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How The Big 12 Could Sneak Into The College Football Playoff

The Big 12 probably isn't going to have a team in the College Football Playoff. Probably.

The new College Football Playoff rankings came out on Tuesday night, and the Big 12's highest-ranked team is Oklahoma at No. 9. Oklahoma State is next at No. 11. West Virginia follows at No. 14.

What would it take for one of those three teams to make the playoff?

First, one of those three would have to win out. The Sooners play the Mountaineers this weekend and the Cowboys at the end of the regular season. WVU and Oklahoma State already played, with the Cowboys winning.

As long as one of those three teams wins out, the Big 12 has a chance.

For one of those teams to wind up in the final foursome, this is what probably has to happen.

  1. Louisville has to lose at Houston on Thursday night. If the Cardinals win that game, they're probably finishing 11-1. And the committee would then almost surely take an 11-1 Louisville team over a one or two-loss Big 12 champion.
  2. Ohio State has to either lose one of its remaining two games OR Penn State has to lose to Michigan State, allowing the Buckeyes to play (and win) the Big Ten Championship Game, eliminating the possibility of two Big Ten teams making it.
  3. Washington has to lose one of its remaining two games or the Pac-12 title game.

If that happens, here's what the College Football Playoff picture would look like.

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Ohio State or Michigan
  4. The Big 12 champion or two-loss Louisville or two-loss Ohio State or a two-loss Pac-12 champion.

Who would the committee take for that fourth spot? The Big 12 team. Probably.