With the top-3 teams pretty much decided and known after the final whistle last night, it all came down to three teams for 1 spot. With Chaos losing this weekend, and losing badly, all of the Top-6 teams won, with most winning in dominating fashion. The Oregon Ducks got it started with a blowout win over Arizona, and the Baylor Bears finished it with a win over Kansas State.
In between those two spots though, Ohio State impressively beat Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big 10 Championship game. At that point, most experts began to clamor for the big state school champs to get the spot ahead of the two Big 12 schools.
The scene was set at Alabama, Oregon and Florida State were debuted as the top-3 schools. With the fourth being unveiled as Ohio State, the Big 12 and the State of Texas was left out of the playoffs. It is a bitter pill to swallow for both TCU and Baylor fans, and rightfully so. These are two great teams, who are both at the top of the 1st or 2nd best conference in the country by every metric out there.
In the end though, the big state school with tons of history and tradition advances over the two small private schools. Big names win, something that we all knew was a possibility. Yes, Ohio State did what they needed to do, dominate a good Wisconsin team. Their wins over Michigan State and Wisconsin are impressive, no doubt. Feeding on the soft mediocre belly of the Big 10 though allowed them to rack up wins over "Top-50" teams. There were no battles against another Top-5 team.
The Big 12 is left out, due to it's own rules and attempts to manipulate the system. The thought was, if things broke right, they could get two teams in by not declaring one a champion. They could game the system and get both in. With the lack of a "true-champion" though, the Bears and Frogs were left with a share of something competing against a school with a full championship.
What the Big 12 does as a conference now will be up for debate. The yelling for expanding and having a conference championship game has already started to spread like a virus. Maybe the right choice though is to actually declare a champion, when head to head can easily decide it with little fuss.
As most thought would happen, the Bears eventually did pass TCU, but it was a needless move, with both outside looking in. The Bears finished 5th while TCU is 6th. I doubt either team is very pleased with this process and the end result. The Frogs fell three spots despite beating Iowa State 55-3. The Bears finally passed TCU due to their head to head win, but did not get the bump they truly wanted into the playoffs.