Hidden Playbook

College Football Playoff Set: Alabama vs. Ohio State and Oregon vs. Florida State

On Sunday afternoon, a precedent was clearly set…

If you want to be a contender in the College Football Playoff (CFP), you need to meet certain criteria including winning your conference championship and having a strong strength of schedule.

Baylor and TCU had neither… and now they’re on the outside looking in.

On Sunday, the announcement of the four teams participating in the first annual CFP was made and the results were not entirely shocking given the circumstances.


Photo source: Instagram

No. 1 Alabama (12-1) will face No. 4 Ohio State (12-1) in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at 8:30 pm on Jan. 1 in New Orleans while No. 2 Oregon (12-1) will face No. 3 Florida State (13-0) earlier in the day at 5:00 pm in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl Game Presented By Northwestern Mutual.

On Saturday, the four teams cemented their positions as follows;

  • Alabama defeated Missouri (10-3) in the SEC Championship Game 42-13
  • Oregon defeated Arizona (10-3) in the PAC-12 Championship Game 51-13
  • Florida State defeated Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game 37-35
  • Ohio State defeated Wisconsin (10-3) in the Big Ten Championship Game 59-0

Coming in to Sunday’s selection show on ESPN, it was clear that Alabama, Oregon and Florida State were in. So the question came down to the No. 4 spot between the Buckeyes, Baylor (11-1) and TCU (11-1).

On Saturday, Baylor defeated Kansas State (9-3) 38-27 while TCU blew out Iowa State (2-10) 55-3. Since both teams finished with identical records in the Big 12, the tie-break would come down to head-to-head which was won by Baylor 61-58 back on Oct. 11 in Waco.

But after Ohio State’s more than impressive performance against a good Wisconsin team on Saturday night, the committee felt compelled to choose the Buckeyes over either Baylor or TCU. In the end, Baylor finished at No. 5 and TCU at No. 6.

This was especially crushing for TCU which was ranked at No. 3 ahead of Florida State just a week ago. Many critics were confused as to how TCU could fall from No. 3 to No. 6 in just a week after doing nothing to justify the negative movement.

But it was clear that a precedent was set if teams want to participate in the College Football Playoff. And in the end, it was clear that the Big 12 screwed itself.

Nonetheless, the matchups set for Jan. 1 will be remarkable. The championship game is set for Jan. 12 in Arlington at AT&T Stadium.


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