Predicting the First Loser (#5) in College Football Playoff: Ohio State, TCU, or No SEC Team?!


You know exactly what I’m talking about. That dreaded number 5 in the College Football Playoff. It’ll hang in history for the foreseeable future. The First Loser. Could it be your team? What are the chances that your fave collegiate pigskin brawler has had a great season this year, maybe only losing 1 game, only to be left out in the cold at that Number 5 spot? It’ll feel something awful is what it’ll feel like. All throughout the off season until next August that fan base will feel the repercussions of it. Maybe somebody will draw up some shirts and sell them for profit with the saying ‘We’re #5!’ as a way of assuaging the sure fired pain that’s associated with being just one spot away in the inaugural ‘4Team Playoff.’ It’s the equivalent of being invited to a party, the one giving the party calling you back and saying its been canceled, and then driving by to see everyone living it up without you.

So who are these #5 candidates? Who amongst the remaining FBS teams in that 4 to 8 range could be left holding the bag until next year? Let’s go over a few, rip the blindfold off and give the latest in what the future could hold.

TCU (Big 12)

The Horned Frogs (10-1) currently hold the #5 spot as it stands. With quality wins against Oklahoma and Kansas State, the Frogs also have a ‘quality’ loss of sorts against Baylor on the road in which the Bears had to score 21 points in 11 minutes in the 4th to defeat TCU back in early October 61-58. Their biggest blemish? Even though TCU won against Kansas last week in Lawrence 34-30, they trailed for most of the game against one of the worst teams in the FBS in the last few years. The committee looks to your wins and if you dominated against teams you should. I know some will look at that and point to Florida State and see how they squeak by every week, but hey they’re undefeated and TCU is not. If TCU was undefeated, they’d be a shoe-in at either #1 or #2 and that squeak by against Kansas wouldn’t mean anything. As it is, they have one game left against Iowa State at home, which should be just fish in a barrel. With no Big 12 Championship game and having soundly defeated Texas in Austin on Thanksgiving night 48-10, the Frogs have quietly left their resume on the doorstep of the committee. Their chances of being #5? About 30%.

Baylor (Big 12)

Let’s stay in the Big 12 and head to Waco. Baylor is currently at #7. Their resume is stacked with quality wins against the current #5 TCU and at the time a #15 ranked Oklahoma in Norman 48-14. They rank #1 in points scored and are effective in all parts of their game. So why are they ranked just #7? Ah the non-conference games and who is the team that took down the vaunted Bears? SMU, Northwestern State and Buffalo were on the Bears’ non con plate and losing on the road by 14 against West Virginia doesn’t help the Baylor cause to be in the 4 team. Basically, even though they defeated TCU, if the Frogs get in, there’s no chance for Baylor. Their chances of being #5? About 20%. Baylor has a better chance of finishing #6 or #7 than they do rising in the committee’s eyes to #5. But as said before with TCU, a lot can happen between now and December 7th, when the 4 Teams are announced.

Ohio State (Big 10)

Come on in Mr. Buckeye! Have a seat. Just going over your resume and you’ve done some great things since September 13th. You’ve won 9 games in a row, you stand #6 in the current playoff rankings, (9-0) in conference, and are headed to the Big 10 conference championship once again. Quality wins against ranked Michigan State and Minnesota on the road definitely have the Buckeyes seeing Playoffs on the horizon. Before you put on the apron and go to work though, there is the matter of September 6th, a home loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies, 35-21. Now we know it was the 2nd week, and you’re very sorry for that and the chances of that ever happening again are slim to none, but we just have to take it into consideration. Thanks for the resume, we’ll call you: Playoff Committee. Chances of being #5? About 40%. They could leap frog TCU (pun intended), and still be only at #5. Florida State has to lose. Oregon has to lose. Alabama has to lose. Mississippi State has the highest probability of losing a game this Saturday against their rival Ole Miss. All eyes from Texas to Ohio will be watching what happens in Oxford and become instant Rebels fans. Which brings us to the SEC and the highest improbable.

More from Alabama Crimson Tide

No SEC Team Making the Final 4

What is this ESPN Doomsday Scenario? Let’s examine this closely and put the pieces together before this has even happened. Mississippi State loses to Ole Miss sending the Bulldogs to 2 losses. They’re out. Alabama loses to Auburn in this year’s Iron Bowl or in the SEC Championship against Georgia, giving the Tide 2 losses as well. Could it happen? A lot of people will say no, that the chances of Bama losing another game are at about 10%. But to quote an old proverb: There’s many a slip twixt a cup and the lip. What were the chances that when you set up a game winning 57 yard field goal in last year’s Iron Bowl that the kick would fall short and be returned for a 100 yard touchdown? The chances of no SEC Team in Final Four? About 5%. ESPN just wouldn’t allow that. If that were to happen, it would be something like the video below…