Thanks to a 2OT contest between Michigan State and Kentucky on the hardcourt in the Champions Classic basketball event, it was a late evening on Tuesday awaiting the release of the third version of the College Football Playoff rankings. The show was able to begin at 9PM Central and the Committee placed the TCU Horned Frogs at #4. With losses throughout the Top 25, including one-time contenders Oregon, UCLA, and Ole Miss. As we projected, the Committee was not going to show any consideration to strength of record, keeping things as they were in the Top 4. The Georgia Bulldogs, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Michigan Wolverines are the teams ahead of the Horned Frogs, with the Top 10 rounded out by Tennessee, LSU, USC, Alabama, Clemson, and Utah.
In addition to the Horned Frogs, the Big 12 was represented in the Top 25 with Kansas State moving up to #15 after its demolition of Baylor, and Oklahoma State moved into the rankings at #22 ahead of Bedlam after a 6-point home win over Iowa State. The Texas Longhorns dropped out of the rankings after picking up its 4th loss of the season Saturday night at home against TCU. The Committee did not rank any 4-loss teams, but 3 of those 4 Longhorn losses came to teams the Committee ranked in the Top 25 .
Committee Chair Boo Corrigan did not have much to say in the abbreviated broadcast between basketball games, but was asked about how the perception of the Horned Frogs was impacted by the win over Texas: “You’re looking for improvement during the course of the year, and for their defense to give up three points...they continue to improve, they’ve earned the opportunity to be in the Top 4.”
Just as the Committee kept the Frogs at #4, DraftKings Sportsbook has held TCU with the 5th best odds to win the National Championship at +2500. TCU is a slight favorite to win the Big 12 at -140, with Kansas State the clear second most likely to take the conference crown at +140. DraftKings still projects TCU as far more likely to miss the Playoff (-290) than to be in the Top 4 in the final ranking release (+230).
The Horned Frogs will next get the major rivalry match in Waco, as the Bears will look to avenge the loss to TCU in 2021 that knocked Baylor out of Playoff contention with a dream-killing win of its own. The Frogs must continue to win to remain in this lofty position on the national stage, beginning again Saturday in McLane Stadium.