AP Photo/John Bazemore
TCU still deserves a shot in the College Football Playoff despite losing in the Big 12 Championship Game—at least according to Associated Press voters.
The Horned Frogs came in at No. 3 in the final AP rankings before the playoff as they await word from the CFP committee. Georgia remained the nation’s top-ranked team, followed by Michigan. Ohio State slides in at No. 4 while Alabama is on the outside looking in at No. 5.
Here is a look at how the entire poll played out:
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Kansas State
- Florida State
- Oregon State
- Notre Dame
- South Carolina
- Mississippi State
- North Carolina State
College football came into the weekend with a very straightforward outlook. Georgia and Michigan were locks for the playoff regardless of how their conference title games played out, while TCU and USC were locked in if they were able to win their respective championships.
Neither of them got the job done.
USC played itself out of playoff contention in a 47-24 blowout loss to Utah. The Trojans were outscored 44-7 after holding a 17-3 lead, with the defense completely imploding while Heisman favorite Caleb Williams struggled with a hamstring injury.
TCU got more benefit of the doubt after losing a 31-28 overtime thriller to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game. The Horned Frogs came back from 11 points down in the last 10 minutes, scoring a touchdown and game-tying two-point conversion with 1:51 remaining before falling in the extra period.
Losses by USC and TCU opened the door for Alabama, and coach Nick Saban publicly tried knocking it down during an appearance on ESPN’s The College Football Show on Saturday.
“We lost two games on the road to one Top Five team, one Top 10 team on the last play of the game,” Saban said. “But now that [quarterback Bryce Young is] healthier and he’s able to practice, I think we’re a different team, and I think you should look at the circumstances around a two-loss team versus a one-loss team and how are they playing at the end of the season? How are they playing at the present?”
Despite Alabama being a more talented team than TCU, the AP voters somewhat surprisingly kept the Horned Frogs at No. 3. We’ll have to see if the committee follows suit.