The inaugural College Football Playoff selection is less than a week away and the Big 12 has a slim chance at getting two teams into the playoff – but it is much more likely that they only get one.
The College Football Playoff committee believes TCU should be ranked higher than Baylor and that assessment of the teams is illogical. The Bears should be the team that receives the bid to play in semifinals.
There are certainly points to be made for TCU. Its only loss is by three points on the road against Baylor and they beat K-State by 21 points. With the eye test alone, TCU looks like an elite team.
The Horned Frogs are a very solid team, but they lost to the team that they are trying to keep out of the playoff. All of their attributes cannot overcome that fact. Keeping them ahead of the Bears is essentially saying that head-to-head match-ups do not matter.
Clearly, TCU has a better loss than Baylor, but the Bears’ won their only game against top-10 competition.
The only thing that Baylor has not done this season is beat West Virginia. That was the loss that gives supporters of the Horned Frogs a point. The Bears have done everything else, including complete domination of Oklahoma. They have won eight of their 11 games this season by 21 points or more. While they had a close game against a bad Texas Tech team, TCU had the same thing happen in Lawrence against Kansas.
The committee is placing too much emphasis on when each team played against their best opponents and not considering the entire body of work.
Baylor is a great team and they have statistically the best offense in the country. If they do not receive an invitation to the College Football Playoff, it will be a mistake by the committee.
There is the slight possibility that Ohio State could keep either of the Big 12 teams out of the playoff. That is a more ridiculous notion than TCU holding its lead in the rankings on Baylor. The Buckeyes are 11-1 this season, but their loss is to a team that finished 6-6 in Virginia Tech. Their wins are in the Big Ten, which is arguably the worst power-five conference in the country.
The four playoff teams should be Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Baylor. Alabama and Oregon have made their cases clear that they deserve to be in. Florida State has looked very shaky in a lot of different games this season, but it’s impossible to argue with a 28-game winning streak.
With the Ducks at No. 2 and Bears or Horned Frogs at No. 3, it sets up a very interesting battle of explosive offenses. With Alabama at No.1 and Florida State at No. 4, the semifinal battle will be played within driving distance of both schools.
Those games give the potential of a matchup between a powerhouse offense and dominating defense in the championship game. College football fans will want to buckle their seat belts because the first playoff ever is already shaping up to be an all-time great.
Austin Earl is a sophomore in fishing, biology and wildlife conservation.