This year we will have a college football championship playoff, eliminating all of that controversy over end-of-the-season ratings. So we thought. But there is still controversy about which four teams were selected to play. Earlier last week, Texas Christian University was ranked #3, going on to defeat Iowa State by 52 points. But when the final four was announced, Ohio State made the cut, leap-frogging both TCU and Baylor!
The false incumbency of its weekly rankings made the college football committee look ridiculous Sunday afternoon. They may have made the right decision in choosing Ohio State as their fourth and final team. Maybe not. But they will be pilloried up and down Interstate 35 in Texas from now until forever, and no one can blame Baylor or, especially, Texas Christian University for the hard feelings.
The committee’s effort to gin up conversation every Tuesday night ceded the high ground to the Horned Frogs. The committee ranked TCU third on Tuesday. TCU crushed Iowa State by 52 points on Saturday. On Sunday, they had dropped three spots. They moved from playoff team to playoff observer, and all they did was win by seven touchdowns and a field goal.
Based on the season, the committee’s final choices were all defensible at worst. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon were clearly the country’s best. No. 3 Florida State has won 29 straight games, whether those wins were shaky or not. Ohio State has won 11 straight and could seemingly plug in your next door neighbor and drop half a hundred. Their 59-0 beatdown of Wisconsin at a neutral site was one of the most impressive victories of the season. Baylor and TCU have arguments, too, but they are not ironclad.However, based on the weekly rankings, the committee’s final choices made no sense at all. Forget Ohio State; why did TCU get dumped behind Florida State? On Tuesday, the Horned Frogs were deemed better. Again: They won by 52 points. Georgia Tech is a quality opponent, but did FSU’s two-point victory mean more than TCU’s blowout? . . . .
Without directly saying it, Long indicated TCU and Baylor and been punished for not winning a conference championship game – or even winning a conference championship outright. The Big 12 is the sole big-five conference without a title game, and they couldn’t even decide on a champion. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, to Baylor Coach Art Briles’s ire, declared Baylor and TCU co-champions.