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As expected, Big 12 skunked

Understandably, the college football playoff selection committee didn't have the guts to omit undefeated Florida State from its four-team playoff and because of that, no Big 12 team will have a shot at the national title.

TCU dropped from third to sixth after a 55-3 victory against Iowa State. Baylor moved from sixth to fifth, after defeating Kansas State.

"They were really 3 a,b,c and d," selection committee chairman Jeff Long told ESPN. "They were really that close."

It was not difficult to predict correctly in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep the order the committee would seed the teams: 1. Alabama, 2. Oregon, 3. Florida State, 4. Ohio State.

But that's not how I would have voted. I would have had Baylor in there instead of Florida State.

Some will call for the Big 12 to apply for an exception that would allow a 10-team conference to have a playoff game or for the conference to expand to 12 teams. Instead, encouraging conference members to beef up their non-conference schedules is the way to go.

Comments

Brian Skelly

Going from "One True Champion" to "well... if they tied they get to share it" is the reason this happened. It doesnt hurt that Ohio State is a better play media-wise, but to me this falls at the feet of Bob Bowlsby. This week when he comes out and does the "well, for our sake, we have a champion. But it might not be the same for the CFP." Well guess what Bob? Your right. While this is a far bigger deal -- the dollars the Big 12 misses out on is going to be significant -- it does remind me of a few years ago when KState and us 'tied' for the top spot in basketball. Identical records -- but we beat them both times we played them. Yet somehow we were "co-champions". Does anything smack of the whole "everyone gets a trophy" than that? I'll bring Capri Suns and fruit snacks after the game just like I do for my 4 yr old kids soccer matches. It's convoluted short term thinking that caused the near implosion of the conference a few years ago, and it will be our downfall once again.

8 years ago

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Bryce Landon

If the Big 12 operated according to your logic, Kansas would not have a 10-year streak of conference titles in basketball. Remember that KU was conference co-champion in 2005 with Oklahoma despite losing head-to-head to the Sooners that year. KU was also co-champions with Texas in 2006 and again in 2008 but lost the head-to-head meeting. You can't have it both ways.

8 years ago

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Brian Skelly

Who said I want it both ways? Would that mean KU wouldnt have 10 straight championships? Yea. So be it. I think its weak to claim ownership of a title -- especially if the team you lost to is tied with you. Yes, we've done that. It's great for marketing.... which is why it's done that way. I dont think its great that the Big 12 does it that way, even if affects us.

8 years ago

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Robert Brown

Tom
I agree with your assessment of upgrading non-conference schedule and that the committee did not have the guts to not include Florida State. Baylor's non- conference schedule is a joke and never thought they should be rewarded for that schedule. If the committee decisions results in upgraded non-conference schedules of Power 5 conferences, I am all for it.

There are many on this board who advocate that KU downgrade its non conference schedule. To me, we need to act like we want to compete at the highest level even if it means struggling at first. The Big 12 should come up with a policy for non conference scheduling to include: 1) no FCS a schools - goodbye SEMO and South Dakota 2) at least one opponent from a Power 5 conference (Duke this year, Rutgers next year). The other games can be from MAC or Conference USA or MWC.

Also, just as in 2007, I believe if Oklahoma was on the front of KUs jerseys, KU might have snuck into the national championship game as the only major school with one loss, had OU or UT been on the front of TCU or Baylor's uniform, one or both would be in the playoff.

8 years ago

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Michael Lorraine

Brett, If I could give you 10 thumbs up I would but it will only allow me to give you one.

8 years ago

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Robert Brown

I wil always disagree with you on this and I wouldn't be surprised if stronger schedules aren't mandated by the Big 12. No one cares that a 6-6 school gets into a bowl.

8 years ago

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Robert Brown

It is no longer the 1990s and we should stop trying to act like we can replicate Bill Snyder.

8 years ago

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Brad Farha

The 6-6 school cares.

8 years ago

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Michael Lorraine

Unless you’re a team that has won 12 games in 5 years and last bowl appearance was in 2008. Competition is tough enough in our own conference. At this time, wins are more important than SOS. I’d rather beat directional Michigan than lose to Duke.

8 years ago

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Brad Farha

Yes, yes, yes.

8 years ago

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Rick McGowwan

Why not both? Long stopped just short of saying that the "extra game" win over the B10 West champion got tOSU in. Beef up the schedule for OOC and add a championship game with 10 teams.

Good call on your earlier article Tom, I still really thought Baylor was going to sneak in.

8 years ago

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Dirk Medema

Baylor could have made it if they had played and beaten more than cream puffs in non-con. They picked their mattress.

8 years ago

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Shawn Darius

The chair of the CFP committee, in explaining the committee's decision today, told the Big 12 EXACTLY what it needs to do for inclusion in the future: have a conference championship game and one decisive "true" champion. I hope Bowlsby and the college presidents are listening. This is as a straightforward a solution as there is: get back to 12, have the championship game, and rest on the fact that Big 12 football is superior to the Big 10 and ACC. Tom, your thoughts?

8 years ago

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Shawn Darius

Brett: again, the committee chair made it very clear about why Baylor and TCU (and the Big 12) were excluded. As someone else posted on Tom's earlier column, expand the CFP to 8 teams and then the number 9 and 10 teams will be crying foul. This is a relatively simple fix given how competitive Big 12 football already is. Beefing up the non-con is necessary but NOT sufficient (just take another listen to the CFP committee chair's explanation). We need one definitive champion. Period.

8 years ago

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Dirk Medema

1 definitive champion is still 5th place in a 4 team race.

8 years ago

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Brad Farha

Shawn -- I agree that we need to get back to 12+ teams and a football conference championship. But I also want to get to 8 teams in the playoff. 5 conference champions are in automatically (conference chooses by whatever method they want), and then 3 at large berths. Yes the 9th and 10th place teams left out will complain, but that's nowhere near as bad as #5 and #6 left out.

8 years ago

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David Kemp

No because this this 2 really bad teams would have made it in.

8 years ago

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Michael Lorraine

Expanding to 12 would be good for us. One more non-con opponent and one less conference opponent. Hopefully we can get in the division that will allow us to avoid UT, OU, Baylor every year.

8 years ago

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Michael Lorraine

Memphis and Cincinnati might be the best we can do. We are not in the position to poach from any of the P5 conferences.

8 years ago

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Nick Cole

I would be 110% behind this, but I don't know if the B12 has the intestinal fortitude to make a bold move like this. I would even go as far as adding 2 of Colorado State, Boise State, and BYU to get to 14 teams to protect against another conference trying to poach a couple of our members again. Minimum of 12 teams should be a mandate for being a power 5 conference, in my opinion, but who asked me...

8 years ago

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Mike Barnhart

Gross! Has it reall come to adding two commuter schools to a once proud league. Might as well add UMKC! A few years back, Bob Stoops said his philosophy had always been to focus on winning the league which would be a great accomplishment. Then he'd let the national championship chips fall where they may. I guess things have changed.

8 years ago

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Jock Navels

Getting into the playoffs as structured is scored like figure skating. Have 8 teams...5 conference champions, a team from the other 5 conferences (every player can try to win a national championship) and 2 at large teams...

8 years ago

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Michael Lorraine

8 team playoff means the winner will have played 16 games.

8 years ago

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Bruce Bertsch

How can you leave out a team that beat Okie State, Notre Dame and Florida in their non-con? tOSU beat 9 bowl teams. BIG 12 needs to increase the toughness of the non-con. The "Bill Snyder Scheduling System" bit Baylor and TCU big time.

8 years ago

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Robert Brown

Definitely agree along with the fact that the Big 12 wasn't as good as hyped. While TCU and Baylor are deserving of its Top 10 ranking. K-State as the third best team is clearly not in the same league as the Top 2. They were pretty much dominated by both. OU was overhyped and UT, WV and OSU are very average.

8 years ago

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Dirk Medema

Big 12 is the number 2 conference, and third is even distant IIRC.

8 years ago

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Michael Lorraine

I think the committee got it right. Ohio State played their way in and how do you keep the defending national champion out when they went undefeated. Weak ACC? They went 4-0 last week against the SEC. This is a huge improvement over the old system where 1 and 2 don’t necessarily meet in the title game but ultimately the flaw is that the best team(s) are decided by people sitting in a room.

8 years ago

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Cody Riedy

I personally like a round-robin schedule, but ignoring all other parts of the argument and its relationship to college playoffs, you got to think it would help KU tremendously if the Big XII was divided once more and it we were in a six team north division with K-State, Iowa State, West Virginia, Memphis, and Cincinnati. That would be so unbalanced that they'd come up with away to break up the Texas school or split OU/OKST from the South; perhaps something like: OU, OKST, KSU, KU, Iowa State, Cincinnati on one side WVU, Memphis, and the Texas Schools on the other side. But that might be a problem for the conference because for the sake of strength of schedule and prestige games, the big dogs need to play each other every year.

8 years ago

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Cody Riedy

You know what, it would kind of be dope to add Memphis and Cincinnati; would really expand the BXII market, even if these aren't the most prestigious of schools/programs. Puts us in touch with OH recruits and tapping at the edges of SEC country.

8 years ago

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Cody Riedy

The "it's a business" folks would probably argue that Memphis and Cinci brings more TV watchers. I'm not sure though where these markets rank. The other thing is that both schools could be competitive in both basketball and football - does Air Force even have a basketball team (half-kidding, but really I can't recall ever seeing them on TV or in a list of scores). Also, for KU specifically, wouldn't Memphis/Cinci, at least possible open the door with more recruits than BYU/Air Force. Hey, Ohio kid, you can't get into OSU, but come to KU and you can still play a game in your home state.....(?)

8 years ago

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Cody Riedy

For what its worth: Nielsen TV market rankings by size:

Cincinnati - 36
Memphis - 50

Colorado Springs - 89
Salt Lake City (Provo) - 34

For comparison: Kansas City - 31

8 years ago

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Aaron Paisley

BYU is more than just SLC area though, pretty much every major market west of the Rockies has a significant Mormon population.

8 years ago

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Aaron Paisley

Air Force has already said they will never accept a major conference invite because they will never be competitive in football because of weight restrictions in the Air Force. The owner of FedEx has said in the past he give any league $10 million annually to take Memphis so an extra $1 million in the coffers for KU would help pay for some non revenue stuff.

8 years ago

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Cody Riedy

Funny,I'd never thought of that - the weight restrictions. You'd think they'd recognize that a 5'10" 225lb RB isn't obese regardless of what the height/weight chart says.

8 years ago

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Aaron Paisley

The weight restrictions don't impact the skill positions, but it does impact the size the linemen can get to and that makes it very difficult for Air Force to be competitive against the P5 schools. Same at Navy and Army and that's why the academies will never be competitive against major conference schools on a consistent basis.

8 years ago

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Robert Brown

There is no reason why the Big 12 can't get a waiver so they can hold a conference championship game with ten teams and continue the round robin with the Top 2 teams playing in the game. If that was done this year, Baylor and TCU would have a rematch. Doing that would result in more money for each team and would not require expansion. Rematches happen all the time conference championship games.

8 years ago

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Cody Riedy

The rematch would be on a neutral field of course. I just point this out because I actually think TCU's resume is better than Baylor's despite the head to head game because TCU's only loss was by 3 points on the road at a top 5 school and they played and won at least one meaningful non-con game (Minnesota). Hypothetically, had they played a rematch and TCU won, I think TCU would have had a better chance of edging OSU than BU would have had in this hypothetical.

8 years ago

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Robert Brown

Whoever would have won this hypothetical would be in the Top 4 in my view. If Baylor beat TCU twice, they would have gotten as well.

What the conference championship game does is add a game, a meaningful game, to the schedule.

I personally think the committee needs to be more consistent from week to week in its rankings. If FSU a was 4th last week and barely beats GTech, I'm not sure why they move up when the three ahead of them last week dominated its opponents.

8 years ago

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Kristen Downing

No BYU. Wish we had gone for Florida State and Louisville, but I would be ok with Cinncinati and Memphis.

8 years ago

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Brian Skelly

The concept that Bowlsby didnt "know about" the lack of a championship game would hurt is laughable. What isnt, is the fact its obvious they thought they didnt need one, but obviously did. Again, its the short sightedness of it all. Staying at 10 teams -- because UT doesnt really wanna share -- is obviously a mistake. The idea that another team has to bring the same $$$ sounds valid, but other expansion moves were made, and almost none of those (except maybe A&M) added that kind of immediate dollar value to the conferences. Increasing the footprint should be a priority, as only Texas is growing... the other states of the Big 12 arent. I dont care if its 2, 4, or 6. This insanity has to stop. Teams coming in not the same revenue levels (were WVU and TCU?) -- GROW THEM. Stop the short term thinking, its killing our future.

8 years ago

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Casey Osburn

Florida State is undefeated. They deserve for that reason alone. It is very difficult to go undefeated regardless of SOS.

The Big 12 is reaping what they've sewn in only having 10 teams and no championship game. As a basketball fan, I love the round robin, but that is about the only positive. It hurts in football in that takes away an easy nonconference game we could schedule, as well as the lack of championship game.

Look for the Big 12 to add 2 more teams in the next few years. $$$ is what it is ALL about, and the conference just lost out on a lot of it. They won't want that to happen again, even if it means adding two crappy schools that excite no one to get to 12.

8 years ago

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Robert Brock

Expand to 12? The odds are much greater that the conference will unravel than expand.

8 years ago

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Ethan Berger

Here is the logic I don't get. First, head to head should dertmine the champ. In a league where everyone plays everyone, a conf champ game would be counter productive. Imagine a undefeated 2nd or 3rd ranked team. They play a two loss ( one in conf loss) team in a champ game. The two loss team one conf loss was to the 2nd ranked team in the nation. However they then go beat that team in the conf game. Now the 2nd ranked team drops out of the playoff because they aren't conf champs even though they beat all the teams in the regular season. They are 1-1 agaisnt the team they just lost to. It makes no sense to have a championship game if you play everyone. Playoff needs to be expanded to 8 next year. 5 auto bids for power 5 conf winners. Bring back the bcs numbers to determine the three wild cards. Selection committee chooses the seeding.

8 years ago

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Daniel Kennamore

Cincinnati and Colorado State. Gives WVU someone close geographically.

Split the divisions East/West this time with one permanent cross-division game.

East:

- WVU
- Cincinanti
- Kansas
- Iowa State
- Oklahoma State
- Baylor

West

- Kansas State
- Colorado State
- Oklahoma
- Texas
- TCU
- Texas Tech

Permanent Cross division games:

- Kansas--Kansas State
- WVU--Iowa State
- Oklahoma--Oklahoma State
- Texas Tech--Colorado State
- TCU--Cincinnati

Go back to only 8 conference game. Would give us a chance to pad everyone's W-L ratio like the SEC does.

8 years ago

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David Atchley

I like your thoughts here, particularly with the addition of Colorado State. I would also have Iowa tell me "no" and also see what Colorado's temperature is about returning, as a back-up plan to Cincy.

8 years ago

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Daniel Kennamore

B1G and Pac both have grant of rights deals. Would have to have MASSIVE payout settlements to get Iowa or Colorado.

8 years ago

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David Atchley

good point, thanks.

8 years ago

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Brad Farha

I like your idea Daniel. Any chance you have some pull with the Big12 administration and can present this soon?

8 years ago

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Robert Brown

Not going to happen. No need to expand to get CC Game

8 years ago

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David Atchley

"No Bowls-by"

8 years ago

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Dirk Medema

If the NCAA is going to be choosing between conferences at the end of the year for a champion, they need to take some leadership at the beginning of the season.

Establish at least 1 if not 2 weeks during the season for inter-conference games. Each conference would choose who their #1, #2, #3, ... seeds are, and they would be paired up with similar teams from the other conferences. Sort of like the Big12-SEC, Big10-ACC challenges in BB, only it would involve all Power 5 conference teams. There would occasionally be TCU/OU's that are projected low/hi before the season but end up otherwise, but at least it starts to ensure some sort of con-conf comparison.

Either that, or expand the playoffs to include all conference champions and at least one at large team. Yada, yada, yada about too many games when other athletes compete in much longer seasons.

8 years ago

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Craig Colgin

Kind of seems to me like what everyone has beening viewing as the 5 "power 5" conferences is actually power 4. And the big 12 is in the next teir. According to what weve now seen today. Its tough to view that differently in my opinion. Looks like the big 12 was just the last one to find out there are only 4.

8 years ago

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Brian Skelly

I think they'll add two more schools. Plenty of folks will speculate as to whom, I'll let others figure that out. It would help for football scheduling-wise for a a school like KU. If for nothing else we could go back to an 8 game conference schedule. Of course, id be okay at 9 games as well. I think the TV folks prefer conference games over non-conference unless they can get big boys to play each other. We'll see what happens. I think its safe to say, at least from the reaction and public statements from Bowlsby this sorta thing will be looked at now.

8 years ago

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Doug Cramer

I knew the second that Herbstreit started touting Ohio State last night that the Big 12 was screwed.

Baylor should have taken care of business at Morgantown. No reason for them to lose that game.

8 years ago

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