Let the debate begin after TCU drops Big XII title game in OT … Heading into the day the CFP picture seemed to be pretty clear. Win the Big XII championship and TCU was in; lose and the 4th and final spot in the national playoff goes to Alabama. Texas Christian did lose today’s conference final 31-28 to a 10-win Kansas State, but only in overtime. And that’s going to set off a real debate in college football whether a two-loss team like Alabama should get an invite over a one-loss team like TCU when that one loss came in overtime. In the end, somebody’s not going to be happy!
It also highlights what isn’t being talked about in the context of the coming changes to college football playoff landscape and that’s that the CFP has a conference championship game problem. The problem is that whether its a 4- or twelve team playoff, who gets in is determined largely by the rankings and the rankings are determined largely by the number of losses a team has and the conference title games unbalance the playing field. Some teams have to play them – and they are almost going to be against a really good team – and others don’t. This year, for example, Ohio State looks like it will get an invite to the CFP dance after USC lost last night. So Ohio State gets in, not because they won their way in, but because somebody else lost a game the Buckeyes didn’t have to play. The simple answer we suggest is that final CFP rankings only include the regular schedule to even the playing field.
(A little context for people that don’t follow college football that closely. The powers that be in the college game agreed earlier this week that beginning in 2024 the college football playoff will expand to 12 teams including the 6 highest ranked conference champions and the 6 highest ranked other teams with the 4 highest ranked conference champions getting byes in the first round.)