By Matt Rosenfeld
The College Football Playoff is already successful.
With one week to play in the season, there are three teams that seem to control their own destiny in regard to the playoffs. If Alabama, Oregon and Florida State win, they’re in. Honestly, the prospects of any of those three teams meeting has me excited for the playoffs already. However, before we get there, we have to determine the last team in the playoff. Ohio State, TCU and Baylor are the three teams that can still lay claim to that fourth and final spot.
Ohio State is probably the best team of the bunch, but an early season loss to a mediocre Virginia Tech team at home seriously ham- pered Ohio State’s chances at the Playoff. It also didn’t help that the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback J.T. Barrett broke his ankle on Saturday against rival Michigan. Ohio State could make a statement by beating Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game on Saturday, but I don’t see that hap- pening. Even if it does, it won’t be impressive enough to jump the two teams from the Big 12.
TCU is the team that currently sits in fourth in the Playoff standings, so if the season ended today, they’d be in. The Horned Frogs’ resume is impressive. They’re sitting pretty at 10-1, with their only loss being a 61-58 shoot-out at Baylor. Quarterback Trev- one Boykin is playing out of his mind, having thrown for over 3,200 yards, rushed for almost 600 yards and accounted for 34 touchdowns. TCU’s last game is against a terrible Iowa State team, so it would be shocking to see the Horned Frogs lose.
It’s tough to argue that TCU should be jumped if they win this weekend, but I genuinely believe Baylor should be the fourth and final team in the Playoff. The Bears are also sitting at 10-1, with their lone loss being at mediocre West Virginia. And, while that loss may be worse than TCU’s, Baylor holds the head-to-head victory over TCU. Not that head-to-head wins should be the be-all-end-all decision maker, but with two teams as close as Baylor and TCU, it has to be heavily considered.
Baylor has a chance to prove itself worthy of a playoff spot this Saturday when it hosts 12th ranked Kansas State. An impressive win over K-State might be enough for the committee to jump the Bears over TCU come Sunday, when the final playoff selections are made.
Of course, both Baylor and TCU could find themselves in the Playoff if Florida State, Alabama or Oregon slip up this weekend. But, if those three win out and it comes down to Baylor, TCU and Ohio State, give me Baylor. Give me future NFL quarterback Bryce Petty and the high-flying Bears’ offense. If it were up to me, Baylor, you win Saturday, and you’re in.
Matt Rosenfeld is the Sports Editor for The Fordham Ram.