Legal disclaimer: This article is for the express written purpose of helping my Dad, whose worldview is so obscured by his SEC bias that he can’t see his hand waving inches in front of his face. I’m writing this as a service to him and others like him who need to be de-brainwashed like liberated cult members so that they can reintegrate into civilized society.
Rest easy, Horned Frogs. You’re in the playoff. Don’t waste your time worrying for however long after this is published for the playoff committee to announce its top four.
There is no case for Alabama. No amount of Alabama bias will be enough to justify leaving TCU out of the college football playoff. And if I’m wrong I guess you can blame me for getting your hopes up.
Georgia and Michigan were always going to be in regardless of the results of their conference championship games. USC’s loss all but ensured that they’re out. The committee ranked Ohio State No. 5 last week, so they’re the ones who replace them. With neither Ohio State nor Alabama playing this weekend, the order that they’re in is set in stone.
Alabama’s only hope was that two teams were knocked out of the top four. With USC being one, and having already established that Georgia and Michigan are locks, that just leaves TCU. With Alabama having two losses and TCU being previously undefeated, they would’ve needed to lose by a margin so humiliating that one could make the chance that one loss is worse than Alabama’s two. That didn’t happen. They didn’t lose the Big 12 championship game by 50, but rather by a field goal in overtime.
Here are some of the arguments I’ve heard about why Alabama should make it and why they are not to be taken seriously.
“But Alabama lost two games on the last play of the game.” And TCU lost one game on the last play of the game. Not to mention it was in overtime. That loss was also to a top-10 team in Kansas State that might be ranked higher than both of Alabama’s losses when the final rankings come out.
Also, TCU already defeated Kansas State earlier in the season. That means they defeated every team they played, which Alabama can’t say. It’s pretty bizarre that the order that the games happened in matters so much. If USC had won the PAC-12 championship game, they would’ve been 1-1 against Utah, but it wouldn’t have been a question that they were in. TCU may have done themselves a slight disservice by not saving their one win for the conference championship game. The committee has said that they value conference championships, and if that’s true, they should also care about making it to a conference championship game, which again, Alabama did not.
“TCU plays in a pillow fight conference.” That conference also has Alabama’s best win which was by 1 at Texas. It’s worth noting that this is a common opponent and TCU beat the Longhorns by 7 on the same field.
The one qualm I have about the committee doing the right thing and keeping TCU in the playoff is the “eye test,” which is code for “I can’t justify this decision but I’m making it anyway.” Even then, the committee surely wouldn’t put themselves into the unenviable position of having to explain having Alabama over TCU to Rece Davis during the selection show.
“I understand why some fans may be upset, Rece. I realize Alabama has more losses and their best win was by 1 point over a team TCU beat by 7, and they didn’t make it to their conference championship game, but the eye test clearly showed…”
It’s not happening. I suspect TCU will fall to No. 4 but they’ll be playing in the national semi-final. Don’t waste your time worrying about TCU or making an argument for Alabama.