Remember when the Big 12 looked like a near lock to make the College Football Playoff?
That was just three short weeks ago.
The Oklahoma Sooners sat comfortably within the playoff picture, while Oklahoma State had nestled itself a home within earshot of those conversations at No. 6 nationally. Then, TCU happened to the latter on Sept. 23 and Iowa State happened to the former last weekend on Oct. 7. As a result, the Sooners and Pokes now sit at No. 12 and No. 14 in the AP poll, respectively, no longer controlling their own College Football Playoff destinies.
Rather, it’s TCU now in the driver seat at 5-0 and No. 6 nationally after beginning the season unranked, prompting Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports to say the Big 12 is, ‘staring into the abyss.’
“Six weeks in, TCU is the Big 12’s lone sure thing. If the Horned Frogs (5-0) win out, that all but would assure them of a playoff bid. Now try to find anyone who believes TCU can win out. Gary Patterson has a fine team but not a powerhouse. At least not yet. The Frogs reach the halfway point Saturday traveling to Kansas State, which has left two winnable games on the field against Vanderbilt and Texas. Would anyone be surprised if Bill Snyder’s canny Cats won by double digits?”
TCU’s first step towards winning out comes on Saturday afternoon against a Kansas State squad aiming to bounce back from a double-overtime loss to Texas. The Horned Frogs currently own a projected win probability percentage of 64.0, per ESPN’s FPI, and TCU stands as the favorite in every remaining matchup aside from its Nov. 11 trip to Norman.
If TCU can’t run the table, though, even if the lone loss comes on the road to an Oklahoma team that was ranked No. 3 in the nation just six days ago, the Big 12 may very well be staring into the abyss.
The Horned Frogs now seemingly hold the Big 12’s College Football Playoff hopes on their shoulders.
Who expected to say that just under a month ago?
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