Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
College Football Playoff Opinion/Editorial

College Football Playoff: Why Undefeated is an Automatic Playoff Berth For TCU

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Judging by some of the Horned Frogs faithful this week, you would think the sky is falling.

As I mentioned in a previous article, TCU and their fans have a major Rodney Dangerfield complex.


There is a perception among some, that should TCU pull off the unthinkable and manipulate their 13 game gauntlet unblemished, the College Football Playoff Committee will shun them once again and subject them to the Red Hot Candy Toilet Bowl in Fargo, ND.

Though this apprehension is somewhat logical to a fan base that is used to seeing their team get the service end of a plunger in the rankings, it is ridiculous logic nonetheless.

There is no scenario, I repeat, NO SCENARIO, in which an undefeated TCU team is left out of the final four. It just simply cannot and will not happen this season.

The CFP Committee is made up of 13 former coaches, administrators, executives, and journalists charged with deciding the four teams with the best body of work in the current college football season.

While there is an abundance of obstacles on the Horned Frogs path to an undefeated season, they will have compiled possibly the best body of work should they pull it off.

An undefeated Horned Frogs team will have beaten six Power 5 Conference schools on the road. Three of those schools (Oklahoma St, Iowa St, and Oklahoma) will have been ranked in the AP Top 25 at the time they played. They will have a total of no less than five wins against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 at the time they played them. And they will have three wins against legitimate Heisman contenders, as they will have to beat either Mason Rudolph or Baker Mayfield twice to win all of their games.

That would be a magnificent body of work under any circumstance.

As of today, there are only six Power 5 schools that have yet to lose. There are two each in the SEC and BIG Ten that would have to play each other to remain perfect. This means there will be no more than four undefeated Power 5 teams at the end of the season.

The fear is that the committee will choose a one loss team such as Ohio State or Notre Dame and bump an undefeated TCU team out for TV ratings and ticket sales.

And while a game featuring Ohio State or Notre Dame should garner higher ratings than TCU, there are multiple reasons why that won’t happen.

The guidelines for choosing a playoff team are as follows

  • Strength of Schedule (6 road wins and 5 wins against ranked teams)
  • Head to head results against common opponents (that knocks Ohio State back)
  • Championships won (Undisputed Power 5 conference champion)

Whereas in 2014, the committee was given multiple reasons (disputed conference champion, other teams with the same record, no real competition outside conference) other than money to shun Baylor and TCU, they will have none of those reasons should TCU win all of their games.

All they will have is money. And they can’t use it.

Should the committee leave an undefeated TCU team out in favor of a higher profile team with a lesser body of work, they would have no choice but to admit earning potential is the sole reason. That could potentially open an enormous can of muculent worms.

The NCAA is a 501c tax exempt entity. Shunning a team under these circumstances could literally trigger a congressional investigation on their tax exempt status. They will not be willing to fight the merits of this status for the short term gain of one postseason.

At the end of the day, I personally think the committee gets this right. We’re a long way away from this being a viable scenario. The odds of TCU finishing this fight 13-0 are pretty slim. They aren’t as slim as they were a month ago, but they are still slim. Should they pull it off though, the committee will finally applaud and show the Dangerfields their due respect.

Plus, if there’s anything America loves, it’s an underdog story. If you think for one minute that the majority of the country won’t be pulling for TCU against, say, Alabama or Penn State, think again.

And should they actually beat them and win it all, it will make for one heck of a 30 for 30. I hear those usually rate pretty high.

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