TCU head coach Gary Patterson pointed out a few inconsistencies with the College Football Playoff selection criteria.
Back in 2014, during the first year of the College Football Playoff system, TCU and Baylor, which were not afforded the opportunity to play a league title game, were both leapfrogged by Ohio State in the final standings after the Buckeyes crushed Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten title game. Ohio State later went on to win the national championship with victories over Alabama and Oregon.
This past season, the Buckeyes again reached the College Football Playoff, but in a much different way. Ohio State failed to win the Big Ten, but had a strong enough resume to become the first team not to win its conference in the event.
Monday, TCU head coach Gary Patterson commented on the criteria chosen to select the four teams for the event. He says that his program and Baylor’s were told that a championship game mattered back in 2014. But obviously, in 2016, it didn’t. Check it out:
Gary Patterson is unhappy with CFP. "I was told you had to play in a championship game to get in the playoff. Then OSU gets in…"
— David Ubben (@davidubben) July 17, 2017
Gary Patterson: "Baylor and us were told that you had to play a championship game, and then last year a team didn't play one and got in"
— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) July 17, 2017
TCU's Gary Patterson notes Ohio State made CFP in 2016 without playing in title game, something that worked against TCU and Baylor in 2014.
— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) July 17, 2017
It’s a fair argument on the surface – Ohio State seems to have gotten in back in 2014 because it had the chance to play in a league title game, and gotten in last year despite not having the opportunity to play one.
But remember – the committee’s job is to put the four best teams in the country in the event – and a conference title is not a requirement. Clearly, they felt the Buckeyes were one of the four best teams each of those years.
This year, Ohio State is going to have to put together a dominant regular season to make it back to the event. Last year’s 31-0 debacle against Clemson won’t work in its favor.