The Big 12 was snubbed by the playoff committee. The teams for the first ever college playoff have been selected. Four of the five major conferences will be represented. The Big 12 will not be in the playoffs.
The Big 12 is the only major conference that does not have a championship game. The Big 12 is not allowed to have a championship game Under NCAA rules because it has ten members instead of twelve. As a result, the conference ended the season with co-champions, Baylor and TCU. Having co-champions meant there was no clear choice for a playoff pick to sit with the other four championship teams.
Commissioner Bob Bowlsby commented that both TCU and Baylor were worthy of a championship game. Both teams had only one loss in the regular season. TCU had been in the top four in the penultimate voting for playoff teams. Bowlsby also commented that they were not given advanced notice and it appeared they were being penalized for not having the post season game.
There were discussions last year that involved the Big 12, and after today’s playoff snub, they will revisit those discussions in the upcoming months. Besides adding another two teams to the conference, they could petition the NCAA to add a championship under the current conference of ten teams.
The four teams that were selected are the winners of this weekend’s conference championship games. Alabama won the Southeast Conference and is the top seed. Oregon won the Pac-12 championship Friday night and are ranked number two. They defeated Arizona, the only team that beat them this season. Third seeded Florida state completed an undefeated season with their win in the ACC championship. Ohio State claimed the fourth seed by winning the Big 10 Championship. They needed to use their third string quarterback because of injuries.
This is the first year of the playoff system. For years, the BCS picked the two teams that would play for the championship. For a long time some fans wanted an expanded playoff, other fans thought it would diminish the importance of the regular season. The new system included the committee releasing their vote starting mid-season and updated it every week. This allowed fans to know which teams were being considered for the four playoff spots.
In the end, all six teams won this weekend, however the four picked all won four championship games where TCU and Baylor were only finishing their regular season. The obvious appearance of only four teams rather than five is a nod to the idea that the Big 12 was snubbed by the playoff committee.
Baylor had one of the most impressive wins of all the potential playoff teams. They beat TCU in their head-to-head matchup, but Baylor’s schedule out of conference was very weak. They played teams from the FBS division or teams that only won one game.
The Big 12 was apparently snubbed by the playoff committee, but with co-champions and no clear pick for a seeded team, it is understandable why that happened. Add to that the NCAA regulations that are clear about the Big 12 not having enough teams to qualify for the championship game.
By Kerri Cushna
Photo by Rita – Flickr License