It doesn’t matter now in the grand scheme of the four-team playoff, but in the name of recruiting, everything matters. So where Big 12 rivals TCU and Baylor finish in the College Football Playoff rankings is important, and therefore it will be intriguing to see how the committee handles TCU this week.
The committee has consistently treated the Horned Frogs harshly really ever since it dropped them three spots from No. 3 to No. 6 and out of last year’s playoff in the final ranking.
In that ranking, the committee finally decided it was time to make Baylor’s 61-58 win over TCU count. The committee had consistently ranked the Bears below the Frogs throughout its rankings despite Baylor’s October instant-classic victory over TCU. That changed in the final poll once both teams’ schedules evened out. The committee ranked Baylor at No. 5 and TCU at No. 6.
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So will the committee follow the same logic this week? No. 19 TCU (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) defeated No. 7 Baylor (9-2, 6-2) last Friday. Both teams’ schedules now align except for the Bears’ season finale against 4-7 Texas. TCU trounced Texas, 50-7. If the committee uses the same logic as a year ago, its rankings that will be released Tuesday evening will need to cover a lot of ground to bump the Frogs ahead of the Bears.
Both the AP top 25 poll and the coaches poll released Sunday reflect TCU’s head-to-head victory. In the AP poll, the Frogs jumped from No. 15 to No. 11 and the Bears dropped from No. 7 to No. 12. In the coaches poll, TCU rose from No. 16 to No. 11 and the Bears fell from No. 7 to No. 12.
The committee seemed especially harsh in its treatment of TCU. In its debut poll, the Frogs came in No. 8 despite a No. 5 ranking in the AP poll and No. 3 in the coaches poll. Then after its loss at Oklahoma State earlier this month, the committee dropped TCU from No. 8 to No. 15, and then to No. 18 after a 23-17 win against Kansas, a game in which TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin was knocked out of early with an ankle injury.
If the CFP committee is going to remain consistent, Tuesday’s rankings will either find a way to raise TCU up a bunch of spots, or severely drop the Bears. Either way, TCU should find itself ahead of Baylor. And if not, the committee, once again, has some explaining to do.