Gary Patterson

TCU head coach Gary Patterson is still bitter about the inaugural College Football Playoff following the 2014 season. And he’s right.

TCU and Baylor both ended the season with 1 loss. But because the Big 12 didn’t have a championship game, both teams were left out of the College Football Playoff. At least that’s what we were told.

So in 2016, the Big 12 Conference voted to bring back its championship game, despite only having 10 teams in the conference. Alas, just weeks later, the College Football Playoff committee put a team, Ohio State, in the Playoff, despite not even winning their division or making a conference championship game. How about that?

TCU head coach Gary Patterson was a guest on The Ticket in Dallas on Wednesday and clearly still hasn’t let this all go, saying, “Everybody said you have to have a Championship Game. Well, I just watched a team [Ohio State] not get into the Big Ten Championship game and make the College Football Playoff. We as coaches just want an even playing field. What was disappointing about that, is that in 2013 they told us we need a championship game.”

Good for Coach P. I’ll always believe that had Baylor and/or TCU in 2013 been brands like Texas or Oklahoma, one of them would have received a bid to the College Football Playoff. Having two smaller, Christian-based universities with little to no national following was not what the committee wanted in it’s first-ever Playoff. They wanted big names and big-time programs. Ohio State or TCU/Baylor. Hmmm… that was easy.

That was always the risk when a subjective group of people are ultimately making decisions, rather than a computer like in the BCS days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a much bigger fan of the Playoff than the BCS, but this is the risk.

TCU went on to crush a very solid Ole Miss team 42-3 in the Peach Bowl. There’s no doubt in my mind that team would have been extremely competitive in the College Football Playoff. Their only hiccup that season was the wild 61-58 loss to Baylor.

Patterson went on to tell The Ticket on Wednesday morning,“I’m a big advocate of going to 6 or 8 teams [in the CFB Playoff].”

From a TCU perspective, it makes sense. The reality is this: In the current format, the Horned Frogs will never get into the College Football Playoff, barring an undefeated season. The committee has proven it’s not a fan of the Big 12 because of a national perspective it’s the fifth of the 5 Power Conferences. Right or wrong, I believe that’s their opinion.

But if the Horned Frogs get through a Big 12 championship game and only have 1 loss, they might be able to sneak into the College Football Playoff, depending on circumstances involving other teams around the conference and the country.

Gary Patterson also went on to take a slight dig at the other conferences, while praising the Big 12, saying, “If the goal is to get into Playoff, you gotta have the two highest-ranked teams get into the championship game.” 

Boom. He’s right. The Big 12 didn’t take the easy way out and split into North/South divisions that would forever benefit the South schools. 1-2 baby. Let ’em play it out. It might hurt the conference every so often. But it was the right move.

Now let’s see how it all plays out starting this fall.

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