The College Football Playoff committee had three different options when it came to selecting which team would fill the last playoff spot.Two of the options would have been acceptable to anyone. One of them, however, was flat wrong.
Unfortunately for the Big 12, the committee chose the wrong option.
The resumes speak for themselves. TCU lost to the No. 5 team in the country and Baylor lost on the road to a Big 12 opponent who finished with a winning record in conference play. Ohio State lost at home by 14 points to a 6-6 team who finished 10th in arguably the worst Power 5 conference.
TCU and Baylor were clearly more deserving than Ohio State, but the committee blatantly overlooked that. They also inadvertently made it clear that their in-season rankings didn’t matter one bit.
The Horned Frogs were No. 3 going into their game on Saturday. They won the game by 52 points. On Sunday, they dropped to No. 6 in the committee’s ranking.
Sure, the Buckeyes have looked very impressive as of late. They are a very good team, who won by 59 points in their conference championship game. That doesn’t mean that they deserve to jump a team who did nothing but win after they achieved their high ranking. TCU did their job and took care of business, but still somehow fell behind Ohio State.
Selecting the Buckeyes is solely about money. Ohio State has the largest enrollment of the three schools and has notable alumni who work for ESPN, the carrier of the College Football Playoff. They are also one of the most prestigious programs in nation.
The only argument in favor of Ohio State is that they won their conference championship game, while the Big 12 doesn’t have one. The problem with that is that the Big 10 is not all that great. It’s a conference full of mediocre teams.
The Buckeyes just happen to be the best of the bunch and it helped lead them to a 12-1 record. In the committee’s eyes, winning a conference championship game is worth more than playing every team in the conference and finishing 8-1.
The Big 12 essentially was punished for not having a conference championship game and this might be the push that the conference needed to expand. Adding two more teams is not out of the realm of possibilities.
From the precedent the College Football Playoff committee has set, it doesn’t matter who the two teams are. As long as the Big 12 has a conference championship game, the bottom two teams could be bad enough to struggle in the Mid-American Conference. The 13th game is all that would be needed for the committee to decide the Big 12’s champion is deserving.
No matter what, the Big 12 will look hard at some sort of rule change or expansion. The decision from the committee will force that, right or wrong. Unfortunately for TCU and Baylor, it won’t help their teams this season. The damage has been done and change is on the horizon.