College Football Playoff reaction: Big 12 gets shut out by Ohio State


On Sunday, we learned the fate of all six teams that were hovering over the four coveted College Football Playoff spots. To the chagrin of the Big 12, the conference had their co-champions, TCU and Baylor, shut out. Overreaction on Saturday by the committee screwed over two of the Big 12’s teams that deserved it over Ohio State.

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First off, here are the top six teams:

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide
  2. Oregon Ducks
  3. Florida State Seminoles
  4. Ohio State Buckeyes
  5. Baylor Bears
  6. TCU Horned Frogs

Let’s look at what we learned from the inaugural CFP.

Conference championships are the most important game of the year.

Games are weighed heavily on championship weekend as long as they are a conference championship. The committee ignored a 55-3 TCU beatdown against Iowa State and they deemed Florida State’s lackluster effort against Georgia Tech 37-35 and Ohio State’s shellacking of Wisconsin 59-0 more important. A conference championship is what matters, and not that all these teams played the same amount of conference games. We might as well just start watching college football in December.

Name a conference champion.

Apr 6, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby speaks at a press conference before the national championship game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Connecticut Huskies at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 went back on their motto and said they wouldn’t name a conference champion in hopes of getting both TCU and Baylor in there. Instead of the committee deciding on one of them, they left both out. The Big 12 gambled and lost, and now commissioner Bob Bowlsby looks like a moron. Because championship games are weighed heavily, the Big 12 has to either find a workaround to get a championship game in there with 10 teams or add two teams in the very near future.

Weekly rankings are absolutely pointless.

Part of the outrage is due to the unfamiliarity of the committee’s rankings and how they do them. We’ve been trained to look at weekly rankings in the Associated Press, Coaches Poll, and BCS, and there has never been dramatic shakeups like there was on Sunday. TCU beating a team 55-3 would have never dropped from three to six on any of those earlier polls. The committee did a disservice in providing weekly polls. If they’re just going to pick up all the teams and rerank them, then it’s clear the weekly show was just for ratings, debate, and money.

Big traditional schools will get the edge over smaller schools.

Some sports writers were very agitated when people brought up that Texas and Oklahoma wouldn’t have been shut out and said that was disrespectful to the committee. Those sports writers don’t want to look into the dark nature of this beast. Along with not having to deal with the TCU-Baylor drama, the committee also put in a tradition-rich school that would get lots of ratings, more fans, and would make more money. Putting TCU at three last week was more disrespectful by the committee than all this talk because TCU had no control over their destiny when the committee said they did.

So, how can we fix this? It’s the first year of the CFP, and tweaks will definitely be made. I think it’s more on the CFP committee to make changes instead of the Big 12, because devaluing the conference’s schedule of nine conference games when everybody else plays eight conference games (minus the championship game) is not fair at all. Here’s what they can do.

Nov 29, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles during the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at AT&T Stadium. The Bears defeated the Red Raiders 48-46. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Enforce one team per conference and rank conferences.

At least one power five conference will always be shut out every year, and the Big 12 being that conference this year is a joke because of how good it is — especially when being compared to the Big Ten or ACC. If you limit the entry to one team and rank the conferences, then we will all know what team will be shut out. If they’re going to be this wild on their rankings, then this doesn’t seem far out there. But, I hate this idea.

Extend it to eight teams.

This is the most logical because shutting out any power conference is foolish. There will always be eight teams worthy to be in a playoff. Five power conference winners, the best team from the weaker conferences, and then two at-large teams. Any teams that get snubbed in the at-large bids at least had a chance to win the conference. There will still be argument and debate, but snubbing a power five conference champion is a whole lot worse than snubbing Mississippi State.

Remove the weekly rankings show.

It won’t happen because that 30-minute block makes money, but we should all ignore it. If changes can be made that drastically, then there’s no point in having weekly rankings. If this was any standard poll, it would have all been the same because the last weekend went all chalk.

Evaluating the playoff committee.

The inaugural CFP season ultimately failed because of how the process was ran. Are there four teams that should be there? You could argue it, but there’s not a good case to keep TCU and Baylor out. Ohio State was inconsistent all season until they had one big victory, and it’s pretty clear that TCU and Baylor had better overall seasons despite what one number in the SOS says. That you could clearly see on the field. Misleading teams every week with worthless rankings was a bad way to go about it, and it would be better if they just waited for Selection Sunday like in college basketball.

Looking at the playoff matchups.

Misleading teams every week with worthless rankings was a bad way to go about it, and it would be better if they just waited for Selection Sunday like in college basketball.

Many people are excited about the matchups, but both Vegas and I look at it differently. Alabama and Oregon will crush their weaker opponents. Ohio State has quarterback problems and when you take out 59-0 conference win, this team ran through a Big Ten conference that wasn’t good and didn’t look dominant in doing so. The Crimson Tide went through arguably the toughest division (Pac-12 South could debate it).

Florida State has a terrible defense that will not stop Oregon. The same problem can be said about the Ducks’ D, but I think Marcus Mariota will impress again and put up at least 50 points — a deficit that will be too big for the Seminoles to overcome. The greatest thing about all of this is we should get Alabama and Oregon to play in the title, and that will make up for any disappointment that a Big 12 team didn’t get in.

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