Eyes Turn to Waco For Last Weekend

Three spots in the inaugural College Football Playoff seem locked up.

Alabama, who enacted revenge on Auburn, has Missouri standing in their way of a trip to New Orleans.

Oregon can gain revenge on Arizona in the Pac-12 title game. If the Ducks win, they're headed south to Pasadena for a semifinal.

Florida State, who survived a massive scare from the Gators, has a tough game with a surging Georgia Tech team. Win, and they're headed for a showdown with Oregon.

That leaves one spot.

There's no question that spot should be decided in Waco, Texas. It's why College GameDay is headed there this weekend. Baylor's performance against Bill Snyder's Kansas State Wildcats should determine whether they should gain that final spot, or rather it go to the TCU Horned Frogs.

And if Alabama, Oregon or Florida State slip up, Baylor AND TCU should get in.

I know there is a major push from the folks in the Big Ten to get Ohio State in the playoff. They've certainly pushed them into the conversation. And, with just one loss, the Buckeyes seem worthy of being at least considered for one of the coveted playoff spots.

The problem? Who you lose to should count for something. And Ohio State's loss to Virginia Tech is bad. Really bad. Epically bad.

Virginia Tech finished 6-6 on the year, so it's not like the Buckeyes lost to the worst team in the FBS. It was however, a worse opponent to lose to than TCU's loss (Baylor) and Baylor's loss (West Virginia). And if you had witnessed the recent matchup between the Hokies and Wake Forest, that game alone should tell you how bad losing to Virginia Tech is for Ohio State. Wake Forest and Virginia Tech went scoreless for all of regulation, with the Demon Deacons pulling out a 6-3 win in double overtime.

It was ugly. It was painfully tough for even the best of football fans to watch. And it gives plenty of ammunition to those who would favor either Baylor or TCU over the Buckeyes. Losing to Virginia Tech, by 14, at home, is a miserable loss. There's really no other way to describe it.

The conference slate hasn't done Ohio State many favors either. Amidst all the media hype for the Buckeyes is the fact that, for the first three weeks, the Big Ten was just plain awful. Are the memories of CFP committee members short enough to forget September?

Baylor lost to a 7-5 West Virginia squad. It's not a great loss but at least it was on the road in a hostile, couch-burning environment. Their non-conference slate was an absolute joke, which the CFP committee is letting them know by placing TCU ahead of the Bears. Baylor beat TCU with a fantastic fourth quarter comeback, which still gives them an edge on the Horned Frogs.

Make no doubt, head-to-head has to be placed ahead of schedule strength. TCU has definitely played the better non-conference slate, including a stellar win over a good Minnesota team that furthers their case to go ahead of Ohio State. However, the Frogs had a big lead in Waco and lost the game. Baylor won on the field. The integrity of the CFP committee is at stake with this decision: you have to give credit to what happens on the field over all other intangibles.

TCU's loss to Baylor is the "best loss," so to say, of any of the one loss teams, though it puts TCU in the ugly position of being a conference co-champion with a team that beat them on the field. Right now, TCU's great win over Texas, coupled with Baylor's almost collapse against Texas Tech, gives TCU a legitimate push for the fourth spot. However, given the Big 12 has been stronger than the Big 10 and Ohio State's loss to the Hokies is the worst of one-loss teams, if Baylor beats Kansas State handily, they should get the fourth spot.

And Ohio State fans should be wearing a lot of Missouri, Iowa State and K-State gear this weekend. It should take that kind of sweep to get the Buckeyes in, if the CFP committee calls it honest.

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