Everyone won. Literally every team contending for the four highly coveted spots in the first College Football playoff proved victorious this week, making the CFP selection committee’s decision that much harder.
The committee’s final rankings of the nation’s best teams will be announced Sunday at 12:30 P.M. ET on ESPN, who will also air the National Championship on Jan. 12, 2015 from AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
The two teams that appear to be locks are the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and No. 3 Oregon Ducks. Both won their respective conferences, in blowout victories and will likely be the top two teams on the committee’s rankings.
The No. 2 Florida State Seminoles, the only undefeated squad left in the country, do have the potential to drop out of the top four. They barely squeezed past Georgia Tech Saturday with a 37-35 victory for the ACC title.
Despite winning 29 straight, the reigning champion Seminoles have been criticized throughout the season for not blowing out opponents, and it was believed their huge number of close games would be their downfall when the committee released its final rankings. Florida State’s beaten four ranked opponents this season, but won their last four games by an average of 3.5 points, mostly against unranked teams.
Should the Seminoles fall out of the committee’s favor, either Ohio State or Baylor could move up.
The No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes could benefit the most from the Seminoles narrow victories. They clinched the Big Ten title with 59-0 pasting of Wisconsin, and were right behind Florida State as the last team in out in the most recent CFP rankings. Ohio State has won 11 straight games, and arguably played in a tougher conference than the Seminoles.
It might be difficult for the CFP committee to overlook the Buckeyes performance against Wisconsin, which owned the fourth-stingiest defense in the nation. Ohio State racked up 558 total yards, and held the nation’s leading rusher Melvin Gordon to only 76 yards.
No. 4 ranked TCU moved up the CFP rankings last week, actually surpassing Florida State for the third spot, and they won a share of the Big 12 title. But the conference’s other champion, No. 5 Baylor, beat the Horned Frogs earlier this year, and yet they’re currently out of the playoffs according to the committee.
Unlike the other four major conferences, the Big 12 does not pit its two top teams in a championship game, but allows teams to share the title if they have equal conference records.
Baylor head coach Art Briles took serious exemption to how the Big 12 decides a champion after his squad defeated Kansas State 38-27 on Saturday.
“All of the sudden, you’re going to go out the back door instead of going out the front? Don’t say one thing and do another. That’s my deal. I’m not obligated to him. I’m obligated to Baylor and our team,” Briles said according to the Dallas Morning News. “We happen to be the champion two years in a row. They need to be obligated to us because we’re helping the Big 12’s image in the nation.’’
Start Time: 12:30 P.M. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Online: A live stream is available at Watch ESPN here.