Monday, December 8, 2014

A Big 12 issue

Look, I get where Baylor coach Art Briles is coming from. You get shouldered aside in the 11th hour, your thoughts naturally turn to power plays, politics and why the hell isn't there a Big 12 rep on the College Football Playoff selection committee, anyway?

(Actually there is. Oliver Luck, athletic director, West Virginia).

But you know what?

Briles' issue isn't with the committee. The committee got it right, because right now Ohio State is one of the strongest four teams in the country -- even if the Big Ten isn't one of the strongest four conferences.

No, Briles' issue  (and TCU coach Gary Patterson's issue, if it comes to that) should be a little closer to home. It should be with their own conference.

The Big 12 is directly responsible for getting its top two teams shut out of the process, because the Big 12 has no conference championship game. And so, foolishly, it declared co-champions. Which did neither Baylor nor TCU any favors, because why put a half-champion in the playoff when you can put four outright champs there?

Without a playoff the Big 12 should have just declared Baylor its champion,  because the Bears won the head-to-head with TCU. The dilemma, of course, was that Baylor was ranked behind Ohio State in the CFP ranking while TCU was sitting at No. 3. So maybe even that wouldn't have worked.

It all comes back to the conference's lack of a championship game. And it could have had one. Invite two more teams to join, split 'em into two divisions of six and have at it. Simple.

Instead ... well, instead the Big 12 today is the only Power 5 conference left out in the cold. And it has no one to blame but itself.

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