The question didn’t seem to be if either TCU or Baylor would make the four-team College Football Playoff, but rather which team would. However, after the selection committee revealed the four teams that would compete in the first ever college football playoff, both the Horned Frogs and the Bears were left out, and the Big 12 can be thanked for that.
The Big 12 didn’t have a conference championship game this year, and because of this glaring omission, the conference was left out of the biggest stage college football has to offer.
It seems odd that a conference with the slogan “One True Champion” would choose to skip the part of the season where you actually have the conference’s two best teams play each other to determine an actual champion. Instead, the Big 12 produced two co-champions whom perhaps deserved a shot at the playoff, but because these two teams weren’t given the opportunity to play for a legitimate championship, they were snubbed out of the four-team playoff.
Both TCU and Baylor had legitimate resumes that were good enough to potentially crack the nation’s top four and reach the first ever College Football Playoff. TCU had a number of top-25 wins this year and finished the season 11-1 overall and 8-1 in conference play. Its one conference loss this year came against Baylor, who beat the Horned Frogs back in October 61-58.
The Bears finished 11-1 (8-1), and it seemed as though their head-to-head win against TCU would be enough to push them into the top four.
Neither TCU nor Baylor can be blamed for being left out of the top four. I’m not necessarily saying that each team should have made it, but what I am saying is that one team would have had a nearly undeniable case to make it had they won a conference championship game.
However, the Big 12 produced co-champions, which essentially tied the hands of the committee and left the Big 12 on the outside of college football’s biggest stage looking in.