It wasn’t too long ago that TCU took the field against Oklahoma with a chance to thrust itself into the thick of the College Football Playoff discussion.
An 8-1 Horned Frogs squad entered Norman, Okla., ranked No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings, just one spot behind the No. 5-ranked Sooners, and with a chance to remain among the nation’s elite and become the Big 12’s top team, TCU fell short, 38-20.
Consequently, after dropping its second game in five appearances, TCU fell six spots to No. 12 in the playoff rankings, but has since closed the regular season with back-to-back wins. Now, with only one opportunity for a playoff statement remaining — the Big 12 Championship against No. 3 Oklahoma — TCU has a considerably unlikely, yet somehow possible path to the playoff, as detailed by Brad Shepard of Bleacher Report.
“Most likely, it’s going to take a lopsided payback to earn enough style points to warrant consideration in the College Football Playoff,” Shepard said. “Like Ohio State, the resume just isn’t good enough without some major help.”
“If the Horned Frogs do win, though, they’d have that win over OU that the Buckeyes don’t,” Shepard added. “They also don’t have an embarrassing self-destruction on their schedule like OSU’s loss to Iowa. So, advantage TCU. A win over Oklahoma would all but eliminate the Buckeyes.”
In short, if you’re TCU, your best bet is to curb-stomp the Sooners and pray for appropriate losses elsewhere.
At No. 11 in the latest playoff rankings, though, TCU would need a substantial amount of help, and that’s putting it lightly. With only four spots remaining, the winner of the ACC Championship between No. 1 Clemson and No. 7 Miami is almost certainly going to earn a bid, as will the SEC Championship between No. 2 Auburn and No. 6 Georgia. Beyond that point, even if TCU notched a blowout win over Oklahoma and No 8 Ohio State topped No. 4 Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, would it be enough for the Horned Frogs to leap No. 5 Alabama, No. 9 Penn State and No. 10 USC, as well?
As Bleacher Report noted, the simple fact that TCU doesn’t quite boast the big name as some of the aforementioned makes the scenario quite unlikely, and thus, just a 5 percent chance of proving true.
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