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How Would The Big 12 Have Done in An Expanded College Football Playoff?

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff-Selection Sunday

So the College Football Playoff may expand to 12 teams. But how would that have impacted the Big 12 had the playoff been 12 teams to start with?

Well, for one thing, the TCU Horned Frogs and the Baylor Bears wouldn’t have nearly the beef with the process that they do now, according to’s David Cobb.

Cobb did the math on how the rumored new playoff format — the top six conference champions and the top six at-large teams — would have worked since the playoff was implemented for the 2014 season. How did the Big 12 do?


Well, back in 2014, instead of being left out, both the Horned Frogs and the Bears would have been two of the Big 12’s first three representatives in the playoff. TCU and Baylor shared the Big 12 title that season, but the committee bypassed both teams and took eventual national champion Ohio State at No. 4.

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But, it ALSO would have meant that Kansas State, which finished No. 11 in the final playoff rankings that season, would have made the postseason, too.

Baylor would have played Boise State and TCU would have played the Wildcats in a Big 12 rematch in the first round of the playoffs.

How would the Big 12 have done in the successive years?

In 2015, TCU would have joined the Oklahoma Sooners (which was the No. 4 seed) in the playoff as a No. 11 seed.

In 2016, a year that no Big 12 team played in the four-team playoff, the Sooners would have gotten in a 12-team playoff as the No. 7 seed.

In 2017 and 2018, Oklahoma would have remained the only Big 12 team that reached the postseason as the No. 2 seed in 2017 and the No. 3 seed in 2018.

In 2019, Baylor would have joined Oklahoma in the playoffs. The Bears, then under Matt Rhule, would have been the No. 7 seed.


Then, in 2020, Iowa State — which lost to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game, as Baylor had the year before — would have joined OU in the postseason as the No. 10 seed.

So, had the playoff started an expanded 12-team postseason, the Big 12 would have gotten its share of the wealth.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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