The first College Football Playoff rankings were revealed Tuesday night and the undefeated TCU Horned Frogs find themselves with a steep hill to climb to get in the good graces of the Committee. ESPN had the first of its weekly events that is strictly created to turn you into the Lewis Black character from Inside Out. Even knowing it’s a professional wrestling stunt meant to drive TV ratings and Twitter chatter and blog posts such as this one, and knowing it has no meaning whatsoever until the final ranking is released several weeks from now, the Committee chair knows just what to say to send us over the edge. Because it will never be based in reason or resumes, or logic or facts; the list will be made and the talking points will be retroactively applied to suit the position of the suits.
Strength of record does not matter to this Committee, a metric in which TCU is ranked 3rd. Meanwhile, Michigan has played a truly embarrassing strength of schedule, featuring a non-conference slate with 3 of the ten worst teams in all of FBS. The Wolverines have one win against a team of any legitimate quality - defeating CFP #15 Penn State - with a schedule strength in the 70s. The message from the Committee here is to say that it does not matter who you play, only that you show dominance over doormats.
Meanwhile there was a lot of talk from CFP chairman Boo Corrigan regarding TCU falling behind in some games and that being the reason that Alabama would be ahead of the Horned Frogs. Mr. Corrigan must have missed the game where Alabama was behind at the end of regulation and the one that required a last minute comeback victory to defeat #24 Texas or the last second goal line stand required to bring down 5-loss Texas A&M at home. There was discussion that perhaps the committee recognizes that Alabama was without its starting Quarterback for the Texas A&M game. Word, does the Committee recognize that TCU has been without its named starting QB for all but one half of football this season? Chairman Corrigan noted when asked by Rece Davis about why the Crimson Tide would be ahead of TCU, “When you look at the wins, vs. Mississippi State, at Arkansas, at Texas, and obviously a 3-point loss at Tennessee, we decided to go Alabama 6 and TCU 7.” This is a suggestion that defeating the 3-loss Bulldogs and Razorbacks, teams the Committee agrees are not worthy of ranking in its Top 25, is more impressive than defeating the Committee’s own #13 Kansas State and #18 Oklahoma State. That’s not even mentioning TCU wins over Oklahoma and Kansas, teams of at least similar quality to those headline Alabama victories. It’s a ludicrous statement about a clown show process and I have completely fallen into their trap of caring about this nonsense.
Okay, fine, one more quote. Let’s take another statement from Chairman Corrigan and remove the referenced team & player names: “Well I think the explosive nature of their offense at [Team A] and [High performing QB], [Superstar WR], the win over [Top 15 Team], the way they came back to win that game.” Interesting interesting, so the Committee believes having an explosive offense and being able to come from behind and defeat a top opponent is reason to rank a team very highly compared to its competition. Cool cool, makes sense. So in that case the Horned Frogs should probably be in your Top 3 right Mr. Corrigan? No? Oh whoops my mistake, you were actually just justifying positioning for golden goose Ohio State. So in that case, I’m sure you wouldn’t immediately completely contradict yourself when justifying your ranking of TCU: “We’re looking for a balanced team, offense and defense. They’ve gotten behind in some games.” Got it: Ohio State come back win = impressive perseverance ; TCU come back win = weak performance.
With a clear message that the Committee has little interest in what the Frogs have accomplished to date relative to other Playoff contenders, TCU has taken a tumble in the Futures market, now at +8000 (80-to-1) to win the National Championship and +700 (7-to-1) to make the Playoff at DraftKings Sportsbook
This is stupid and I hate it and it’s great to be back here arguing about TCU’s position on the national stage. This will play itself out and we just have to hope to be left with a chair when the music stops on December 4 with the final Committee rankings. For the Horned Frogs, the only thing that actually matters is winning the next game each week, starting again Saturday morning with the Texas Tech Red Raiders coming to Amon G. Carter Stadium.