The bugs in the new College Football Playoff system seemed to be apparent by the first day of 2015.The Big 12 Conference, mainly due to a lack of a sanctioned championship game, was the only Power Five conference to not have a representative in the semi-final games. And, the Big 12 co-champions, TCU and Baylor, made sure to show both their displeasure and worth in their bowl games.
Baylor lost a 42-41 heartbreaker to No. 7 Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl. But, the Horned Frogs annihilated Ole Miss, a team which looked suited to win the stacked SEC West around mid-season, in the Peach Bowl 42-3.
Since that statement win, TCU was ranked No. 2 in the pre-season AP Poll and hasn’t lost a game.
However, week-by-week, they keep dropping.
After dropping 70 on Stephen F. Austin in Week 2, the Horned Frogs were relegated to No. 3.
In Week 5, TCU scored half a hundred on Texas but were dropped once more to No. 4.
A big 52-45 win over Kansas State the following week gave TCU the No. 2 spot back, but, the following week, the Horned Frogs were once again downgraded to No. 3.
Then, TCU won big against the Cyclones of Iowa State but fell to the fourth spot in the poll. And, after having this weekend off, they fell yet another spot to No. 5.
Sure, the teams above the Horned Frogs are also undefeated, but TCU, having not lost, shouldn’t be slipping so much.
Their schedule hasn’t allowed for any real statement wins this season; their two biggest challenges come the final two weeks of the season with No. 14 Oklahoma and No. 2 Baylor, respectively.
Speaking of Baylor, they haven’t had any marquee victories either, yet they’re at No. 2, a spot TCU has had yanked away from them twice this season.
For both of these Texas titans, they won’t really get a good gauge of how good they really are until they play Oklahoma or each other. But, rating TCU as the underdog in the Big 12 race doesn’t seem fair.
The Horned Frogs’ schedule and wins so far seem rather comparable to the Bears, and TCU has something Baylor does not: Trevone Boykin.
The Heisman pool has defined itself as the season went on, and a few of the early contenders seem to have fallen off the radar. But, two names have been there since the preseason: Leonard Fournette and Trevone Boykin.
Don’t get me wrong, I know Baylor’s offense is just as high powered as TCU’s, however, in a tough battle where the victor gets the Big 12 crown and, most likely, a playoff berth, a star player with a little bit of the X factor could be the tipping point.
But, I’m sure the rankings aren’t phasing Gary Patterson and his boys, because whether they’re No. 1 or No. 5, they know they’ve just got to keep doing what they’re doing – winning.