Wisconsin while Michigan is left out) or B)They're a driving force in college football and will be included if they have the wins as Ohio State did last year or the wind up with 2 losses but win their conference.
I think we all know that had OSU and PSU been flipped last year, OSU would have made the playoffs as the conference champion. The same thing would happen with Texas, Alabama, Georgia, LSU and most likely Notre Dame. If they have 2 losses but win their conference (not including ND) then they likely get in the playoffs over a 1 loss team but that doesn't happen with WVU or the other teams I mentioned.