As I write this Oklahoma is beating TCU 31-14 just before halftime in what is essentially the Big 12 Championship game. Well, not really. Unlike the rest of the country, the Big 12 does not have a true championship game. It is the only power conference in which the champion is crowned in the regular season. It is also the case that the Big 12 is, by far and away, the weakest conference when it comes to defense. Even the PAC-12 cannot claim that honor. So, should the Big 12 champion get in the College Football Playoff?
In years past, we have argued the Big 10 champion was going to lay an egg in the CFP and that came to fruition. We won’t rag on the Big 10 in this post; it is the Big 12 that should now be called out. If Oklahoma goes on to win the game against TCU and ends up with one loss this season, they are almost guaranteed a spot in the College Football Playoff. Unfortunately, there is a good chance they will play another non competitive game in the semifinal.
Two years ago Clemson handled Oklahoma in the semifinal game before losing to Alabama in the championship. Last year the committee selected Ohio State and Washington over the Big 12 champion and both of those schools were manhandled in the College Football Playoff.
The concern with the Big 12 is not athletes, it is defense. In the first half of the TCU vs Oklahoma game there have been dozens of missed tackles and blown coverages. It is like the old NCAA Football game on Playstation. Let the team score so you can get the ball back with more than a minute on the clock. The winner of the Big 12 will not be playing another weak Big 12 defense when they get in the CFP.
If the committee really wants the four best teams in the country in the playoff they will have to consider leaving the Big 12 champion out. There is still a very strong case for two ACC teams vs two SEC teams in the CFP. If we want to see the best matchups and the best football in the CFP we will not put Oklahoma against the ACC or SEC champion. One would argue Oklahoma is never out of the game but they may never be in it if the defense we are currently watching is on the field.
What do you think? Does the Big 12 Champion deserve to be in the CFP even though they don’t have to win a championship game and there is very little defense played in the Big 12?
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