Better luck next year
Alabama, Oregon, Florida St., and Ohio St. will compete in the first ever college football playoff this year. Notably absent from the lineup: A team from the powerhouse Big 12.
That's in part because the conference finished the regular season with co-champions — Baylor and TCU — instead of a single champion. The conference can't hold a championship game because, despite its name, it only has 10 teams; the NCAA requires conferences to have at least 12 teams to stage a title game. And though Baylor won a head-to-head between the two teams earlier this year, the Big 12 decided to present both as equals to the playoff selection committee anyway.
So even though Baylor defeated ninth-ranked Kansas St. Saturday to finish fourth in the latest Associated Press poll, they slipped to fifth in the playoff standings. (TCU finished sixth.) And Jeff Long, chair of the playoff selection committee, said Sunday in announcing the field that the lack of a single Big 12 champion worked against the conference's teams.